Beat the Heat: Tips for Summer Pregnancy
July 28, 2019
With Summer comes longer, hotter days. While many may revel in the added hours of sunshine and warmer temperatures, expecting mothers often struggle to stay comfortable during this time, especially if they live in parts of the country with higher temperatures and humidity. In today’s post, we’ll cover a few helpful tips for surviving the Summer while pregnant.
Limit Sun Exposure
The hottest time of the day is usually between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. Noon is usually when the sun is at its highest point in the sky, but heat continues to build up in our atmosphere for hours afterward.1 Avoid being out in the heat during this time of day and especially avoid doing anything physical, such as exercising outside.
Dehydration is when the body loses more fluid than it takes in, a condition that makes it difficult for your body to function normally.2 It can be easier than you might think to become dehydrated, so replenish lost fluids when you begin to experience any of these signs and symptoms:
- Extreme thirst
- Less frequent urination
- Dark colored urine
Wear Light Clothing
Avoid thick or dark fabrics during the Summer months. Lightweight cotton, linen and chambray are three popular Summer clothing materials because they are breathable and allow moisture to pass through.3 Avoid polyester, which traps sweat due to its water-resistant features. Denim can also be a problem, as it is heavier and typically not very breathable. Light-colored clothing also may be a better choice because it is more likely to reflect heat.
Wearing sunscreen can help you avoid the harmful effects of sun exposure. But be mindful that not all sunscreens are created equal. Some may have ingredients that are thought to be harmful to pregnant women and their unborn babies.3 Talk to your doctor and do your research before slathering just any old sunscreen on your skin.
Make Your Own Shade
Sometimes being outside during the hottest part of the day is unavoidable. In these instances, make sure you have access to shade, even if you have to make your own. Wear wide-brimmed hats, carry a cute parasol – whatever it takes for you to stay comfortable. Who knows? Maybe you’ll start the next big Summer accessory trend!
Don’t overdo it. Expecting moms may tire more easily during the Summer months, so don’t feel bad if you need to sit down and prop up your feet frequently.
Practice Smart, Safe Exercise
Again, expecting moms should take care not to overdo it when it comes to exercising in the Summer. Exercising during hot weather puts additional stress on your body. Not being cautious while exercising in the heat can lead to serious illness such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke.4 Know the warning signs of heat-related illness (cramping, nausea and headache to name a few) and know your own fitness level before you begin a Summertime exercise regimen.
Choose Foods Wisely
One of the best things about Summer is the ready availability of fresh fruits and veggies that are not only good for you, but also can satisfy a range of pregnancy cravings. Choosing foods that are rich in vitamins but light on the digestive system can help you feel better during the sultry days of Summer. A few great options include watermelon (great for staying hydrated), microgreens (an excellent source of vitamins C and E), boiled eggs (a lighter option for protein), and zucchini (a very hydrating veggie and packed with folate and potassium, which are important for prenatal health).5
Be sure to check with your doctor before starting a specific Summer diet plan and always be aware that nutritional needs can differ from individual to individual.