Staying Cool: Your Summer Pregnancy Survival Guide

Most people eagerly look forward to the return of warmer weather until the heat and humidity kick in. Fortunately, Samuel D. Van Kirk, MD, in Redding, California, has some suggestions to help you stay cool as a cucumber, even if you are pregnant when the mercury soars.

Dress smart

When summer hits, it’s essential to make the right fashion choices. Instead of picking synthetic fabrics that trap your body heat, choose loose and lightweight options in natural fibers — like cotton or linen — so your body can sweat and breathe.

It’s also important to choose light colors that do a better job reflecting the sun’s rays. Dr. Van Kirk also recommends bringing a wide-brimmed hat when you’re going to be outside. Not only will it help protect your skin from UV damage, but a hat also keeps your head cool and the hot sun out of your face.

Get wet

Nothing beats the heat like a cool shower or dip in the pool. Unfortunately, they’re not always realistic solutions. When you can’t submerge your entire body to cool off, you can still get similar results in smaller ways.

Try rubbing ice inside your wrists or draping a cold, wet wrap around your neck. Dr. Van Kirk also recommends carrying a squirt bottle with you everywhere you go so you can mist yourself whenever you want. Or, if you have extra time and space, treat yourself to a delicious cold water foot soak in a bucket, pedi spa, or kiddy pool.

Stay hydrated

It’s easy to get dehydrated when temperatures rise because your body sweats more to stay cool. On most days, you should focus on drinking at least 10 cups of liquid. But, during the summer, Dr. Van Kirk recommends adding 8 ounces of water for every hour you’re out in the heat.

You can keep yourself cool and hydrated by storing portable water bottles in the fridge or freezer so they can withstand summer temperatures until you’re ready for them. Bored with ordinary water? Up the fun factor by adding a slice of lemon, cucumber, mint leaves, or your favorite summer fruits to make them even more refreshing.

Eat right

You already know how important it is to eat right when you’re pregnant, but making the right food choices in the summer can also keep you more comfortable. The first step is eating as many fresh fruits and vegetables as possible; not only are they good for you, but they also help keep you hydrated.

To reduce your chances of swelling and inflammation in your feet and ankles, cut back on your salt intake. And don’t forget about food safety — if you’re enjoying a picnic, remember that some foods, like coleslaw or potato salad, can sour quickly and cause an upset stomach.

Take breaks

Don’t forget that you’re carrying another person inside of you, so it’s natural to feel tired or overwhelmed by the heat. If the heat and humidity start to wear you out, find a cool place to relax and put your feet up for a little bit.

It’s also okay to ask for help if you need it or take naps, especially during the afternoon. That will leave you feeling refreshed for cooler times of day, like mornings and early evening, when temperatures are typically lower, and the sun isn’t as high overhead.

Remember, even with the best planning, temperatures over 90 degrees Fahrenheit can be dangerous. When it gets really hot, beat the heat by finding a shady location indoors with air conditioning or a fan to keep yourself as comfortable as possible.

For more tips on beating the heat when you’re pregnant during the summer, call Samuel D. Van Kirk, MD, or schedule an appointment online today.

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