It’s summertime, and the livin’ is easy, as the old song goes. But summer isn’t always easy during pregnancy, when you tend to feel the heat and humidity more than you do when you aren’t expecting.
Here at Associates in Women’s Health in Cincinnati, Ohio, we want you to have a comfortable, enjoyable summer. Follow these eight pregnancy survival tips, and your warm weather livin’ will be a little easier.
Tip #1: Pump up the AC
Air conditioning offers welcome relief during warm days and nights. If you don’t have central air, consider investing in an inexpensive window unit to take the temperature down a few degrees. Or cool down with fans, ice packs, and spray bottles filled with chilled water.
Tip #2: Go for a swim
Swimming not only cools you off, but it’s an excellent fitness activity during pregnancy. Water holds you up and allows you to exercise without feeling weighed down.
Tip #3: Drink plenty of fluids
Everyone needs to take steps to avoid dehydration during warm weather, but it’s even more important when you’re pregnant. Dehydration can be harmful to both you and your baby.
Drink liquids throughout the day. To avoid taking in excess calories and sugar, reach for water and unsweetened seltzer with a splash of fruit juice for flavor rather than sodas and sports drinks. Look out for signs of dehydration such as dark-colored urine, extreme thirst, weakness, lightheadedness, or going more than four hours or so without urinating.
Tip #4: Protect your skin from the sun
Pregnancy makes your skin more sensitive, so be sure to slather on plenty of sunscreen and reapply every few hours. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. A wide-brimmed hat and protective clothing can also block the sun’s rays.
Tip #5: Put your feet up
Heat can worsen normal pregnancy-related swelling in your feet and ankles. To reduce swelling, rest with your feet elevated above the level of your heart, and use ice packs to relieve discomfort.
If you experience extreme or sudden swelling, especially after your 20th week of pregnancy, call us right away; it could be a sign of high blood pressure or a potentially serious complication known as preeclampsia.
Tip #6: Ask friends and family for help
Activities that pose no challenge in cool weather, such as laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, or caring for other children, can feel more onerous in hot weather. Ask friends and family members to pitch in.
Tip #7: Take it easy
It’s great to stay active while you’re pregnant, but when the temperature soars, relax. Schedule activities early or late in the day when it’s cooler. And if you usually enjoy outdoor exercise, consider moving your activity indoors instead.
Tip #8: Keep all your prenatal appointments
Having regular prenatal check-ups is one of the best gifts you can give yourself and your baby. So don’t let a heat wave stop you from keeping our appointments.
Stay healthy this summer
The care team at Associates in Women’s Health can provide you with supportive pregnancy care any time of year. Call our office to schedule a visit, or make an online appointment today.