For most, the summer sun is a welcome break from our variable British weather but for mums-to-be, the heat wave brings certain risks and challenges.
With temperatures soaring, pregnant women can experience swelling, increased body temperatures and greater sensitivity to sunshine caused by higher oestrogen levels and even potential higher risk for heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
We have a few tips and tricks to help you stay cool so read on to find out more.
Keeping cool indoors
Keeping cool indoors can sometimes be harder than when you are out and about.
Keep curtains or blinds drawn from sunrise to sunset and make use of an oscillating fan to regulate the temperature throughout the house. Turning off any unnecessary electrical devices can also help as they can give off a lot of heat.
There are several tactics you can use to lower your body temperature. A damp flannel on your forehead or a foot soak could make all the difference.
When it comes to showering, opt for lukewarm water. You do not want to go icy cold as, shockingly, it can actually heat you up. This is due to the body’s reaction to cold. The blood vessels will act to keep your core temperature up, so you might feel cool for a short time after you get out of the shower but will likely heat up again quickly.
Do whatever you can to keep comfy in your own home.
Sleeping in summer
Sleep is already disrupted during pregnancy, and intense heat can compound the issue. Here are some ideas to reduce the heat.
Using a single sheet while you sleep can actually keep you cooler than no sheet at all. A cotton sheet will increase airflow, provide moisture-wicking and help you stay much cooler when sleeping.
The “Egyptian Method” involves dampening a sheet or towel in cool water and then using it as a blanket. If you are not a fan of having a soggy blanket or wet bed though you can opt for a damp shirt rather than a full sheet.
If you fancy investing in one there are also temperature regulating sheet that exist and may be useful all the time not just when pregnant.
Staying shaded outdoors
It is best to avoid stepping outside when the sun is at its hottest – between 11AM and 3PM. Keep an eye on the hourly forecast online to know when the temperature begins to drop.
If you can’t avoid going outdoors during these times, remember sun cream. Pregnant women are more susceptible to burns and skin damage as increased hormones make your skin more sensitive. Ensure to use powerful SPF50+ sunscreen and remember to get all exposed.
Make sure to also have a hat and sunglasses with you too to keep your face cool and eye protected.
Eating to beat the heat
Inflammation and swelling are par for the course during pregnancy, and diets high in salt can make matters worse during a heat wave. Reducing the amount of salt you consume is a good idea to make yourself more comfortable.
Do not remove salt entirely though. Iodide found in salt is crucial to your baby’s health, and you will also be losing salts through sweating. Keep a healthy balance to ensure your comfort but also your babies health.
Cooling foods are also a must. You are allowed to reach for an ice lolly or some ice cream of course but you can also have fruits that have been frozen, summer salads, veggies. Enjoy your snacks and keep the heat to a minimum.
What to wear
Opt for cotton and linen clothes. These fabrics are moisture wicking, which means they will keep you dryer and more comfortable despite the heat. Floaty dresses, loose trousers, bigger airy shirts and the like are excellent options.
The colour can also play a role in your temperature control. Avoid anything too dark in colour and opt for some fun summery pastels.
Don’t be afraid to accessories and get things you feel good in but pick sensibly. Beat the heat and look good while doing it.
Protecting yourself and your baby from the side effects of warm weather is essentially so we hope these tips help you be more comfortable this summer.
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