It’s getting hot, humid, and . . . you’re pregnant. Oh, the joys of summer pregnancies. 🙂 If you didn’t already know, when you’re pregnant, your body temperature is already a bit higher than normal. When you add the summer heat on top of that, it’s bound to make you feel even more uncomfortable. With all of the heat, you’re experiencing, this also puts you at risk for heat exhaustion, because it takes twice the amount of energy for your body to cool you and your baby off. So staying cool is important to avoid heat exhaustion, and luckily there are some ways to cope with the summer heat. Here are 10 tips on how to stay cool during pregnancy when it gets hot.
Wear Light Fabrics
It’s common knowledge that when the heat turns on, some clothes come off. When expecting, don’t make the mistake of wearing clothes that won’t allow your skin to breathe. It’s a good idea to stick to materials like cotton and light-colored clothing and avoid materials like polyester and dark colors.
Also, think of the silver lining of having a summer pregnancy; at least you don’t have to bundle up in lots of layers over an already-growing belly or buy a winter maternity coat, which can be very expensive and impractical. You also don’t have to worry about sucking in with your cute bump when you’re lounging by the pool. 😉
This is a given since drinking water is encouraged as soon as we become pregnant. It’s even more important to stay hydrated in warmer temperatures because you’re perspiring more and losing electrolytes. Water’s a good choice, but so are orange juice, coconut water, and sports drinks, which replace the electrolytes that you are losing.
You want to make sure to drink water at a steady pace throughout the day because if you are thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Dehydration can predispose women to preterm labor, so expecting mamas have to be extra careful in the summer months.
When temperatures exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit or more, stay indoors in the shade near a fan or air conditioner. I know that it can be a drag to stay indoors on those hot days, but it’s the best way to protect you and your baby. And if you must go outdoors, do those activities in the morning or evening when the sun is lower, and temperatures are cooler. You want to try and avoid leaving during the hottest hours of the day, typically between 10 am and 2 pm.
Also, when you do go outdoors, you should always use a high SPF sunscreen. If you have fair skin as I do, I recommend that you use SPF 30 or 45.
Get Some Rest
When you’re feeling overheated, sometimes there’s no better way to beat the heat than by taking a nap in a cool, dark room. Remember, this is one of the last times in your life that you will be able to nap without interruptions whenever you please. If you already have little ones, ask a family member, friend, babysitter, or neighbor to see if they can watch your children as you rest and cool down.
Eat Lighter Meals
I know that it’s no fun and not easy to watch what you eat during pregnancy. But eating smaller, lighter, more frequent meals will keep your metabolism steady. If you’re eating larger portions, your metabolism has to work harder, and that causes your body to generate more heat. So during the summer, it’s best for you and your little one to eat lighter meals to avoid overheating.
Focus on Your Breathing
Breathing is an important factor when trying to keep cool. Relaxed, steady breathing lets off heat, so you want to make sure you have a good breathing pattern when you are feeling warm. Some people breathe too rapidly or too slowly when overheated. If you have allergies or suffer from asthma, stay indoors. Being outside can cause you to have difficulty controlling your breathing pattern, and you want it under control, nice and relaxed.
Go For a Swim
A great way to not only stay cool but also relieve discomfort during pregnancy in the summer is to take a dip in the pool. If you have access to a pool, it will help with cooling you off as well as taking some weight off of your sciatic nerve, legs, and joints. Just, again, make sure to wear extra sunblock. As an expectant mama, you are more susceptible to sunburn.
Take a Shower
Some pregnant women even experience the heat when they’re indoors. Taking cooler, quick showers throughout the day can help keep your temperature down.
Use Cold Compresses
If a shower just isn’t possible (like when you’re at work), get a cold, wet washcloth or paper towel and place it on your forehead or around your neck. It will help keep your body temperature cooler.
If you notice yourself overheating at home, I recommend that you wet a few washcloths and stick them in your freezer. After an hour or more, take one out. Lay down, put your feet up, and place the compress on your forehead. You will feel so much better. Once you are finished, get it damp again and place it back in the freezer.
Carry a Spray Bottle
There you have it! 10 ways to stay cool this summer. How have you been dealing with being pregnant in the summer? We’d love to know!
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