7 Easy Pregnancy Care Tips for This Summer
While summer is a great time to enjoy pool parties, beach vacations, hiking, and camping, it can pose more risks for pregnant women. Generally, a pregnant woman’s body temperature is higher than usual, making them susceptible to heat-related illnesses. The added summer heat can cause complications such as heat exhaustion, dehydration, mood swings, etc. Being aware of summer pregnancy risks will help you stay prepared both physically and mentally.
Can Summer Heat Affect Pregnancy?
Below are the risks of being pregnant in summer:
Summer can cause overheating issues with symptoms such as headache, muscle cramps, dizziness, warm skin, and nausea. Pregnant women with a body temperature of over 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit are at an increased risk for heat exhaustion, heatstroke, and dehydration.
2. Early Delivery
With hotter temperatures, pregnant women are more likely to become dehydrated, which can lead to dizziness, fainting, and falls. This can cause significant complications, including placental abruption and early labor, leading to premature delivery.
Dehydration can result from practice contractions, also known as Braxton Hicks, and increase the risk of dizziness and fainting.
4. Spina Bifida
This is a congenital disability that occurs when a developing baby’s spinal cord does not develop or close properly. Hot tub use or high fever in the first trimester can cause neural tube defects and changes in the fetal heart’s structure, leading to spina bifida.
How Do Pregnant Women Deal with Hot Weather?
Follow these tips to deal with hot weather:
1. Stay Hydrated
If you are pregnant, you must drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Always take a water bottle with you while traveling and drink low-sugar electrolyte fluids when spending time outside.
2. Avoid Direct Sunlight
Your skin is more sensitive, and some may develop a condition called chloasma that causes brown patches on the face after sun exposure. Use sunscreen creams with an SPF of at least 30, wear a wide-brimmed hat, and stay in the shade to minimize sun exposure risks. Otherwise, plan outside activities in the early morning or late evening.
3. Wear Loose Clothing
Wear loose, breathable cotton or linen outfits to keep you cool in the hot summer.
4. Avoid duvets and blankets
If you feel overheated while trying to sleep, tossing and turning will worsen the issue. Avoid sleeping with too many sheets, blankets, or duvets. Use one or two light blankets to feel cooler.
5. Spritz Water Often
Carry a spray water bottle with you and spritz water onto your face and body to keep you cool while reducing your body temperature. Put some ice in the bottle if you want the water to stay cooler for longer.
6. Avoid Strenuous Exercises
Avoid high-intensity exercises and training with heavy weights. Light exercises such as walking and jogging in the shade, yoga, and meditation will help you feel good during pregnancy. You can also swim to keep you in shape while beating the summer heat or do breathing practices as well to keep you cool and relaxed.
7. Eat Healthy Foods
Although appetites decrease in the summer, protein intake is essential during pregnancy. Include these in your diet:
- A protein smoothie prepared with a vegetable-based protein powder, berries, and coconut water
- Fruits rich in water content including, watermelon and cucumber
- Foods cooked with coconut oil
Cutting down your caffeine intake and avoiding hot drinks or spicy foods before a few hours of going to bed will help you stay cool.
8. Treat Your Feet
As swelling is a common problem during pregnancy, keep your feet elevated above heart level as much as possible to improve the blood flow that treats the condition. You can also keep your feet in a tub filled with cold water to keep your body cool.
You can also try hydrotherapy in a pool or bathtub by immersing your entire abdomen in the water for 20 to 30 minutes to reduce your body temperature.
Having a temperature of over 101 degrees or overheating symptoms is not necessarily dangerous for you and your baby. However, seek immediate medical attention if you experience persistent fever or symptoms.
If you are pregnant this summer and looking for expert tips and care, schedule an appointment with North Atlanta Women's Care.
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