Midwives do you ever wonder if the inside of you looks a bit like this photo at the end of your shift? If yes, how do you wake up feeling the next morning?
When the body loses more water than it replaces we get dehydrated. On average we lose 8-10 cups of water a day; through our lungs as water vapour, our skin as sweat, and our urine and stools. If doing heavy exercise in hot weather you can lose 8-10 cups of water in an hour. Would that include running around a hot birth suite or being suited up in PPE in a fast-paced emergency? We would say yes.
We normally replace our fluid by drinking water and eating food that contains water. But what if we spend our whole day doing neither? And what if we do that every day? Have we thought about what it means when we feel so pushed by life that we don’t go to the toilet when we need to; that we modify our fluid intake so as not to need to go to the toilet or run our body on only coffee through the day?
In our practice we know how important staying hydrated is; how quickly do we put up fluids or encourage oral fluids when either woman or baby are tachycardic, or at the first sign of a deceleration or hypotension.
And as we do this as midwives are we standing there dehydrated ourselves?
Symptoms of dehydration include tiredness, lethargy, headache, dry mouth, infrequent urination with dark colour, thirst… sound familiar?
On a normal day we need at least 2 litres to replenish what we lose, more if it’s hot and we are running around at work. Water is the suggested fluid to replenish with.
We have got to love the simple things that support our well being and vitality… drinking plenty of water is one such thing.