- A UK woman felt weak, vomited, and had a seizure after giving birth to her baby.
- She had consumed so much water during labor that she decreased her sodium levels, leading to hyponatremia.
- There are no clear guidelines on fluid intake in pregnancy, but too much can, rarely, be fatal.
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A 33-year-old woman drank so much water during childbirth that she felt faint, began vomiting, and had a seizure after giving birth to her baby.
At first, doctors thought she was experiencing eclampsia, a serious high blood pressure situation during pregnancy that can lead to seizures and a coma.
But once they dug deeper, they realized hyponatremia, or an electrolyte imbalance caused by an excess of water intake, was to blame.
Author of the report, published in the journal BMJ Case Reports in June, you want to raise awareness of the dangers of drinking too much liquid during pregnancy.
The woman was otherwise healthy, but her fluid intake was not monitored
Entering work, the first time British mother was healthy and considered low risk. She began to experience contractions at 41 weeks and vomited at home before going to the hospital to continue working.
For 14 hours, she was in the first stage of labor, when the cervix opened and softened. She vomited all over, and was encouraged to drink liquids to compensate.
24 hours after her contractions began, she began to push and, with the help of oxytocin, gave birth to a baby within an hour.
But 20 minutes later the new mother felt weak and vomited again before having a one-minute attack. Clinicians have begun treating him for eclampsia, since, they wrote, “in most, if not all cases, a postpartum crisis is eclampsia until proven otherwise.” Plus, the woman had
, another sign of eclampsia.
But blood tests revealed after she had low sodium levels, a sign of overhydration. And, after asking the patient a series of questions, doctors learned that she had consumed about five to six liters of water in a day – twice her daily intake since doctors had told her. encouraged to hydrate.
Her child, she went, also had hyponatremia.
Both were treated to balance their sodium levels and discharged the next day.
Hyponatremia is best recognized among endurance athletes
While most people don’t drink enough water, there is such a thing as too much. Endurance athletes are perhaps best known to be at risk for hyponatremia if they drink water but not enough electrolytes during exercise. A 2015 case report describes a Grand Canyon hiker who went into a coma and died from excessive hydration.
Research also suggests that people with depression and addictions may be prone to hyponatremia, influenced by their medications and stress levels. People with eating disorders, also, he can chug the water to suppress hunger or to hide his low weights from his doctors, according to US News & World Report.
There are no universal guidelines on how much drinking water to work with
The current case study, as well as several others before it, highlights how working patients should not be overlooked when it comes to hyponatremia.
During pregnancy, the body absorbs more water. Oxytocin, commonly given to speed up labor, reduces sodium levels. These factors may increase the risk of hyponatremia during or after delivery, the authors write.
However, there are no clear guidelines on how much someone should drink during labor, the authors write, only how much fluid is administered through an IV. In addition, the World Health Organization stresses the importance of honoring a woman’s desires to eat and drink during labor, since restricting intake does not seem to pay off.
The study’s authors advised clinicians to take note of a patient’s total fluid intake, and encourage people working to drink beverages with electrolytes.