Summer Survival Guide for Expecting Moms
July 14, 2017
The sun is out, the temperature outdoors is up, and finding the nearest beach, lake or pool may be the most important thing on your mind this time of year. But if you’re pregnant, summer may not seem much fun, especially if you’re struggling with morning sickness or trying to stay cool until your due date arrives. But as you’ve learned by now, life doesn’t stop just because you may be uncomfortable. Vacations still go on, the kids’ summer camps are booked, and your in-laws are expecting you to meet them at the beach house they rented. If you are pregnant, here are some hints that can help you survive this summer.
Drinking extra water is very important during pregnancy and becomes even more critical in the summer. But in the summer, your water intake becomes even more critical. With the soar- ing temperatures, your body has to work harder to stay cool. This causes you to sweat, and you lose more water than you may in cooler months. Doctors recommend that pregnant women drink eight, 8-ounce glasses of water each day. If you have a hard time remembering to drink water, set an alarm on your phone to reminder you every few hours.
Master the Cookout
Don’t fall victim to some of the less-than-healthy treats that may entice you at your neighbor’s backyard cookout. Foods such as potato salad and coleslaw can lead to a sour or upset stomach if they are left unrefrigerated or out in the sun. Pay attention to when food was set out, and skip anything that sits outside for more than an hour on a hot day.
You also should try to limit your salt intake throughout pregnancy, and especially during the summer. High levels of sodium can cause an increase in blood pressure, water retention and swelling, which are conditions that can be uncomfortable and even dangerous during pregnancy.
And although that rum punch your best friend made looks refreshing, steer clear of the temptation. No matter how good it looks, opt for a “mocktail” instead. You can still enjoy a tasty treat, but without the risks alcohol brings to your unborn baby.
Get Outside … But Not for Too Long
The great outdoors provide countless opportunities to enjoy nature and take in the fresh air. Both can be vitally important for calming nerves or improving mental well-being. But when temperatures reach over 90 degrees, it’s best to stay indoors. If there are outdoor tasks that you must do, get them done early in the day or reserve them for later in the afternoon when the temperature has decreased. When you are outside, wear light-colored clothing that reflects the sun and breathable fabrics that keep you cool.
Lather Up, Repeat and Repeat Again
Sunscreen is a must! During pregnancy, you are more susceptible to the sun’s damaging rays. The influx of hormones your body receives during pregnancy can cause changes in your skin pigmentation, and too much sun can cause long-term damage. Limit sun exposure to the hours before 10 a.m. and after 2 p.m. The sun and its effects on your skins are at their peak during those times. If you know you’ll be spending time outside, apply sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher before you leave the house. Then reapply sunscreen every 30 to 45 minutes as long as you are outdoors. Wearing hats or clothing with UV protection is also a good idea.
Play it Safe
Pregnancy doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on all the fun. But slight alterations to summer activities ensure the safety of both you and your baby. If you are looking for some exercise options in the summer months, swimming is an excellent choice. It’s a low-impact activity but still provides cardiovascular benefits. Walking, low-impact aerobics and yoga are other good options. Avoid high-impact activities or those that come with a risk of falling or blows to the body. You should also avoid exercises that require extensive jumping, hopping, or bouncing.
Take a Load Off
While your activity options may be plentiful this summer, remember to make time to rest. Frequent naps can help rejuvenate your mind and body. When relaxing, go ahead and put your feet up. A hot day can make swollen feet and ankles even more uncomfortable. By elevating your feet, you can help reduce swelling.
Clear Your Calendar
If the discomfort you feel is too great, give yourself permission to rest at home. The most important thing is the health of you and your baby. Don’t be afraid to clear your calendar or to ask for help if it’s filling up too fast. Rely on your partner, family or other support system. They will understand that your growing baby should be your primary focus.
Nutritional Support for Mothers & Babies
While you may need to clear your calendar of extracurriculars, regular prenatal checkups and nutrition should not be sacrificed. As moms-to-be are busy this summer having fun with family and friends, their prenatal nutrition is important as ever. The Prenate® Vitamin Family is committed to promoting women’s health in every season. Prenate® Vitamins can help support mother and baby throughout pregnancy and through labor and delivery. Even with a balanced and healthy diet, many women have trouble meeting their daily recommended intakes for certain vitamins and minerals. Talk to your doctor to see if a prenatal vitamin may be right for you to help fill nutritional gaps.