According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most babies in the United States are born in August and September. This implies that quite a number of women have to deal with the sweltering summer heat along with their pregnancy symptoms. With the following handy tips, you will stay safe and comfortable during your summer pregnancy.
According to Dr. Elizabeth Suzanne, an assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Michigan University, “It’s not unexpected to see pregnant women come to the hospital on a hot summer day. When you are pregnant, your body is already working hard to keep you and your baby healthy, so adding the hard work of keeping cool can push you over the edge.”
Signs and symptoms of overheating include headaches, dizziness, nausea, muscle cramps, and extremely warm skin. Pregnant women with body temperatures exceeding 102ºF have a higher chance of experiencing dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke. Taking at least 8 to12 glasses of water throughout the day helps keep your body cool and hydrated. It is also essential in the transportation of nutrients to the baby and helps flush wastes out of your body. Drinking lots of water helps keep your skin soft and supple.
Use pregnancy-friendly bug repellants
Summers are characterized by bugs and insects such as mosquitoes which can lead infections such as the West Nile virus, malaria, Zika, and other diseases. Choose a bug repellant that is registered and approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. While DEET is recommended for use even by pregnant women, a recent study established that people routinely exposed to it might experience impaired cognitive function, insomnia, and mood disturbances.
The CDC recommends the oil of lemon eucalyptus as an ideal natural bug repellant. However, ask your physician to recommend the most suitable bug repellant.
Enjoy some swimming sessions
Regular exercise during pregnancy promotes healthy weight gain, strengthens your heart, reduces back pain, and eases constipation. Swimming while pregnant relieves your spine and pelvis of the excess pressure. It is also an ideal way of keeping your body cool and less sticky during the summer. However, make sure you stay hydrated even as you take your swim and stop swimming immediately you feel dizzy or clammy.
Refrain from water activities which involve rapid or uncontrolled swinging or bouncing such as water skiing or scuba diving. Avoid pools with high water temperatures.
Schedule your activities either earlier in the day
While waking up early in the morning might be the last thing on your mind while you are pregnant, it is the ideal time to carry out any physical activities scheduled for the day. This enables you to relax later in the afternoon when it’s extremely hot.
Keep your feet elevated
During the summer, your body produces more fluids to support your baby’s development. This, coupled with the summer heat increases the chances of swelling on the hands as well as the legs, especially on the wrists, knuckles, and ankles. You can minimize the swelling by keeping your feet elevated while you are resting. If you are working in an office setting, prop your feet on a stool or a chair. If you spend most of your time standing, take frequent breaks to sit and wear comfortable shoes. Avoid tight-fitting clothes around the ankles and wrists.
The bottom line for staying safe this summer while pregnant
Even with all the above tips, you will want to take the right diet. Make sure your diet is rich in pregnancy-friendly fruits and vegetables. Minimizing your salt intake will help your body retain as much water as possible. Choose maternity clothing that’s breathable and light to minimize your chances of feeling sweaty and sticky. Remember to apply sunscreen every time you are venturing outdoors and take lots of naps.