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What Are the Causes of Thirst During a Pregnancy?

author image Sarah Harding
Sarah Harding has written stacks of research articles dating back to 2000. She has consulted in various settings and taught courses focused on psychology. Her work has been published by ParentDish, Atkins and other clients. Harding holds a Master of Science in psychology from Capella University and is completing several certificates through the Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association.
What Are the Causes of Thirst During a Pregnancy?
Thirst in pregnancy may happen for a variety of reasons.

Thirst in pregnancy can be a simple sign that your body needs more fluids or it can be a sign of a more serious complication. Always consult your doctor if you have any unusual symptoms during pregnancy, especially if they are persistent. Thirst paired with other symptoms may be a sign that the mother needs medical treatment. Treating thirst in pregnancy may require treating the underlying issue or it may just require that your fluid intake be increased. The mother's nutrition and fluid intake are important for both for her body and for the unborn baby. Increasing calories and fluid is necessary in any pregnancy.

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Pregnant women experience an increased need to urinate, regardless of the stage of pregnancy. In early pregnancy, thirst is your body's way of telling you that you and the baby need more fluids, says The extra fluids help the kidneys flush out excess waste from the body, including the waste produced by the baby. The amniotic sac is filled with fluids to protect the baby. Filling this sac requires that the mother drink plenty of fluids. Eating salty foods can increase the desire to drink more fluids. Some women may feel the thirst is insatiable, especially if she experiences night sweats or has a heightened body temperature.

Blood Volume

Thirst during pregnancy is a common reaction to the increase in a pregnant woman's blood volume. The body's blood volume increases substantially during pregnancy--as much as 40 percent. Therefore, a pregnant woman feels the need to drink more water to accommodate the extra blood. The extra blood helps provide oxygen and nutrients to the fetus during pregnancy. Water is important in the development of new cells.

Low Blood Pressure

The American Heart Association indicates that a drop in blood pressure within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy is common. This is the result of the heart's having to pump the extra blood throughout the body, which can be more difficult. Unusual thirst is a sign of low blood pressure but often there are other symptoms as well. Other symptoms to watch for include dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, blurred vision, nausea, cold skin, clammy skin, paleness, rapid but shallow breathing and fatigue.

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