It’s hot outside, and you’re pregnant. For those of us who have weathered the sweltering heat and humidity at seven, eight, or nine months pregnant, we know just how sticky, swollen, and uncomfortable the summer months can be.
We have some tips to help you beat the heat and keep your cool, even when the weather is at its warmest.
- Kick up your heels. Ok, maybe not kick. Keeping your feet elevated is important. The heat and humidity, coupled with your pregnancy weight, can lead to swelling in your legs, feet, and ankles. The medical term is physiologic edema, but the result is just plain uncomfortable. To combat it, keep your feet elevated as often as possible. And don’t underestimate the power of sensible shoes. In fact, you might even try half a size bigger when it comes to your pregnancy footwear collection.
- Chug, baby, chug. It’s easy for anyone to get dehydrated when it’s hot outside, and pregnant women should be particularly aware of the symptoms. Try not to overdo it in the summer sun and heat, and make sure you’re staying hydrated with water, juice or electrolyte replacement drinks. The general rule of thumb is, if you’re thirsty, you’re already a little dehydrated, so keep your bottle close by and sip throughout the day.
- Wear the same thing – everyday. Really! One woman we know whose baby was born at the end of July ended up wearing the same two sundresses for the last few weeks of her pregnancy, because they were the only things that she had left that fit her and were light and airy. Find the lightest, most comfortable clothes that work with you, and stick with them. Even if it means your wardrobe is limited for a few weeks. At this point, it’s all about comfort.
- Slow. Down. There’s no way to make the heat go away, so when you do need to be out in it, think like a Southerner and just slow down. Give yourself extra time to get wherever you’re going—take it easy. You may not be able to stop the heat, but you can help your body keep relatively cool by not elevating your heart rate, which can come from rushing. Slow and steady will definitely help keep you cooler.