>> Tuesday, March 22, 2011
What is dehydration? Simply put, it's where your body eliminates more water than is being replaced. In your first trimester this is usually brought on my vomiting caused by "morning" sickness. Other culprits can be airplane travel and humidity. It is vitally important that you are drinking plenty of water throughout the entire day. A good rule of thumb is one glass for you; one glass for baby once per hour.
Later in pregnancy, 2nd and 3rd trimester, dehydration can cause preterm labor. Actually, dehydration is the third most common reason that women experience preterm labor. When your doctor has you pee in a cup, they are checking for many things, one of them being dehydration and the other being ketones.
Signs and symptoms of dehydration include:
- Thirst. This is the first sign, and probably the most ignored. Listen to your body – if you’re thirsty, your body is trying to tell you something. You should try to maintain a schedule of drinking at least one glass of water an hour (more if needed).
- Dizziness. Dehydration may lead to feelings of dizziness, lightheadedness or vertigo, especially when standing up, bending over, or kneeling. This dizziness symptom is due to low blood pressure caused by dehydration.
- Headaches. Dehydration is a major cause of headaches, particularly migraines, in pregnant moms and non-pregnant folks alike. Don’t dismiss your headaches as hormonal (although, those can be a contributor). Make sure you’re drinking at least 10 pints of water a day – more, if you can handle it.
- Dark yellow urine (prenatal vitamins can also cause urine to be darker – make sure you’re getting enough water so that the vitamins are being used by your body as they’re meant to be).
- Urine with a strong odor (again, your prenatal vitamins may cause this as well – if they are, drink more water!)
- Inability to urinate (or, since you’re pregnant, a less frequent need to urinate).
- Dry mouth and nose, and chapped lips
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Skin has lost its elasticity or is very dry
If you have any of these symptoms you are already dehydrated - don’t try and ‘tough it out’. Dehydration can become a serious problem very quickly, and can lead to more serious illnesses, as well as cause preterm labor and other pregnancy complications. The best prevention – and remedy – for dehydration is drinking water. Our bodies are made up of approximately 50 – 60% water (some useless trivia: blood is made up of 83% water, muscle is 75% water, the brain is 70% water, and the lungs are nearly 90% water). If the body doesn’t have enough water, it can’t do its job properly.
KETONES:What are Ketones? Ketones are broken down fat cells. When your body cannot use carbohydrates, the bodies preferred source of energy, for your energy requirements, it begins to break down fat, a stored form of energy. Although this may seem like a positive thing, it isn't. When your body is breaking down fat instead of carbohydrates, it means one of two things. One, your body is in starvation mode, or two, you are suffering from diabetes. If your urine and breath smell unusually sweet, ketones are likely present. Also keep in mind that ketones could be a sign of pre-eclampsia.
If you're like me in your third trimester, you already took the SUPER fun glucose test. Maybe even twice. If it came back that you are not having gestational diabetes, then the issue is that you are not eating enough. To find out how many calories you need to consume on a daily basis while you are pregnant, try the pregnancy calorie calculator. Usually it's between 1800 and 2500 calories. It goes up each trimester. I have had some major food aversion this whole pregnancy, so eating enough has been a big issue. A good idea to gauge whether or not you are eating enough is to keep a food log/journal. It helps to visually see what you're actually eating. Sometimes it feels like you're eating more or less than actuality.
No matter what, you want to make sure you are eating as healthily as possible for you and for baby. Don't forget to drink plenty of water!