Beat the Heat This Summer While PregnantKatlyn Joy |11, July 2011
Being pregnant in the summer months poses some unique challenges for expectant mothers. Some tips for summer are for comfort while others are to protect you and your growing baby.
Keep hydrated. Pregnant women are especially susceptible to dehydration. To avoid dehydration don't wait until you're thirsty to drink up, by then you're already water-depleted. Keep an icy water bottle on hand when running errands, and eat snacks that provide hydration such as melons and cucumbers. Avoid soft drinks particularly caffeinated ones as they will not quench thirst and can rob your body of needed water. Also being dehydrated can lead to urinary tract infections, a common ailment of pregnancy.
Keep your cool. The summer months up the risk for conditions such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion and even heat stroke and pose a risk to your unborn child as well. Stay indoors whenever possible when the mercury is topping out in the 90 degree or higher range. Opt for a cooler after dinner walk instead of a late morning or afternoon stroll. Turn on the AC and wear cool, lightweight clothing.
Protect those tootsies. Avoid slippery sandals or flip-flops while you're expecting. Invest in a comfy pair of supportive tennis shoes that have good traction as well. It's common to experience more swelling in the summer months, too so take frequent breaks and put those feet up.
Exercise wisely. Yes, you still need to stay active but you need to keep a watchful eye on your pulse and be aware of how you're feeling. If you feel faint, take a break immediately. You can remain active but understand you might need to break your normal workout into a couple sessions during hot months. Go for a swim to have a safe, non-impact workout that will do double-duty as a cool off as well.
Use sunscreen. Pregnancy can lead to skin issues such as the mask of pregnancy or discoloration around the face. Sunscreen can help prevent or minimize such issues, plus it's the best policy pregnant or not for safe skin. Don't forget the sunglasses, either.
Enjoy a summer get away. Unless your due date is around the corner, it's typically ok to travel. Just discuss the plans with your ob-gyn ahead of time. Make sure you make frequent stops on a road trip and have your physician's phone number and insurance info with you. A pre-baby trip is a great idea for couples on the verge of family-hood. If you are taking a trip to the seashore, make sure it's considered a safe beach free of bacterial problems.
If your home is too hot, perhaps due to insufficient AC, then head out to the mall, a movie or even in an air conditioned car in the heat of the day. You need to keep an eye on your body temp, as too high and fetal damage can occur particularly in the early weeks.
Don't avoid potty breaks. Bladder infections are easy to get while pregnant and some women skimp on water intake or bathroom trips when pregnant because they are tired of running to the toilet every few moments. This is especially true in the earliest and latest weeks of pregnancy. However, it's important to follow nature's call and relieve yourself to avoid worse problems, even kidney ailments.
If you are hot, try a cool cloth, an ice pack, or a mister-fan for quick cool downs. A cool shower can do the trick as well.
Seek medical attention for any of the following symtoms:
- Vaginal leaking or odd discharge
- Abdominal cramps
- Menstrual type cramping
- Low dull back pain
- Pelvic pressure
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