Dehydration in Pregnancy

This weekend, I had the very unlucky privileged of having food poisoning. Since I’ve recovered, I wanted to share with my readers what one should do in the event you get a nasty tummy bug that has you loosing a lot more fluids than you’re able to keep down. I was miserable and at nearly 9 weeks pregnant, I was very concerned about what my quick dehydration could do to the fetus. My body type does not handle any amount of fluids lost. I am tall and thin and cannot afford to lose any weight, especially while pregnant. No matter what your stature, this information is for everyone, even if you’re not pregnant.

I am only referring to the first trimester here. If you become ill and dehydrated later in your pregnancy, there are other factors and risks involved. Always speak with your provider about proper care.

If you become ill with vomiting and/or diarrhea, follow these guidelines to determine if you need IV hydration (as prescribed by the nurse who works with my midwife):

  • Ensure that you urinate at least once in 12 hours, more in my opinion. If you do not urinate within 12 hours, seek medical attention.
  • If your vomiting lasts more than 12 hours without keeping anything down, seek medical attention.
  • If your diarrhea last more than 24 hours, seek medical attention.
  • Stomach cramping comes with severe diarrhea; take two Tylenol, rest on your left side and if the cramping does not subside, call your provider (call your provider before taking any medication).
  • If at any time you develop a fever, seek medical attention.
  • As always, call your provider for the best guidance.

As you are dealing with the above:

  • Sip on fluids throughout the day and night. Drinking copious amounts of water can cause rapid nausea so sip on it. Also sip on drinks with electorlites like Poweraid.
  • If you can stomach some food, eat bland items like saltines, rice, apple sauce, toast and bananas, all of which are gentle on your sensitive system.
  • Rest. Sleep as much as you are able, while still waking to sip on fluids.
  • Have someone else take care of you. I know that for most moms out there this seems impossible but sometimes, your partner must take charge of the kids, house and you. The more you rest, the quicker you will recover.

Being sick is hard enough and while pregnant is even more difficult, especially if you are taking care of a family and working. Remember, your body is working for two now and resting and hydration are essential to healing.



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