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Fun in the Sun While Pregnant

Fun in the Sun While Pregnant

It’s time for some summer fun in the sun. But for pregnant mothers-to-be, summer scorchers can bring blazing sun, sweltering temperatures and the potential for dehydration and discomfort—particularly as your baby bump continues to grow.

But the arrival of the dog days of summer does not mean you need to forgo every outdoor activity as you await the arrival of your bundle of joy. But here are a few tips to help beat the heat and stay safe this summer (plus a few bonus tips to help you stay cool and comfy!):

  • Stay hydrated. It’s important to drink plenty of healthy fluids throughout your entire pregnancy, but particularly important as it gets hotter outside.
    • Cool and comfy bonus tip: bring down the temp on a hot summer day with a refreshing Iced tea, frozen mocktail or popsicle. For the best benefit, try to choose low-sugar and/or electrolyte-infused options.
  • Opt for air conditioning. As the temperatures rise, try to stay indoors when and where possible. If you are unable to go inside, opt for shade from a tree, an umbrella or canopy.
    • Cool and comfy bonus tip: Staying strictly indoors can get boring! If you prefer to be outside, try to avoid the highest sun peaks of the day. Try to get outside during the early morning hours or after the sun has set, when the temperatures are milder.
  • Slather on the sunscreen. Sunscreen is vital for protecting your skin from harmful UV rays, sunburn, premature aging and skin cancer. It is recommended to use a SPF 30 or higher for the best protection.
    • Cool and comfy bonus tip: Sunscreen can be washed away by sweating and swimming, so be sure to reapply often. Also, you can choose sunscreens that are water resistant. And, while you are applying, don’t forget your neck and face!
  • Take a dip in the pool! Jumping into a body of water is a great way to cool down on a hot summer day.
    • Cool and comfy bonus tip: Taking a dip in the pool is a great way to reduce stress on your body and get in some exercise. Speaking of exercise, it is best to workout indoors—a treadmill or take a few laps around the mall for low-impact workouts.
  • Find lightweight fashions. Try to find loose-fitting clothes made with breathable fabrics.
    • Cool and comfy bonus tip: Think maxi dresses, shorts, and, perhaps, a two-piece bathing suit (for easy access for bathroom tips, of course!). Also, top your maternity fashion choices off with a hat, to help reduce exposure to the sun.
  • Fill up on the right foods. While the heat can decrease your appetite, it is important to remember that you are eating for two, or more. Fill up on healthy proteins, ripe summer fruits and veggies and cool snacks, such as yogurt.
    • Cool and comfy bonus tip: Summer means picnics, barbecues and cookouts. Try to avoid foods that can spoil easily in the heat, such as potato salad, coleslaw and other mayo-based dishes.
  • Put your feet up. Even without a baby bump, summer heat can cause swelling. So try to elevate your feet above heart level often.
    • Cool and comfy bonus tip: Excessive heat can cause mood swings. If you feel overly irritable or upset, that may be sign to take a break, enjoy some air conditioning and put your feet up!

Summer heat can take its toll on the best of us. But as mamas-to-be, you are at higher risk for dehydration and heat exhaustion. Signs of these include:

  • Swelling of hands and/or feet
  • Headache or dizziness
  • Changes in vision
  • Abdominal pain
  • Decrease in urine
  • Excessive sweating
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Chills
  • Clamminess
  • Extreme thirst or dry mouth

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to get cooled off, rehydrate and contact your medical provider if you have any concerns.

To learn more about the Cosgrove Maternity Center at Southwest General, visit our website.