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I think most pregnant woman or woman who have ever been pregnant can agree that having a summer pregnancy can be tough. Yes, pregnancy is indeed an absolute joy and a blessing, a precious and sacred journey, but it can get to be a pain in the you know what especially in the summer when “regular” pregnancy symptoms can often be amplified due to the hot summer heat.
Will you be in the latter stages of your pregnancy this summer? If so, this post is for you!
Here are 8 Practical Tips To Help Make Your Summer Pregnancy More Enjoyable!
Wear breathable and light colored clothing
Cotton, silk, and rayon are some of the best fabrics to wear especially during a summer pregnancy. These fabrics are both light and breathable making them ideal to wear when your sporting a baby bump! You’ll want to wear light colored fabrics that because light colors reflect lights whereas dark colors absorb light, making you feel hotter. Tunics with light colored leggings, cotton shorts paired with a flowy silk top, or even a loose-fitting mini cotton dress; there are endless options!
One of the things I pay particular attention to during the summer is undergarments. Underwear and bras. Regular bras are made with polyamide fabric which is not breathable, quick to absorb moisture, and slow to dry. Lately, I’ve been wearing sports bras. Granted I am not pregnant this summer, I just love the support I get and how dry I feel throughout the day even when I’m working out. My absolute favorite sports bras are all from Under Armour. They provide full coverage, great support, and are breathable, and their material wicks away sweat!
Drink plenty of liquids and eat water-dense fruits
You’re probably thinking, why would I want to do that when I practically already pee 3346 times a day? I get it. I probably peed 10x more during both my pregnancies combined than in my entire life. However, adequate hydration helps you regulate your internal body temperature, based on your surroundings. Not drinking enough water can actually cause unpleasant symptoms, including pre-term contractions and overheating!
So it’s important that you drink up especially when it’s hot out. The good thing about this is that you probably don’t even have to force yourself to drink because pregnancy often makes you thirstier than usual. That’s because your body is supporting a growing baby, along with all the increase in blood circulation, flush your kidneys of the waste baby is producing, and to create and maintain amniotic fluid levels. Your body is also warmer during pregnancy, and warmer weather can cause you to sweat, leaving you feeling parched. I drank at least a gallon of water during both my pregnancies!
Hot weather makes you more prone to dehydration so it’s important to drink plenty of liquids throughout the day. Tired of drinking plain ol’ water? Try coconut water. Although I’m not a fan, it is full of electrolytes (which are essential for replenishing loss of fluids including amniotic fluid). And it’s also much healthier than sports drinks which are often laden with nasty chemicals and a ton of sugar. This 1-gallon water bottle with a handle makes things easy so you don’t have to keep refilling your water bottle every couple of hours.
Tired of drinking altogether? Eat water-dense fruits! Watermelons are made of 92% water, pineapple, strawberries, and oranges are also have a very high water content. Chop some of these fruits up and have a deliciously refreshing and nutritious fruit salad.
Note: When drinking large amounts of water, it’s good to space them out so as not to tax your liver
Relax and put your feet up
Swelling in the ankles and feet (edema) is usually caused by all the additional blood (up to 40-50%!) and fluids running through your body. Pregnancy edema is quite common and can actually get worse as the temperature begins to wise. Here are some tips to help prevent this from happening to you during your summer pregnancy:
- Drink a lot of water! This may sounds like the wrong things to do when your body is retaining water however taking in more water helps flush your system of wastes and any extra fluid in your body tissues
- Studies show that pregnant women should sleep on their side, preferably on the left side for improved circulation
- Avoid socks with elastics tops so you don’t slow circulation
- Put your feet up and relax!
- Wear comfortable shoes when you go out! Those block-heeled strappy sandals are cute but they are not what you need during the hot summer
- Stay away from refined carbs, or at least try to limit your consumption of such foods because they can contribute to water retention. Try to find healthier substitutes for your refined carb-dense foods (swap that regular pizza dough for one made with cauliflower!)
- Stay active in your home when it’s too hot to go out, and go for a brisk walk perhaps early morning when it’s still coo out. Swimming is also an activity that is not only refreshing, but good for your heart.
Go out during ideal times
Depending on where you live, you’ll want to find out the ideal times to go out during the day. Where I live here in Toronto, it seems like it is much hotter during the summer between noon and 4PM. I tend to plan my outings with the children with that in mind. Don’t want to be stuck at home until the evening? There are still plenty of indoor places you can visit. Open-air markets are also wonderful to visit (yummy food galore) during these times! It would probably be nice to invest in clean water-based wipes to help you freshen up throughout the day. These care so pure and gentle that they can even be used on your newborn when he or she makes their appearance!
Keep yourself entertained
If it’s just so hot that you can’t be bothered to go out, no problem! Just have some entertainment that you can enjoy from home. You can read, watch movies or shows from your streaming subscription service, sew or knit, or you just REST (imagine taking a long nap in an air-conditioned house while everyone is away…amaaazing!). After all, these are things that may be harder to enjoy once you give birth to your baby and have to tend to mommy duties ’round the clock.
Visit the chiropractor
If you’ve followed my blog for sometime, then you probably know why I’m an advocate for chiropractic care especially during pregnancy to prepare for childbirth, and postpartum to heal and maintain optimal physiological functioning. Can adjustments help relieve swelling from water retention? Maybe! This study suggests that they may indirectly help relieve water retention symptoms. Although more research is needed in this area.
Even if your chiropractor may not be able to full resolve these symptoms because, they can help improve overall physiological functioning and relieve painful conditions such as sciatica and pelvic girdle pain. That’s amazing because those conditions can really dampen the fun of your summer pregnancy! Chiropractic adjustments can also help you have a smoother and faster natural birth experience!
Ever heard of the saying, “misery loves company”? Sometimes you may just want to go out even when it is really hot. That’s ok, there’s no problem with that! But what will help, is having a positive attitude. I know that when I’m out in the heat, I get even more hot when I think about how hot it is and how much I may be sweating. It makes me anxious and that causes me to feel the heat even more and start sweating more. Can you relate? Just because you’re pregnant, does not mean you can’t enjoy the hot summer fun! Just remember that trying to have a positive attitude about it will help make your summer pregnancy a lot more enjoyable!
Planning the logistics of your trip ahead of time is crucial to making your summer pregnancy more enjoyable, especially when you’re going out during summer when temperatures can really soar. Depending on where you’ll be going, you’ll want to make sure that there are some cooler shadier areas where you can go cool off and relax. Staying in the sun too long especially when it’s really hot can be quite uncomfortable during pregnancy.
Excessive heat and sun exposure can cause rashes and hives, and can even worsen chloasma (aka pregnancy mask- don’t forget your natural sunblock!). Consider purchasing an umbrella that provides SPF 50+ protection from the hot sun, to keep yourself in the shade as you take a stroll. You’ll also want to make sure you know where the bathrooms are. If you’re drinking plenty of liquids, chances are you’ll also need to visit the bathroom much more frequently!
Until next time,
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