Pregnancy presents many changes. Navigating all of them — physical, mood, relationship, life— can be tough, in part because each single change presents potentially dozens more to deal with. Some you might be well prepared for, others may be a surprise. Even the smallest divergence can be disruptive. (See our blog post on how pregnancy affects your skin.)
Considering everything else there is to contend with during pregnancy, changes in season may not be at the top of your concerns list, but they can still be a factor. Which is why Covington Women’s Health Specialists is here to help prepare you as much as possible.
As summer blooms into its full force, here’s some advice about coping well with summer when you’re expecting.
“[E]very stage of pregnancy can slightly raise your body temperature,” Healthline Parenthood confirms. And there’s good reason. The regular hormonal and blood flow requirements of pregnancy alone can raise your body temperature, but carrying around an extra person also means you’re carrying around their extra heat.
It’s why staying cool (and, staying hydrated) is paramount. Some cool-down advice during pregnancy includes:
- Drink more than 8-12 glasses of water per day to compensate for extra water loss due to sweating and other physical demands
- Wear a hat or use an umbrella against sun exposure
- Enjoy more AC at night to promote comfortable sleep
- Carry moist towelettes or a washcloth to wipe down and cool off
- Give yourself a cool foot soak at the end of the day
- Wear loose, breathable fabrics to allow for increased breeze and sweat evaporation
- Avoid exercising in high temperatures
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, exercise during pregnancy can help with several matters, including reducing back pain and keeping your heart and muscles strong. But it’s easy to get overheated. That hot yoga class or humid, mid-day walk outside? They may not be the best idea for summer pregnancy activity, since your body temperature and sweat output would be elevated even if you weren’t expecting.
That doesn’t mean you should avoid exercise altogether, however. Though the best exercise regimen is often determined on a case-by-case basis, gauging your own temperature may be the best guide. “If you look in the mirror and you see that your face is really flushed, I’d take it down a notch,” Erin O’Brien, a prenatal and postnatal exercise specialist based in Pasadena told Grow by WebMd.
Indoor treadmill walking, water exercise, and smooth flow yoga are some possible activities that will keep your body (and your blood flow) moving, without compromising on a comfortable temperature. And you can take advantage of massage and water therapy to help with aching muscles and joints
Keep Eating Well
Fruits and vegetables are an important part of anyone’s diet, but especially when you’re pregnant. “Eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day – these can include fresh, frozen, canned, dried or juiced,” the NHS recommends. These foods not only provide essential vitamins and nutrients, but also key amounts of fiber.
Enjoying vegetables and fruits can also help you maintain good hydration. Cucumbers, watermelon, celery, and zucchini are some reliable go-tos the Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials recommends to maintain your fluid flow.
Summer is also a great time for produce bounty, which means peak nutritional performance. “When you consume seasonal produce,” for example, “you get richer flavor and full nutrient composition because your produce is picked at peak ripeness,” Rachel Naar MS RDN CDN told Chowhound. And buying local produce from “Upick” farms and farmers’ markets provides the freshest food while helping our neighbors!
At Covington Women’s Health Specialists we want to help expectant mothers, their partners, and other family members prepare for childbirth regardless of the weather. To discuss your summer (or fall, or winter) pregnancy plan, book an appointment online or call 770-385-8954.