Dehydration Signs and Reasons During Pregnancy

Dehydration During Pregnancy - Signs, Symptoms, Reasons, Prevention & Treatment

When your body loses more water than you take in then it leads to the complication of dehydration. Water plays an important role in the healthy and proper development of your baby in the womb. Water delivers nutrients to the growing baby and amniotic sac that cushions baby during pregnancy. That's why a pregnant woman needs more water than an average person. It is essential for a pregnant woman to stay well hydrated. If your urine is clear it means you're well-hydrated but if your urine is dark yellow then it means you have to increase your water intake. Dehydration makes it harder for the body to perform its normal functions. Mild dehydration is not dangerous if a pregnant woman quickly takes enough fluids but severe dehydration can be dangerous for both the expectant mother and her baby. 

Risks of dehydration during pregnancy

Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration during pregnancy

The signs and symptoms of dehydration during pregnancy are:

  • Feeling Thirsty
  • Dry mouth and Chapped Lips
  • Dry feeling in throat
  • Dark yellow color urine
  • Less frequent urination
  • Maternal Overheating
  • Dizziness or Tiredness
  • Feeling weak or exhausted
  • Sunken skin 
  • Abdominal Pain and Cramps

Signs and Symptoms of Severe Dehydration during pregnancy 

When dehydration gets worse it can cause severe complications during pregnancy. The severe complications caused by dehydration during pregnancy are:

  • Rapid Heartbeat
  • Severe Headache
  • Dizziness, Fainting, Confusion
  • Sunken eyes
  • Changes in Baby's pattern of movements

Risks associated with dehydration during pregnancy

Dehydration can lead to many serious complications during pregnancy. The complications caused due to dehydration during pregnancy are:

  • Low level of amniotic fluid
  • Low Breast Milk Production
  • Neural Tube Defects
  • Birth Defects
  • Stroke

Reasons for Dehydration during pregnancy

There are several reasons that can cause dehydration during pregnancy. The reasons for dehydration during pregnancy are:

Morning Sickness

One of the most common causes of dehydration during pregnancy is morning sickness that includes nausea, vomiting. All of these problems result in the loss of water from the body and lead to dehydration during pregnancy.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Severe morning sickness is known as Hyperemesis Gravidarum. It causes a severe loss of electrolytes and water that leads to dehydration. However, this condition affects around 2% of pregnant women.

Formation of Amniotic Fluid

Amniotic fluid is a fluid that surrounds your baby while they grow in the uterus. It allows your baby to move and cushions your baby. It helps your baby's parts to develop properly. The formation of amniotic fluid needs water and if you don't drink enough water at this stage then it can make you feel dehydrated.

Frequent Urination

Frequent urination is a very common complication that starts at six weeks of pregnancy. Excess urination can cause water loss from the body and if you don't drink enough water this time then it can lead to dehydration while pregnant.

Excess Sweating

Excess Sweating during pregnancy can cause water loss from the body and if you don't take adequate water this time then it can lead to dehydration during pregnancy.

Less intake of water

Drinking plenty of fluids during pregnancy is very essential. It is very essential for a pregnant woman to drink at least 8 to 12 glasses of water per day. If you don't meet the daily requirement of fluid intake then it can lead to dehydration during pregnancy.

Not absorbing enough water

Some health issues especially those that cause vomiting or diarrhea make it difficult for the body to absorb the water it needs during pregnancy. Pregnant women with hyperemesis gravidarum experience excess vomiting that results in weight loss and dehydration. Other health issues such as intestinal disorders, kidney failure also cause dehydration during pregnancy. The pregnant women with such health issues are at an increased risk of dehydration if they don't drink plenty of fluids during their pregnancy period.

Increase Blood Volume

The blood volume of a pregnant woman increases by 50% that causes dehydration in early pregnancy. The body needs more water this time.


Many pregnant women experience diarrhea during pregnancy due to food aversions, hormonal changes especially in the third trimester of pregnancy. Diarrohea causes water loss in the body and if you don't drink adequate water this time then you could become dehydrated while pregnant.

Maternal Age

If you're pregnant and are in your mid or late 30s then you need to drink more water to stay well hydrated as the body is unable to retain more water above the age of 35.

Hot Weather and Humidity

If you live in a hot or humid place then your body will lose water and you need to drink more water to stay well hydrated throughout your pregnancy.

Prevention of dehydration during pregnancy

  • Drink plenty of water at least 8 to 12 glasses of water in a day.
  • Drink plenty of healthy fluids such as milk, buttermilk, coconut water and many more to meet your fluid requirements. 
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks, soda or processed fruit juices while pregnant.
  • Avoid activities that can cause overheating.
  • Avoid doing strenuous exercises during pregnancy.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages during pregnancy.
  • If you're spending a lot of time in intense heat then increase your fluid intake even more.
  • Avoid spending a lot of time in a hot environment.

Treatment of Dehydration during pregnancy

The best way to treat dehydration during pregnancy is to drink more and more water. If you don't like to drink plain water all the time then you can take other healthy drinks to meet your daily requirements of fluid intake. The healthy drinks which you can consume during pregnancy are fresh fruit juices, lemonade, carrot juice, soups, etc. If your dehydration is caused due to nausea or vomiting then talk to your doctor. Your doctor will prescribe medications for it. Some pregnant women require electrolytes to absorb fluids properly while some pregnant women need intravenous fluids in order to rehydrate.  

Mild dehydration can easily be treated at home by drinking enough fluids but if you're experiencing severe dehydration then it's better to call your doctor. We wish you a very happy and safe pregnancy.

Also, read other health-related articles :

    Disclaimer: This content is intended for general information only and it should not be used as the basis of patient treatment. The given content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, treatment or any diagnosis. Always consult a doctor for more information. Our website doesn't claim responsibility for this information.

    No comments