Pregnancy can make avoiding the summer heat feel like mission impossible. Here are our top tips for staying cool during a summer pregnancy.
Beat the heat
- As tempting as it is to get out and enjoy the rare British sunshine, when the temperatures get really high it’s a good idea to stay indoors. Put off anything that isn’t urgent. Keep the windows open or, if there isn’t much of a breeze, use an electric fan to help you stay cool.
- If you have to venture outdoors, try to head out before or after the midday heat. Arrange meetings for the morning or late afternoon, and give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination so you don’t end up rushing and feeling even hotter.
- Lie down for at least 30 minutes during the day, either at lunch time or after work/the school run.
- Fill a spray bottle with water and keep it in the fridge ready for instant cool-downs.
- Pregnancy can make your skin more sensitive than normal. Apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 20 around 20 minutes before you go out and reapply regularly.
- Wear loose, light-coloured clothing, particularly around your bump and breasts. Opt for natural fabrics such as cotton rather than manmade, synthetic fibres that don’t help your skin to breath.
- Carry a handheld battery-operated fan with you everywhere. Wet wipes are also great for when you need a quick refresh
- Drink regularly. If you are feeling thirsty, it means you are becoming dehydrated, so keep fluids close to hand. Craving something sweet? Stock up on ice lollies or make your own frozen smoothies.
- If you being to feel weak or dizzy whilst outdoors, head inside immediately. Lie down and drink cool liquids. Sports drinks that contain electrolytes can help replace lost fluid and salt (the iodine in salt is essential to your baby, but only in small doses). If you don’t feel better after resting, contact a doctor or your midwife for advice.
- If you get tired, don’t try to carry on regardless. Ask for help, put off tasks until later in the day or rest in between activities.
- Feeling puffy? Cucumber slices or cooled, used teabag are perfect for cooling hot, tired eyes.
- Summer is the time for barbecue fun, but avoid meats and side dishes that have been left out in the sun for too long. Pregnancy is the worst time to experience a stomach upset, so eat as soon as food is prepared and brought out.
- Plan any exercise for the coolest times of the day to help avoid overheating. Swimming is the ideal form of exercise for most pregnant women during the summer because, as well as cooling you down, it takes the weight of swollen legs and sore backs.
- Leg swelling (edema) is more likely to occur when the weather is hot. Keep your legs raised slightly when you are in bed by placing a rolled-up blanket at the foot of your bed beneath.
- Paddling pools aren’t just for kids. Fill a pool, or a shallow tub, with cool water and either take a full dip or use it to cool your feet and legs.
- Open, comfortable shoes that have a supportive sole will help to relieve the pressure on your feet.
- Take short walks during the week when the temperature is cooler.
- If your fingers start to swell, take off any rings so that they don’t interfere with your circulation or become stuck.
Do you have any other tips for staying cool during a summer pregnancy? Please share them in the box below.