10 Tips to Beat the Heat: Pregnancy and the Final Stretch of Summer
Summer is such a challenge for pregnant women, because typically, long before summer arrived, you were having your own personal summer anyway. Preggers chicks tend to run hot. And I mean that literally.
Well, and in the other sense too.
Good news, moms to be. We are in the final stretch of summer. But before the cooler days of fall arrive, there’s gonna be a lot of simmering heat in August. If you are more than 6 months pregnant during August, you get a major shout-out from me. My birthday is in August, and give my mother a lot of respect for having to deal with being nine months pregnant in the hottest month of the year in New York City before central air conditioning ever came to our modest home in Queens.
The key to handling the final dog days of summer when it's hot as hell, armpit hot, lava hot or whatever new description of the heat you find among your witty Facebook friends, is to stay hydrated, take it easy and wear the right clothes. The risks of dehydration, heat stroke and exhaustion are very high during pregnancy. So make sure you drink plenty of cool water and carry a spray bottle of water to give yourself a cooling spritz every now and then.
And while I know you feel like only wearing your birthday suit, remember that light, natural fabrics that breathe and don’t cling to your body are best. Cotton or linen summer dresses are perfect for the heat as they let the air in and allow for quick evaporation of any moisture.
Must-Read Girlfriend Tip: If pregnancy has your thighs spreading from thunder status to thunder-lightning-and-category-four-hurricane-thigh status, then you may want to avoid shorts. I can still distinctly recall the mangled mess I often created during my pregnancy when the friction between my legs from walking could have sparked a forest fire. Remember this, if you can hear the sound of your thighs rubbing together when you walk, you probably shouldn’t wear shorts. If you have been spared the thigh spreadage, (whoo hoo!) go for the shorts, but something mid-thigh is best. Not the trendy mini-short variety that look like you’ve been shopping in Lil’ Kim’s closet.
Now that the all important fashion area is sorted, here are a few other specific suggestions I found on beating the heat:
- Run errands, go for walks, and do outdoor tasks in the morning or evening when it's cooler. Minimize your exposure to direct sunlight between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM.
- Stay indoors in the shade or air conditioning when temperatures exceed 90 degrees. Wear light-colored cotton clothing that reflects sunlight. Dark colors will make you feel hotter.
- Always sit in at least partial shade to keep from overheating.
- Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before venturing into the sun to prevent sunburn. Pregnant skin tends to be more prone to burning and blotching in the sun due to hormonal influences.
- Take quick showers frequently to keep cool.
- Put your feet up often to alleviate swelling and improve circulation.
- Minimize salt intake to decrease swelling due to water retention.
- Take frequent naps. The heat can really wear you out, and you'll feel much better if you're getting enough rest.
What have you been doing to stay cool this summer?