by Liz Jones | July 3, 2018 3:51 pm
By Dr. Nadim Hawa, Capital Women’s Care
Despite its many joys, a summer pregnancy can be uncomfortable for many women.
As if all the changes happening within your body weren’t enough to cause discomfort, environmental factors outside of your body can make pregnancy even harder than it already is. The warmer months and higher temperatures can bring about additional challenges for pregnant women — as they may find it especially hard to beat the heat now that they are expecting.
Navigating a hot summer while pregnant can be difficult, but it can still be fun and rewarding! With a little creativity and the proper know-how, you’ll be able to not only survive but thrive through your summer pregnancy.
Drink Lots of Water
Nowadays, we are constantly reminded of how important it is to drink enough water for your body. Because your bodies need for water increases during pregnancy, you’ll need to be extra mindful to maintain — or even increase — your fluid intake.
Additionally, in the summertime, the risk for dehydration is especially high (since we are more likely to lose fluids through sweat). Because dehydration may increase your risk of going into pre-term (early) labor, you should take extra caution to avoid becoming dehydrated.
If drinking plain water tastes boring to you, feel free to get creative with it! Try infusing your water with fruits, herbs, and vegetables to make your hydration efforts fun and tasty. New to infusing drinks? Check out this link for some recipe inspiration.
Lather on the Sunscreen
Just as we know how important it is to drink enough water, we also know the importance of protecting our skin from the sun. What many women don’t know though, is that their bodies are especially susceptible to sun damage while pregnant because their stretched skin is much more delicate.
Pregnant women should try to get in the habit of applying a daily SPF — especially in the summertime — even if they aren’t planning on lounging in the sun all day. Also, spending more time in the shade and wearing protective clothing are always good habits to practice.
Beat the Bloat
Another annoying symptom that many pregnant women have to cope with is bloating. This bloating can be attributed to shifting pregnancy hormones, which causes your body to retain water (resulting in that puffy, heavy feeling).
This bloating can be especially irritating in the summer, as it tends to worsen in higher temperatures.
To fight lower body edema (bloating), try elevating your feet while laying down to help the blood flow travel back up to the heart. Swelling can worsen during extended periods of sitting or standing, so you should also make sure you’re taking breaks to either sit down or walk around.
Sodium also causes your body to retain more water, so to prevent bloating you may also try to decrease your salt intake, while at the same time increasing water intake to ‘flush out” your system.
Dress for Comfort
While we appreciate a desire to dress ultra-chic throughout your entire pregnancy, you don’t have to wear tight, uncomfortable clothing in order to do so! In the summertime especially, you should give yourself a break by wearing light, breathable, loose-fighting garments.
This smart fashion move will help you keep cool under the sun, and also prevent complications that can arise from wearing too-tight clothing (such as chafing and yeast infections).
Find Your Confidence
During pregnancy, many women struggle to feel confident in their changing body. Unfortunately, these insecurities may be heightened in the summer — since you’ll likely be showing off more skin to handle the heat.
If you find yourself lacking confidence throughout your summer pregnancy, take time to pamper yourself and do whatever it is that makes you feel good about yourself. Preferences vary from woman to woman, but hitting the gym, or getting a sunless tan, a haircut, or a mani-pedi are some great options for boosting that self-confidence.
If you choose to head to the spa, just be sure to check that the treatment you choose is safe for both you and your baby!
Take it Easy
A summer pregnancy doesn’t mean you need to spend your whole summer cooped up inside, but it does require you to take extra precautions to beat the heat. Just as you would take your baby inside if they seem worn out, you should absolutely do the same for yourself!
Particularly, you should monitor yourself for feelings of weakness, fatigue, light-headedness, or excessive thirst. Even if you are a devoted beach-bum who can typically spend hours on end in the sun, you may very well find your stamina has gone down now that you are pregnant.
At the first sign of any of these symptoms, you should head indoors ASAP, lie down, and drink some water or electrolyte replacement liquid (such as Gatorade). These symptoms can give way to something serious, so if you don’t feel better soon, be sure to call your doctor.
Don’t Let Pregnancy Stop you from Having Fun!
Lastly, and most importantly, don’t let your summer pregnancy stop you from enjoying your summer! As an expecting mother, the key to a good summer is having smart, responsible fun.
Try to kick back, relax, and enjoy your summer — just like you would if you didn’t have a bun in the oven. It might be harder to find the time for adult activities and relaxation once your baby comes along, so you should use this summer to soak in as much fun as you can get!
As we hope you will see, summer doesn’t have to be something to dread just because you are pregnant.
With these smart tips, you truly can have an enjoyable summer that is safe and healthy for both you and your baby!
Having studied Gynecology and Obstetrics for more than 12 years, Dr. Nadim Hawa with Capital Women’s Care provides guidance and support to his patients, understanding that age, values, beliefs, and health can all play a role in the obstetric care needed.
Dr. Hawa earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Neuroscience from the American University of Beirut, received medical training at the University of Balamond in Lebanon, and later joined the obstetrics and gynecology residency program at The George Washington University Hospital. Board certified and a Fellow of the American Academy of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Hawa specializes in minimally invasive surgical procedures, offering his patients same-day surgery and faster recovery times.
Capital Women’s Care is located at 21785 Filigree Ct., Ste. 201, Ashburn, VA 20147. Connect with them and Dr. Hawa by calling (571) 707-8522 or visiting them online, Facebook, or Twitter.
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