Pregnancy & Health Tips: How to Take Care of Yourself in the Summer

04/21/2017 05:15 am ET

Being pregnant in summer has its own set of challenges. From unbearable heat to swelling feet, summer pregnancies make a girl wonder if she’ll make it through this season. But on the plus side, you get to wear stylish and lightweight maternity clothing, and there are ample opportunities for you to spend more time outdoors. To make this summer season feel easy breezy when your bump is growing, try following these simple tips for a healthy and stress-free pregnancy.

1. Stay indoors when necessary

When it’s scorching hot outside, it’s best to stay indoors. But if you have an outdoor task you need completing, try planning these activities in the early morning hours or late in the afternoon when temperatures are cooler, and the Sun is lower. Hot weather can be particularly tough on a pregnant woman because hormonal and blood volume changes make it harder for an expecting mom to stay cool. So, go easy on yourself and avoid spending time in the hot weather if you don’t really have to. Make sure to be extra careful during heat waves. Studies show that exposure to heat waves was strongly linked to preterm birth.

2. Wear sunscreen

Elevated hormones make your skin sensitive to sunlight, and you’ll also notice that your skin is prone to hyperpigmentation during pregnancy. Nipples and areola get darker, freckles become prominent, scars change color, and many women developed a dark line in the midline of their belly called “linea negra”. These changes can become even more prominent if you’re exposed to sunlight. That’s why wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen is a must when you are pregnant during the hotter seasons. We suggest choosing mineral sunscreen over chemical ones because these are proven to be much safer and usually don’t penetrate the skin. If you want to learn more about skin changes during each stage of your pregnancy, visit our pregnancy week by week section.

3. Have a water bottle nearby

According to current guidelines, adults should drink between 8 and 12 cups of water each day, especially during summer when we tend to lose more water through sweat. Pregnant women are advised to drink just an additional cup more than they did before their pregnancy. But we suggest not going overboard with water intake. Too much water can disrupt your electrolyte balance putting you and your baby in danger. To make it simpler, just carry a water bottle with you when you’re out and about and have a sip whenever you feel thirsty. Also, consider investing in a stainless-steel water bottle because these prevent bacteria overgrowth and help keep the water cool.

4. Maternity clothing for a breezy summer pregnancy

Probably the best thing about summer pregnancies is that you get to bear your baby bump with lightweight outfits. Summer dresses, breezy tops, and maternity skirts can help keep you cool during a summer pregnancy. Opt for breathable fabrics that absorb sweat like cotton, silk, viscose, and linen and avoid synthetic fabrics then will only make you feel hotter. Also, consider light colors and pastels as these tend to reflect sunlight while black and dark colors absorb it. Another plus is that summer maternity clothing is much cheaper and you don’t need to layer your bump with heavy fabric.

5. Be careful with food choices

A great thing about summer pregnancies is that moms get to eat a wide range of seasonal fruits and veggies. On the downside, summertime is also when food poisoning rates are highest. Avoid barbecued foods, cured meat, soft cheese, soft-boiled eggs, mayonnaise, and other foods that can cause food poisoning. Food poisoning in the first trimester increases your risk of miscarriage. This is also when you may also confuse the initial symptoms of food poisoning with morning sickness causing you to delay treatment. Make sure to eat fresh and washed fruits and vegetables and cooked foods to reduce your risk of food poisoning.

6. Reduce your sodium intake

Too much salt in your diet can put you at risk of high blood pressure and kidney disease – both putting you at risk for pregnancy complications. Salt also causes fluid retention and can make your pregnancy swelling worse than it already is. According to the NHS, adults should eat no more than a half a teaspoon of salt daily for optimum health. To reduce your salt intake, avoid eating takeout food, fast-food, and highly-processed meals. Opt for homemade meals with just enough salt to avoid a bland taste. But don’t frantically start avoiding salt at all costs. Salt is a great source of iodine and electrolytes which you need for a healthy pregnancy.

7. Say no to flip-flops

Sure, flip-flops may seem like a reasonable footwear choice right now. After all, your feet and ankles are chronically swollen, you can’t bear the heat, and shoe laces and straps are impossible to handle with a swollen belly. But truth be told, flip flops don’t provide any arch support. Instead, what you should do is invest in a nice pair of sandals with an elastic strap or flats with arch support that you can easily slide on. A shoe with a good arch support will help relieve some of the pressure on your feet and protect your spine.

Conclusion

Being pregnant during the sunny summer season is awesome. But summer also makes things a bit hard on a mom-to-be. For a safe and stress-free and healthy pregnancy this summer, follow these healthy pregnancy tips. Who says being pregnant in summer was tough with all the options you have available?

Also watch video on 16 Best Tips for Healthy Pregnancy You Must Know

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