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my prenatal dehydration led to hospitalization

  • 3 min read

Not Drinking Enough Water During Pregnancy Landed me in the Hospital

During my son’s pregnancy, I drank tons of water. It was more than enough. Or so I thought. I was quickly proven wrong, in a very serious way.

According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), pregnant women need to drink about 10 glasses of water per day. One glass equals about 8 ounces, or one cup. Sure, we often hear that the average person needs to consume 8 glasses of water per day, but is everyone REALLY drinking 2 liters of water? And upping that closer to 2.5 liters when you’re pregnant? If you’re truly measuring it out, that’s a lot of H2O.

I thought I was doing a great job. I worked from home and felt like I always had water on my desk or at least nearby. That meant I also always had to pee. Frequent urination is already an issue when you’re pregnant, and when you increase your water intake, it becomes that much more of a headache! I was drinking as much water as I thought I could, so I just dealt with it. I started measuring my intake, and at the end of the day I usually hit a liter, sometimes 2. I was pretty proud of that, especially since that was more water than I consumed pre-pregnancy. I assumed everything was fine and continued this routine for a few more weeks.

One day, around 29 weeks,  I woke up and felt off. I was groggy and noticed some pretty intense Braxton Hicks contractions. I tried to spend the day resting, hoping the contractions and grogginess would eventually disappear, but neither did. My contractions actually started varying from consistent to sporadic, and my husband decided we should make a trip to the labor and delivery triage. Needless to say, that was a scary decision to make.

Once we arrived, they hooked me and the baby up to monitors and did quite a bit of blood work. All of my blood work came back normal and while the baby was moving and had a steady heart rate, the monitor was picking up contractions. Some of the contractions were close together, others far apart. They decided to hook me up to an IV to see if that helped calm things down. Sure enough, it did. The midwife asked me how much water I consumed per day. I let her know on a typical day it was about 1-1.5 liters but occasionally 2. At the time, her response really surprised me. She insisted I should be drinking at least 2, if not 3, liters of water per day to stay fully hydrated! Holy cow! I was having a hard time with 1 to 1.5 liters of water. How was I going to double that and maintain it?!

I’ll admit, it was hard. I actually ended up in triage another time for dehydration, around 34 weeks, before I got used to hitting that 2.5 to 3 liters of water per day. After that, I pretty much only drank water. First thing in the morning, in between meals, with meals, before bed. It honestly felt like it was the only thing I was putting in my body. I did not have coffee, sodas, juices, anything. While those things are not necessarily bad to consume during pregnancy (caffeine in moderation, of course), I noticed if I had one, that replaced one glass of water. That was not something I could really afford to do. I can’t say I loved it, but I continued to remind myself that I was doing what was best for me and for my baby. The fear of landing in the hospital again or facing an early delivery was also enough to keep me going!

Two and a half years later, I am pregnant for the third time and so excited Upspring has launched their new U.Siip water enhancer! I feel like I can have something delicious during the day and still stay hydrated. You give up so much during pregnancy and giving up yummy drinks is one of the hardest parts for me! I am glad to have this as an option especially after my previous dehydration scares.

by Megan Cadenhead

Please note: This is the personal experience of one individual and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We always recommend seeking the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any individual questions or concerns you may have.

 

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