Summertime Pregnancy: Staying Safe in the Summer HeatAlison Wood | 6, July 2013
The next few months are going to be overflowing with heat and sunshine. What's a pregnant girl to do to stay cool? Are there warning signs of getting overheated? Are you at a higher risk for a heat stroke and heat exhaustion because of the baby bump your sporting?
An obstetrician and medical advisor in Rhode Island, Adelaide Nardone, MD, expressed her thoughts on pregnant women and hotter months. She explains that pregnant women already have extra heat intolerance in comparison with the average person. She advises that if the heat index is in the 90s, that pregnant woman should consider staying indoors as much as possible as well as staying in an air-conditioned environment. Know the warning signs of overheating when you're pregnant to ensure a healthier pregnancy and baby.
Overheating Warning Signs
- Dehydration (thirst is a first sign of dehydration.)
- Rapid heartbeat
- Feeling light-headed
If you experience any of these symptoms, immediately remove yourself from the heat and cool off. Grab a wet towel and give your face and hands a quick wash down. If you have the opportunity, wet your hair as well. Drink some water and lie down on your left side. If your symptoms worsen, call your obstetrician immediately.
How can I prevent becoming overheated during pregnancy?
Choose to wear natural, breathable fabrics during pregnancy. Cotton and linen are comfy choices. Also, try scoping out looser fitting clothing so air can circulate.
Keep the liquids coming! Sip on drinks throughout the day if downing an 8 oz glass of water is intimidating. Also, stay away from sugary, caffeinated drinks. These only work against hydrating your body.
Pregnancy hormones can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so avoid it as much as possible. Stay in a well-ventilated, air-conditioned environment. Follow the pattern of hotter countries, and try to sneak in a siesta during the hot afternoons. If you enjoy the outdoors, try to grab your rays during the early morning or late afternoon so avoid the hottest and most direct rays of the sun.
If you're trying to sneak some exercise in your routine, try swimming in the early morning or late afternoon. Staying in the water will prevent your body from becoming overheated as well as cushion impact and prevent injuries associated with workouts during pregnancy. Getting some exercise during the day also helps you sleep better at night! This is an added bonus for summer nights that may not be as cool as a pregnant woman wants.
Bring on the soap suds!
Grab a few extra showers during the day and one right before turning in to give you extra relief from the heat. Several quick, slightly cool showers during the day can help you keep your body temperature at bay. Grabbing a shower before bedtime can aid you in achieving a better night's sleep. Don't hesitate to grab an additional shower in the middle of the night if you can't sleep because you are too hot for comfort. Avoid using soap at every shower, as additional soapy showers can dry your already sensitive skin.
Slow it down.
Try to travel slower at the grocery store, shopping mall and other errands you have on your to-do list. The faster you move, the more things heat up. Breathe and think more slowly to get the message to the rest of your body to slow it down.
Not only is your pregnant body sensitive to heat, but your skin and eyes are extra sensitive to the sun as well. Wear hats, scarves and sunscreen to protect your sensitive skin. Too much sun can also give you the dreaded "mask of pregnancy". That's enough to stay indoors the entire nine months! Always be on the lookout for shady areas during outside activities. Don't forget to protect your baby blues with some updated shades.
Enjoy the summer fun, but remember pregnancy safety during these hot months. Stay cool and hydrated as you await the arrival of your new bambino!
Source: WebMDAlison Wood is a stay-at-home mom of six and freelance writer and blogger. She enjoys raising her six children and desires to share her experiences to help other mothers.
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