Pregnant in the summer - Tips for surviving the heat
Pregnant women already have some degree of heat intolerance. On top of that, pregnancy can make the summer seem even hotter!
When you are pregnant, your body temperature is a bit higher than normal, so the added heat from the outside temperature will make you feel uncomfortable.
Here are a few tips to surviving the summer heat.
- Be indoors and away from the hot outdoors as much as possible, with the air conditioning or fan turned on.
- Applying cool, damp rag to your chest, the back of your neck, or your forehead is also a good way to keep your body temperature down.
- Make sure to drink plenty of fluids. Water is good, and so are orange juice, milk, and sports drinks that can help replace electrolytes that are being sweated away.
- Be sure not to mistake sports drinks with energy drinks. They are very different, and energy drinks should be avoided!
- Eat water-rich fruits, such as watermelon, and salad vegetables, such as cucumber and lettuce.
- Swim. An afternoon dip will not only lower your body temp, but also provides a great low-impact workout.
- Wear cool, loose, light-coloured fabrics that are less likely to cause sweating, and allow sweat to evaporate easily.
- Lie down for 30 to 60 minutes a day, whether during a lunchtime break or at the end of the workday.
- Another common problem in summer pregnancies is leg swelling. To help reduce the swelling, make an effort to keep your legs up whenever you can - even when in the office, or while at work, and when sleeping.
- Wear comfortable shoes and, if possible, wear shoes that are a half size larger than your normal size. This will accommodate for the expected swelling.
- Remove your rings if they seem to be tight. Some pregnant women experience swelling of the hands as well, and removing rings will prevent them having to be cut off.
Sometimes you may still get behind on your hydration, or the heat can get the best of you. Take note if you experience feeling weak, dizziness, light-headedness or even slight nausea. These are often early signs of overheating and dehydration.
If the dizziness or nausea continues after a good rest and plenty of fluids, or you start to have other symptoms, such as vomiting or contractions, seek medical attention and consult your gynaecologist.
Enjoy the summer!
- Dr Rhonda Reeves is a Consultant Obstetrician/Gynaecologist at Southdale Medical & Gynae Centre; email firstname.lastname@example.org.