Summer can be a delightful time to be pregnant. The warmth of the sun, the long days, and the opportunities to be outside can all contribute to a sense of well-being during this special time. However, it’s important to take extra care to ensure that you and your growing baby stay healthy and safe during the hot summer months. Here are some tips to help you have a healthy and safe summer pregnancy.
- Stay hydrated
Pregnant women require more fluids than usual, and this is especially true during the summer. The heat and humidity can cause you to sweat more, which can lead to dehydration. Dehydration can be dangerous for both you and your baby, so it’s important to drink plenty of fluids. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water daily, and more if you’re exercising or spending time in the sun. Keep track of it, to form a habit.
- Protect your skin
Pregnancy can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so it’s crucial to protect yourself from the harmful rays of the sun. Wear a hat, sunglasses, and light-colored clothing that covers your skin as much as possible. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to any exposed skin, and reapply it every two hours or after swimming or sweating.
- Stay cool
Pregnancy can make you feel hot and uncomfortable, because of the increased blood volume and metabolic rate during pregnancy causing your body temperature to rise. The hormonal changes in your body can affect your body’s ability to regulate temperature, making you feel warmer than usual. The physical changes in your body, such as increased weight and pressure on your internal organs, can make you feel uncomfortable and sweaty as well. Try to stay cool by wearing loose, lightweight clothing and avoiding being outside during the hottest part of the day. If you don’t have air conditioning, try to spend time in air-conditioned places like malls, movie theaters, or libraries.
- Exercise safely
Exercise can help you stay healthy and feel good during your pregnancy, but it’s important to exercise safely. Avoid exercising in the heat of the day, and stick to low-impact exercises like
- Walking: Walking is a low-impact exercise that can be done almost anywhere and is generally safe for most pregnant women. It can help improve cardiovascular health, strengthen muscles, and increase endurance.
- Prenatal yoga: Prenatal yoga is a form of yoga that is specifically designed for pregnant women. It can help improve flexibility, balance, and circulation, as well as reduce stress and anxiety.
- Swimming: Swimming is another low-impact exercise that can help improve cardiovascular health and strengthen muscles without putting pressure on your joints. It can also help relieve swelling and joint pain.
- Cycling: Cycling on a stationary bike is a safe and low-impact way to exercise during pregnancy. It can help improve cardiovascular health, strengthen leg muscles, and increase endurance.
- Strength training: Strength training exercises that focus on the major muscle groups, such as the legs, arms, and back, can help improve strength and endurance, which can be especially helpful during labor and delivery.
- Be mindful of food safety
Foodborne illnesses can be dangerous for pregnant women and their babies, so it’s important to be mindful of food safety during the summer months. Stay away from raw or undercooked meat, poultry, fish, or eggs, and wash your hands thoroughly before handling food. When you’re outside, ensure that any food you eat is stored at the appropriate temperature to avoid spoilage.
- Plan for travel
If you’re planning to travel during your pregnancy, it’s important to take extra precautions to ensure your safety and comfort. Talk to your healthcare provider before you travel to make sure it’s safe for you and your baby, and consider purchasing travel insurance in case of an emergency. Make sure to pack any medications or prenatal vitamins you may need, and plan for breaks during long car rides or flights.
- Pay attention to warning signs
During the summer months, it’s important to pay attention to any warning signs that something may be wrong with your pregnancy. If you experience any of the following symptoms, contact your healthcare provider immediately:
- Severe or persistent headache
- Vision changes
- Severe or persistent abdominal pain
- Decreased fetal movement
- Contractions or cramping
- Vaginal bleeding
With a little extra care and attention, you can have a healthy and safe summer pregnancy. Stay hydrated, protect your skin, stay cool, exercise safely, be mindful of food safety, plan for travel, and pay attention to any warning signs. With these tips in mind, you can enjoy all the benefits of a summer pregnancy while keeping yourself and your growing baby safe and healthy.