In this article:
- Is It Normal To Feel Thirsty in Early Pregnancy?
- What Causes Thirst During Pregnancy?
- Is Thirst the Same as Dehydration?
- How Can I Get Rid of Thirst in Early Pregnancy?
- The Benefits of Being Hydrated During Your Pregnancy
If you’re in your early pregnancy, you might have heard that you’re now eating for two. But did you know that you’re now drinking for two, as well?
Because your fluid intake requirements have gone up, it’s normal to feel thirsty in your early pregnancy. But if your thirst is excessive and persistent, then it’s a good idea to take a closer look at what’s happening.
Read on to discover when it’s normal to feel thirst in early pregnancy, what causes you to feel thirsty, and the best ways to cure your thirst during your pregnancy.
Is It Normal To Feel Thirsty in Early Pregnancy?
During pregnancy, your body is literally growing another human being. For this reason, you need a lot of extra energy—which mainly comes from what you eat and drink (in addition to lots of extra naps!). For this reason, it’s completely normal to feel thirsty in your early pregnancy—especially if you haven’t upped your intake of food and water, in addition to essential vitamins and minerals.
However, you might feel excessive thirst that doesn’t seem to go away regardless of how much you eat and drink. While a dry mouth on its own is usually not something to worry about, you might be experiencing thirst that’s slightly excessive. This is especially the case if you have a constant desire to drink water—even in the middle of the night.
If that’s the case, it’s a good idea to check in with your doctor to make sure that everything is in balance. However, most cases of thirst in early pregnancy should go away by upping how much you eat and drink. Keep reading to find out what makes you feel so thirsty during pregnancy.
What Causes Thirst During Pregnancy?
There are many reasons you may be feeling more thirsty than usual in your pregnancy. In addition to simply needing more fluids to, you know, create another human being, there may be several factors at play. These can include:
- Increased Pressure on Your Bladder: As you progress in your pregnancy, you may feel increased pressure on your bladder. This may cause you to use the bathroom more often, which (understandably) may lead you to need more water than you usually do.
- An Increase in Hormones: During pregnancy, there is an increase in certain hormones that get released. Estrogen and progesterone play a role in your body’s hydration levels, and their secretion may explain the increase in thirst during pregnancy.
- Your Kidneys Are Working Overtime: Because you’re carrying a fetus, your kidneys are expelling more waste than usual, which means you’re losing more water and electrolytes than usual.
- You Feel Nauseous More Often: If you’re dealing with morning sickness, you may be experiencing vomiting—this is a very common way to rapidly lose a lot of water and electrolytes.
In addition, you may be eating a lot less food than usual. Because we get many of our electrolytes from food, you might be missing out on essential ones, which can trigger a thirst response.
However, if you’re experiencing excessive thirst that doesn’t seem to go away, it can be due to a serious condition. This can include:
- Gestational Diabetes: This is a condition in which your blood sugar levels go up during pregnancy. This condition can affect up to 10% of pregnancies each year. While this condition sometimes doesn’t cause any symptoms at all, increased thirst can definitely be a sign of it.
- HELLP Syndrome: This is an incredibly rare condition that’s caused when the liver produces excess enzymes while the red blood cells begin to break down. While many of the symptoms—such as nausea and fatigue—may be confused with the normal experience of pregnancy, excessive thirst may be the sign that tells you something is wrong.
Due to the potential for complications, it’s important to have your doctor evaluate you for health issues. So make sure to reach out to your doctor if your thirst doesn’t go away.
Is Thirst the Same as Dehydration?
Thirst is not the same thing as dehydration. While dehydration is something that needs to be addressed right away—especially during pregnancy—thirst is just your body’s normal response to needing more water or electrolytes (or both).
When your body senses even a minor decrease in your total water supply, it sends signals to your brain to (a) find more water and (b) preserve the water you already have—through fluid retention. Thirst is usually the first signal you’ll feel when your fluid balance is off and should go away fairly quickly once you replenish your fluids.
Dehydration is a bit different from thirst. While there’s no single clinical definition for dehydration, it’s what happens when your body loses more water and electrolytes than it replenishes. In mild cases, it’s enough to cause impairment in your regular functioning. In more severe cases, it can lead your vital organs to stop working and even cause death.
How do you know if you’re dehydrated? Well, aside from thirst, you may experience a loss of function in many parts of your body and brain. This can include brain fog, heart palpitations, extreme fatigue, and muscle spasms—amongst many others. While your doctor can diagnose you with dehydration, there’s a much easier way to check. If your urine is dark yellow or orange, you’re very likely dehydrated.
How Can I Get Rid of Thirst in Early Pregnancy?
It’s super important to prevent excessive thirst from happening in the first place. For this reason, it’s important to drink the right amount of fluids for you. While the standard recommendation is eight glasses per day, you may need more. Listen to your body and give it all the fluids needed to prevent any feelings of thirst.
During pregnancy, it’s normal to feel nauseous from drinking plain water. Adding in an electrolyte supplement will not only replenish you with necessary minerals, but it can make water taste much better. Alternatively, you can up your intake of yummy fruits and veggies as a “cheat” for getting in more fluids.
Instead of drinking excessive amounts of water at certain points throughout the day, it’s a much better idea to sip on your beverages gradually. Too much water can make you feel uncomfortable—especially if you’re dealing with nausea. Instead, keep a large bottle of water nearby and sip on it every 20 minutes or so. If it helps, you can set reminders on your phone to make sure to drink when you need to.
The Benefits of Being Hydrated During Your Pregnancy
Aside from preventing dehydration, there are many benefits to staying well-hydrated in your pregnancy. These include:
- Reducing Your Risk of UTIs: During pregnancy, your risk of contracting a urinary tract infection goes up. While these can be easily treated with a round of antibiotics, it might be something you wish to avoid when pregnant. Staying hydrated is the best way to keep your urinary tract clear of bacteria that can lead to infection.
- Lowering Your Risk of Fatigue: Since you’re carrying a baby inside you, it’s totally understandable that you’d feel a bit more tired than usual. Keep your energy levels as high as possible by providing your body with the essential fluids and electrolytes it needs to keep your heart pumping efficiently and delivering oxygen to every part of your body.
- Reducing Swelling: Not getting enough water can lead your body to retain fluids, which many women already experience during pregnancy. Up your intake of fluids to reduce the risk of swelling that can come with water retention.
- Making Your Skin More Elastic: Getting the proper amount of fluids helps your skin maintain its moisture. Not only will this keep dryness at bay, but it can actually make your skin more elastic—or, in other words, less likely to develop stretch marks.
- Improving Your Child’s Nutrition: Supplying your child with the proper amount of fluids and all the important vitamins and minerals they need is one of the best ways to ensure that they have all that’s necessary to grow and develop.
Cure’s products are made with you and your child in mind. Because we’re committed to your wellness, we use only plant-based and sustainable ingredients. Nothing synthetic or artificial—ever!
With a blend of sustainably-sourced coconut water powder and Himalayan pink salt, you can be sure that you’re getting the electrolytes you need for your body to function at its best. To make your water taste delicious, you can choose from many flavors, such as berry-pomegranate, grapefruit, watermelon, lemon, and ginger turmeric.
With the variety of options available from Cure, you’ll no longer feel the need to force yourself to drink more water. Instead, getting in your water will be the sweetest part of your day.
Sources:Urinary Tract Infection In Pregnancy | NCBI Bookshelf