Coping with the heat during the Summer months can be a challenge for everyone, but when you are heavily pregnant or even in that nauseous first trimester, a heatwave or sudden hike in temperatures can feel really oppressive. Not only does your growing bump make you need the toilet almost constantly, but your legs can rub together, you can feel sweaty and clammy and sleeping can be almost impossible – resulting in a very tired and very grumpy Mom to be. It is really important to look after yourself during pregnancy and actively take steps to avoid heat exhaustion, in order to keep you and your baby safe.
Here are some practical ways to keep cool during pregnancy:
During the day:
- Boost your H20 – You should drink lots and lots of water when pregnant and do not underestimate the importance of ensuring you stay adequately hydrated! Always carry water with you when you’re out about or if you are relaxing at home, have a big jar full of water or ice cold drinks ready to pour when you’re feeling thirsty. Homemade fruity ice pops are also a great easy way of getting your fluids up with the added value of an instant cooling feel and a boost of vitamin C.
- Just add Water – Head to your local pool for a slow and steady swim or if the kids have their paddling pools out why not get in too?
- Avoid heavy meals – Eat lots of water rich foods and stick to cool foods like salads and thirst-quenching fruits. Whilst you may have an increased appetite during pregnancy, try and avoid hot heavy or carb filled meals as these may make you feel more sluggish and tired. Having little and often can help keep your energy levels high without making you feel uncomfortable full or bloated.
- Stay inside where you can – On some days it is easier to accept that it is too hot to go out, and instead camp out inside with your favourite movie. If you do need to leave the house, try and stay out of direct sunlight and avoid the hottest part of the day. You should also seek out the shade or invest in a wide brimmed hat that will cover the nape of your neck and shoulders, as this can really help regulate your temperature too. Carry around a water spray for an instant refreshment when it all gets a bit too much, or run your wrists under the cold tap.
- Dress Light – In order to stay cool during pregnancy, wear light coloured, loose fitting clothes – ideally made from breathable fabrics such as cotton or linen.
At night time:
- If you’re not lucky enough to have air conditioning at home, see if you can buy borrow or hire some portable fans and air conditioning unit to cool the temperature in your bedroom.
- Sleep on your side with a cushion or pregnancy pillow between your legs – not only will this be more comfortable for your growing bump, but will prevent the unwelcome sensation of your legs sticking together in the heat.
- Take a lukewarm shower before bed – whilst it can be tempting to turn the heat right down, don’t make it too cold! This can actually have a counterproductive effect and cause your body temperature to go up!
- Pop a bottle of water in the freezer for a little while before you head to bed, and then have it next to the bed defrosting during the night. That way you can have a cold drink every time you wake (which let’s face it can be pretty regular during the third trimester).
Overall, and probably most importantly – take it slow. Remember that these really hot days can be tough for everyone, let alone when you are heavily pregnant. Pace yourself, don’t overdo it, accept that some things are going to have to wait, and don’t put any pressure on yourself. What’s important here is the health of you and your child.
How else have you kept yourself cool during pregnancy?