chapped lips, lips pregnancy, pregnant skin changes, dry skin

Staying hydrated during pregnancy

By now, you probably realize the importance of staying hydrated during your pregnancy.  You have likely read about the dangers of dehydration during pregnancy, and you get it. Drink as much water as humanly possible because your baby needs a lot of hydration to grow properly, and he will extract it from your body until you are dry and flaky.

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How to tell if you are dehydrated

There are a few telltale signs that you’re in need of more water when you’re pregnant. One such sign is dry, cracked lips. If you’re not prone to chapped lips when not pregnant, there’s a really good chance this new condition was brought on by your thirsty baby. Though, you might want to bring the issue up to your doctor if you feel as though you are getting enough water and still experience symptoms of thirst.

If you’re drinking at least eight glasses of water per day but you still have dry lips, they might be a result of another problem. First, monitor your own breathing at random points in the day. Since pregnancy can cause a stuffy nose, many women start breathing out of their mouth to compensate. The constant inward and outward blowing of air can cause chapped lips, so talk to your doctor about solutions for your clogged nose if you notice that your jaw tends to be slack throughout the day.

According to a recent study, chapped lips can also be an indication of a more serious problem during pregnancy. In the study, women with high-risk pregnancies were studied. They all shared some unrelated common symptoms including chapped lips, indigestion, headache, shortness of breath, nasal congestion, and fatigue. Many of these symptoms are common to all pregnancies, but if you have a complication such as preeclampsia, your risk for chapped lips will be greater.

If you are well into your pregnancy and can’t get rid of those dry, chapped lips, try not to assume that there is a serious complication. If there were, your doctor would have likely known by now. Though, if you do know about a pre-existing complication, your chapped lips could be a direct result.

Tips for chapped lips:

  • Keep drinking as much water as possible and consider purchasing a medicated lip balm to keep the surface moisturized.
  • Avoid licking your lips and try to get back into the habit of breathing through your nose.
  • Keep in mind that chapped lips may be annoying but they are generally harmless.

Source: Judith Maloni: Symptoms of a Normal and High-Risk Pregnancy. Midwest Nursing Research Society October 2011

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