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Pregnancy and Dehydration: What Expecting Mothers Should Know About Proper Hydration

Many expecting mothers experience dehydration during pregnancy to some extent.  Fortunately, mild-to-moderate dehydration can be treated quickly and reversed without harming the baby.

Chronic and severe dehydration, on the other hand, is a more serious condition that should be avoided. Studies suggest maternal dehydration is to blame for everything from constipation and headaches, to more serious problems like preterm pregnancy, lower amniotic fluid levels and delivery complications.

Yet, dehydration doesn’t need to be a cause for alarm. In fact, it can be quickly reversed if symptoms arise or avoided altogether.

Why Is There An Increased Risk for Dehydration During Pregnancy?

During pregnancy, the body undergoes several rapid changes, both hormonally and in the amount of nutrients it requires. These changes can cause dehydration for different reasons.

In the first trimester, for example, the vomiting associated with “morning sickness” – which is experienced by more than half of expecting mothers – speeds up the loss of fluids and electrolytes. If these fluids and electrolytes aren’t replaced, dehydration can develop. And that’s one reason severe episodes of morning sickness can be serious.

Plus, expecting mothers have an increased need for water. For instance, two-thirds of the weight gained during pregnancy is made up of water, much of which is used by the baby.  Then, this need for extra water continues after childbirth, when a mother is nursing too.

For example, a breastfeeding baby consumes about three-quarters of a liter each day of milk, up until six months of age, and water is a main ingredient in breast milk. Consequently, nursing mothers must replace these fluids to avoid dehydration. Studies have shown that chronic dehydration during prenancy can affect the milk’s composition, as well as the volume produced.

Further, blood volume increases significantly during pregnancy. Plasma, which is a major component of blood, is made up in a large part by water, which also contributes to the increased need for water.

How Oral Rehydration Can Help Pregnant Women

An oral rehydration solution is a fast-acting, safe, and affordable remedy for dehydration. And it’s perfect for pregnant women (To learn more about ORS, here is a recent blog post with everything you need to know).

Drip Drop is an oral rehydration solution. And the formula is an electrolyte powder that when mixed with water, is designed to reverse dehydration. Therefore, as soon as the symptoms of dehydration arise, an expecting mother can begin therapy immediately at home.

And ORS is extremely effective. Several studies have confirmed ORS is as effective, if not more, than traditional IV treatments. Essentially, an ORS like Drip Drop quickly replenishes electrolytes lost due to vomiting. Or for less severe dehydration caused by sweating or acute diarrhea, Drip Drop speeds up rehydration and increases fluid retention.

Therefore, an ORS like Drip Drop should be in every expecting mother’s medicine cabinet. Not only can Drip Drop be deployed ASAP, but the science behind it is proven.

Image via Flickr.

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