Excessive Thirst During Pregnancy

by April Sanders
Excessive thirst is common during pregnancy.

Excessive thirst is common during pregnancy.

Some women are said to have skin that glows during pregnancy. It's possible this glow is caused in part by all that water you are drinking. Excessive thirst during pregnancy is common, according to AskDrSears.com. In most cases, the reasons you are so thirsty can be attributed to normal changes in the body during pregnancy.

Symptoms

Women who experience excessive thirst during pregnancy are not just very thirsty. They also have dry mouth (especially at night) and frequent urination. Swelling of the hands, feet and ankles also occasionally accompanies excessive thirst.

Causes

The increased levels of hormones, especially estrogen, cause a pregnant woman to feel thirsty, but this is for a good reason. Your body needs fluids in order to create amniotic fluid. In addition, your kidneys are working overtime to get rid of the waste that the baby is creating, and they need water for that. Finally, your blood circulation increases dramatically when you are pregnant -- to 40 percent -- according to AskDrSears.com. This increase blood volume requires an increase in liquid consumption.

Prevention/Solution

Drinking lots of water is the healthiest way to quench your thirst during pregnancy. It is also the best way to stay hydrated. Carry water around with you wherever you go. Avoid salty foods and caffeine, which can increase your thirst. Other drinks that are good for your baby include milk, which provides both your body and your baby's body with calcium, and vegetable or fruit juices.

Considerations

All those liquids may cause swelling, especially during the third trimester. By this time, your body contains an extra 20 lbs of fluid, according to AskDrSears.com. For this reason, it is common for pregnant women to experience a little swelling in the feet, ankles and hands from water retention. This is preferable to the alternative, which is dehydration. In fact, your body will take water from your intestines, causing constipation, if you don't drink enough. Dehydration can also cause headaches, irritability and even premature labor, according to Pregnancy Today.

Warning

A sudden increase in thirst can be a symptom of a serious condition called gestational diabetes. This occurs when the body cannot produce enough insulin for both the mother and baby. Most pregnant women are automatically tested for this condition around the 24th week of pregnancy. Still, if you have a dramatic increase in thirst, along with other symptoms such as tiredness and blurred vision, see a doctor right away.

About the Author

April Sanders has been a professional writer since 1998. She has worked as an educator and now writes academic research content for EBSCO Publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology from the University of Washington and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education from Mansfield University.

Photo Credits

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