For many of us, summer is synonymous with sun, heat, and humidity. When paired with pregnancy, these conditions can be hard to tolerate. This is true for those early in pregnancy as well as in the late third trimester. And of course, summer also is a time where there are more outdoor activities, family gatherings, barbecues, and travel. We've compiled a short but effective list of beat-the-heat tips and tools to help you get through the summer in [relatively more] comfort.
Hydrate. When you're pregnant, it's more important than ever to stay hydrated. Dehydration can not only make you feel bad, but it can also lead to a trip to the emergency room for fluids and cause premature labor. If you can't stomach drinking lots of plain water, try a naturally flavored water. If you have a hard time remembering to drink enough water, purchase a large refillable water bottle and drink 2-3 refills a day. Remember too that certain foods naturally contain water and can help with hydration, like fruits and vegetables. Stay away from sodas and caffeinated drinks when possible, as they are diuretics and will not help with hydration.
Seek shade. When spending long periods of time outdoors, try to spend time in the shade when possible, even if it means removing yourself from a group. The temperature difference between full sun and shade can be more than 30 degrees!
Cool down, high-tech style. Portable cooling devices are popular and come in a variety of options, from cooling neck wraps and towels, to portable fans and mini air conditioners. You can spend as little as $10 on a cooling wrap.
Listen to your body. This goes without saying throughout your pregnancy, no matter what the outside temperature. If you begin to feel overheated, dizzy, lightheaded or nauseous, leave the heat and find a cool spot as soon as possible.
Say no. If you're invited to an outdoor celebration, but the mere thought of spending more than five minutes in the summer sun has you feeling faint, it's ok to decline the invitation. Offer to meet with friends or family another time, preferably indoors where it's cool.