Best Advice from OB-GYNs: How to Handle Summer Heat at the End of a Pregnancy
As summer starts nearing its end, OB-GYNs warn that the heat isn’t over yet. It is this time of year that most moms tend to become lax with their sun/heat protection, even when pregnant. Expecting moms nearing the end of pregnancy also start losing their cool just as the heat seems to never end. But we have advice from the professionals on how you can survive the last of summer without melting, burning, or ending up on IV fluids due to dehydration.
How to Stay Cool in the Heat
While pregnant, you are in need of water more than ever. Increasing your typical intake is a must, but throughout the hot days of summer, OB-GYNs say that an extra glass may not be enough to ward off dehydration. Staying inside throughout the hottest part of the day will keep the body from sweating out excess fluids, but carrying a stainless steel or glass water bottle will keep you chugging all day! Avoid drinking from plastic water bottles, especially if they have been in the sun. Remember that your water intake is directly linked to your amniotic fluid levels.
• Avoiding dark-colored clothing.
• Completing any outdoor tasks in the morning or evening when the temperatures are cooler.
• Drinking a cold “mocktail” or nutritious smoothie, but avoid excess sugars or additives.
• Taking frequent cool showers.
• Carrying around a spray bottle of water in your purse.
• Reducing the amount of salt you eat, especially if you notice swelling.
• Taking a nap if you are feeling tired from the heat.
• Remembering to apply a mineral-based 30 SPF or higher sunscreen 20 minutes before you go outside.
• Avoiding going outside or stay in the shade if outdoor temperatures exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
• Avoiding swelling by elevating feet whenever possible.
There are three common skin ailments related to the heat:
• Heat rash. You can protect your skin from developing heat rash by immediately patting down your body following a bath or shower. Wearing lighter fabrics, including cotton, will prevent clothing from sticking to your body and causing this rash.
• Itchy, dry skin. The summer heat can cause stretched skin –– from pregnancy weight gain –– to become dry and itchy. Using moisturizing shower products and lotions can help prevent this skin issue.
• Dark spots. During pregnancy, melanin, a chemical that is responsible for brownish-colored patches, responds to hormones. You can prevent dark spots and patches from developing by keeping your face and upper chest away from excessive sunlight.
How to Keep Your Cool When Expecting a Summer Baby
It’s hard not to feel DONE when the heat index rises above 90 degrees every day for months on end. But it is important to understand that allowing the baby to grow as long as possible in the womb is the healthiest and smartest choice. Begging for an early induction or trying to start labor on your own will typically end in a birth you weren’t desiring. It is best for all members of your birth team to wait until the baby is ready to be born!
Ideas to Stay Happy at the End of a Hot Pregnancy
- Plan a prenatal spa day
- See as many movies at the theater as you want
- Jump in the pool
- Hide the calendar
- Shop for the baby
- Complete all nesting urges
- Sneak in a few great date activities
- Take a birthing class
- Plan a girls-night-in and have friends come over to hang out
- Sleep and nap without guilt