Summer Pregnancy? How to Beat the Heat

You have the unique privilege to be carrying a child in utero while the summer sun is in full effect. Maybe you are due in the summer while entering the final weeks of pregnancy, or maybe a fall birth is on the horizon? No matter what stage of pregnancy, it can be an extra headache, waddling through the summer heat.

5 tips for Summer Pregnancy

 

1. Stay Hydrated

In our desert and mountain region of New Mexico, the heat can get you in two ways. Dry desert sun, or mountain elevation. Wherever you live, staying hydrated in so important. Drinking enough water will help with swelling, help with over heating, headaches, and so much more. Also if you plan to breastfeed, or are already breastfeeding, staying hydrated will help with milk supply. If you are tired of drinking water alone, watermelon, apples, and celery for example, are foods full of hydration.

2. Stay indoors

It seems obvious, but if you don't have to be in the heat skip it. Doctors recommend about 10-15 minutes a day of sun exposure to get the adequate amount of Vitamin D. Which, when it comes down to it, is really not that much. If you must be outside, bring some shade, an umbrella, those trendy floppy hats, and wear that sunscreen!

3. Stay Covered

At higher elevations getting a sunburn is much more likely. Wearing linen like materials, even longer sleeves, can help keep the direct sunlight off your skin but also keep a light breeze going. Dresses and long skirts can also keep a nice breeze, and is easier access for all those extra trips to the bathroom. while it may seem counter intuitive to cover up, it will keep off the direct rays, and keep the body cooler.

4. Take a Dip

Swimming is wonderful exercise, getting almost all muscles engaged. Plus, being weightless in water can give the belly, back, feet, and whatever else is hurting, some temporary relief. During pregnancy, all the extra blood flow can cause your temperature to elevate about .8 degrees. Getting into that water will be a welcome cool relief for all the extra heat.

5. Elevate the feet

If you notice swelling in your feet or ankles, go ahead and see #1, and then sit down and elevate the feet. Getting off your feet, and staying hydrated should have you feeling better, and more comfortable. Retaining water is often a part of pregnancy, but if drinking fluid and propping your feet up, you can reduce some of the swelling. However, if you notice swelling in your face, hands, and feet,  that doesn't go away, it could be a sign of pre-eclampsia, and it's best to call your care provider if you feel off.

Summertime is fun. Family get togethers, cookouts, picnics, parades. But it's a lot to do, especially while tired, hot, and pregnant. Take time for yourself to relax, to enjoy summer, and take care of yourself. Don't feel like you have to do everything on your calendar. Sometimes parking it in front of the AC is a good time too. Happy summer!

Sarah Washington