Did you know that when you are pregnant, you lose more electrolytes than any other time in your life?
Why could that be?
As every pregnant woman knows, you are peeing all the time!
Therefore you’re losing electrolytes at an increased rate.
Your baby is also depleting them too.
I see so many pregnant women who come in to see me with signs of dehydration and electrolyte depletion and imbalance.
What many people do not realise is water alone is not enough to hydrate you.
You need electrolytes to properly hydrate and carry fluids around your body properly.
Signs you need electrolytes are:
#1: Feeling thirsty all the time. If you’re still thirsty after drinking lots of fluid, you may need more electrolytes. Please be careful this is not a sign of diabetes either.
#2: Swelling in your limbs and other parts of your body. While this is fairly normal in pregnancy, it’s also due to fluid not being transported properly, which is what electrolytes help with.
#3: Getting constipated. Even with adequate fibre, you are still not moving your bowels properly. This could be from lack of electrolytes and fluid imbalance.
#4: Headaches. Many headaches people experience are actually from being dehydrated. Electrolytes will ensure adequate hydration.
#5: High blood pressure. Electrolytes and magnesium can help regulate blood pressure.
#6: Morning sickness. While an imbalance of electrolytes may not be the cause of morning sickness (or should we say all day sickness), they are definitely needed if you have been vomiting and are nauseous.
#7: Haemorrhoids. This may be the result of being constipated and lack of hydration, which then causes straining.
#8: Illness. During time of illness and using certain medications, it can deplete your electrolyte balance.
#9: Breast Feeding. Electrolytes are a great help during breast feeding, to help keep you hydrated and with a good milk supply. If you keep up your water and electrolyte intake right after the birth, you may be able to help avoid post-birth constipation. Avoiding processed foods (cereals, breads, pasta etc.) will also help you to avoid constipation.
There are so many other conditions that could mean that you need to top up your electrolytes.
Please be aware that drinks like Gatorade, Powerade and all those other ‘sports lolly waters’ are not electrolytes. Nowhere on the bottle does it say electrolyte. They are just over commercialised cordials with a tiny bit of added salt and lots of colouring.
Please only use Hydrolyte or a proper sports electrolyte, such as the one we use called Endura. While coconut water does contain electrolytes, it is not a complete electrolyte in its function, so don’t get tricked into thinking it’s a proper electrolyte.
Are you getting enough electrolytes into your body during pregnancy?
Articles posted on BellyBelly which are not written by Doctor Andrew Orr are the opinions of BellyBelly and not necessarily the opinion of Doctor Andrew Orr.