As morning sickness keeps your appetite at an all-time low, your risk of becoming dehydrated increases with each hour you go without food and water. Since morning sickness typically continues through the 14th week of pregnancy, it is impossible to wait out the nausea and catch up on fluids later. As you become dehydrated, you might notice increased thirst, dizziness and weakness. If heart palpitations, confusion or fainting occur, you must head into the hospital right away.
When you are dehydrated, your body cannot maintain healthy amniotic fluid levels in the womb or promote proper fetal growth. Furthermore, your body may struggle to regulate your internal temperature, leading to overheating that can threaten the health of you and your baby. Thankfully, you can use the four following ways to remain hydrated even while dealing with the distressing symptoms of morning sickness.
EMBRACE THE POWER OF GINGER
When morning sickness is at its worst, you may feel like you just cannot take a single bite or sip of anything without feeling queasy. You can combat the rising nausea by consuming up to one gram of ginger root each day. Studies show that consuming ginger reduces nausea and vomiting resulting from morning sickness.
Although you can add crystallized ginger to your tea or eat candied ginger, you may fare better simply consuming the ginger in pill form. Lie in a dark, quiet and cool room for about 30 minutes afterward to give your stomach a chance to digest the ginger and allow it to begin to work. After the ginger relieves the intense waves of nausea, your appetite may start to return. Nibble on some crackers and sip an icy beverage until you are sure your stomach is able to handle a full meal.
FLAVOR YOUR WATER
If straight water seems absolutely unpalatable, you can spice it up by adding flavors to the mix. You may want to mix ½ cup of water with ½ cup of fruit punch to create a delicious concoction that is easy on the stomach. You can also cut up fresh fruit and add it to a gallon of water in the fridge to have flavored water on hand at all times. Berries, oranges, limes and lemons all work incredibly well for this purpose.
You may even enjoy the light, crisp flavor imparted by adding sliced cucumbers to cold water. Experiment with the various flavors to see which ones calm your stomach the most. Stick to your favorites and sip your drinks slowly to keep nausea from returning with a vengeance.
CONSUME FRUITS AND VEGGIES
During the times when you do feel well enough to eat, make fresh fruits and vegetables a large part of your meals. Many different types of produce have a high water content that helps your body remain hydrated. All fruits are made up of over 74 percent water, with the juiciest varieties, such as watermelon, boasting an amazing 92 percent water content. On the vegetable side, cucumber, lettuce, celery, zucchini and tomatoes have the highest water content at around 95 percent.
Although you cannot make up your entire fluid intake with these foods, their water content will add to the consumption totals you need to meet each day. In addition, the vitamins and minerals in the fresh produce will help keep your body healthy during this period of reduced food intake.
DRINK DECAFFEINATED TEA
Decaffeinated tea hydrates your body while providing beneficial support from antioxidants, minerals and herbs. You can try various tea flavors, such as ginger, mint and red raspberry leaf, to identify the ones that reduce your morning sickness symptoms the most.
Since morning sickness is prevalent through the first trimester, you must avoid the normally highly lauded nettle leaf tea due to its tendency to stimulate the uterus. Teas designed to detoxify the body or stimulate the gastric system should also be avoided. If you do not favor the tea’s flavor hot, try it over ice or with a little bit of sugar or honey for a taste of sweetness. Remember to add fresh ginger every once in a while to keep morning sickness symptoms at a low level.
WATCHING FOR SIGNS OF DEHYDRATION
Most importantly, you’ll want to keep a close watch on dehydration. Making sure you’re consuming at least 64 ounces of fluid each day will keep you on the right track. If you are active, you should consume even more! Chugging bottles of water to achieve this goal isn’t always the way to go either. In fact, drinking straight water constantly can cause even more nausea. Incorporating fluids into your daily meals is a great way to ensure you’re getting what’s necessary.
If you develop any advanced symptoms of dehydration, such as dizziness or fatigue, you should call your obstetrician’s office to schedule a visit or talk to a nurse. Thankfully, the vast majority of women experience typical morning sickness symptoms that suddenly end about halfway through the pregnancy. You’ll get a break and hopefully, feel back to normal in no time!