Summer’s sweltering heat is, to say the least, uncomfortable for most people, and can be particularly overwhelming if you are pregnant. Here are tips for expecting moms on how to stay cool and healthy when a heat wave hits.
Unbearable heat in the summer can be uncomfortable for many people, and can be particularing overwhelming and tough on pregnant women. Long before temperatures rise, a pregnant woman’s internal temperature has already been increasing as well. Here are 10 easy tips for beating the heat when temperatures soar.
1. Stay hydrated.Risk of dehydration radically increases when you are pregnant. You need to drink four more glasses of water a day than the average person which adds up to 12 glasses per day. Always be prepared by carrying a reusable bottle of water with you at all times.
2. Wear light colored, cotton fabrics. At this time of your pregnancy, avoid wearing clothing that is too tight or uncomfortable. Find lightweight summer dresses that are breathable and airy. Dark colors absorb the sun, so wear whites and neutrals and stay in the shade as much as possible.
3. Avoid being outside during the peak heat hours of 10am-4pm. Run errands or exercise in the mornings or evenings. Don’t forget a sunhat to keep sun off your face which helps prevent the “mask of pregnancy,” the brown blotches that appear on your face and sometimes arms during pregnancy. Sun is a trigger to the appearance of these spots.
4. Wear Sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30. During pregnancy, your body is at a higher risk to sunburn. Even if you do not typically burn, the change in your body chemistry during pregnancy can increase the chances of burning.
5. Elevate your legs and feet. Pregnant women’s feet tend to swell during pregnancy, but will balloon more quickly in high temps. Whenever possible, put your feet up to avoid swelling and discomfort.
6. Take cool showers or baths to lower your body temperature and feel more comfortable.
7. Place cold, wet washcloths on your neck, face and wrists to help bring your body temperature down. Even just putting your feet in a little cool water will reduce swelling and bring your body temp down.
8. Find indoor activities that you enjoy. During the heat, use this time to go to the mall, grocery store or friends’ homes.
9. Watch your diet. Avoid spicy foods that may cause you to break out in a sweat and certain foods, especially those containing high amounts of sodium that may cause excess bloating or swelling which in turn increases your discomfort.
10. Stay in a consistent temperature. Avoid going from the outdoor heat to the indoor A/C and back out again. Your body has to work really hard to continuously adjust to the temperature swing.
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