My daughter is a June baby, born on the hottest day of the year. Boy! What a summer that was. Ecstatic as I was about being pregnant with my firstborn, the summer heat hit me pretty bad. I was in my 7th month, sporting a big belly when the heat started. The pregnancy had already thrown my body temperature, weight and hormones out of whack. Entering the kitchen to cook was like a punishment. It didn’t matter how high the air conditioning was; I was just plain simple hot – like all the time.
Now I do understand that actually having a summer baby is good. I could just walk around in a loose dress without any layers to smother me. And when the baby arrived I could leave the house with my little one and get some fresh air. In winter that’s such a problem. We need to keep them protected from the cold all the time. My son was born in January, on the coldest day of winter. Yes! So I’ve dealt with both weather conditions.
So these are a few tips I learnt through my pregnancy journey which helped me stay sane and safe in the hot summer months. Scroll down to read them today and don’t forget to share them with your expectant friend!
1. Staying Hydrated
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When you’re hot you will sweat, and when that happens your body will lose salts and water content. This could trigger muscle cramps, which could be a problem. Staying hydrated will help your body keep cool, fight constipation, and decrease water retention. When you’re thirsty, the chances are you’re already getting dehydrated. Symptoms of dehydration would include dry mouth, loss of appetite and skin flushes.
Here’s What You Should Do: Drink a lot of fluids like water, lassi, nimbu pani, fruit juices, aam panna and nariyal pani. All these will help you regain the lost salts and electrolytes. But we should caution you that there is a condition called water intoxication. Over-hydration with water can dilute your electrolytes even more and cause fatigued muscles cramps. So keep an eye on your fluid intake. Too much of something is also not good. Eat seasonal fruits like mango.
2. Watch Out For Swelling
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When you’re pregnant you will suffer from oedema (swelling of the face, hands, feet, calves and ankles). This extra retention of fluid is needed to soften the body, which enables it to expand as the baby develops. The summer heat makes the swelling a lot worse.
Here’s What You Should Do: You should take every opportunity you get to get off your feet. Keep them slightly elevated when you’re sitting. What worked like a charm for me was placing my feet on a bottle of really cold water and rolling it slightly under my feet. Alternately you could place a cold damp towel on the swollen areas. It’s very soothing and relaxing. Munching on celery or cucumber sticks and apples is advised since they are natural diuretics. Also, your feet will swell, so buy a pair of shoes one size bigger than you normally wear to stay comfortable.
3. Tackling The Heat
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You’re going to be insanely hot. The soaring temperatures outside coupled with your ever-increasing internal body temperatures are going to play havoc. You have a little life growing inside you and your body goes through a million little changes at this point. The extra blood flow and the ever-changing hormonal conditions are to blame for the hot flushes.
Here’s What You Should Do: Invest in a maternity swimming costume. Swimming is not only an excellent low impact exercise to strengthen your muscles, but it will also help your body temperatures dip a little. The buoyancy in water will reduce stress and pressure on your joints and you’ll end up feeling relaxed, and definitely much cooler. If you’re not comfortable swimming in a pool, get a baby pool, fill it up and relax in it for a bit. The baby can use it later too.
Sucking on ice chips or frozen fruits like berries really help cool one down. I know someone who was addicted to sucking ice chips through her pregnancy. She said it kept her hydrated and help calm down as the heat can be pretty trying at this point.
4. The Sticky And Sweaty Sensation
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It’s summer and you’re pregnant – that equals to lots of sweat and that horrible sticky feeling.
Here’s What You Should Do: Light and loose clothes are what you need. Avoid wearing clothing which is tight and will chafe your already sensitive skin. I bought a few inexpensive cotton fabrics in pretty colours and got my local tailor to make me some front open kurtis and a few maxi-type dresses. There are also some great ready to wear maternity options in the market now. Honestly, the thought of any body-restricting clothing was a big no. The dresses and kurtis were extremely useful once the baby arrived also. Since they were front open I could wear them when I started breastfeeding too.
Take a nap in the afternoons – it will keep you indoors when the heat is maximum and give your body the much-needed rest. Get all the rest you can now, you will need all your energy and then some more when the baby arrives. We hope these little tips help you enjoy your summer pregnancy. If you have some tips you want to share with would-be moms, please do talk to us and we’ll make sure everyone hears about them.
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