It is hot, humid and you are pregnant. These three can be a deadly combination to make any women feel down. According to studies, pregnant women naturally suffer from heat intolerance to some extent and if it is summer and you are living in a tropical country, the problem is surely going to be acute. So, it is really important for the pregnant ladies to take the right precautions and to follow the right measures to make summer pregnancy a more comfortable experience all together. If you are finding it really hard and frustrating to cope with pregnancy during this hot summer, be relieved, you are not alone and help is not away.
[ Hindi version ]
Stay indoors during the day
For the pregnant women one of the most important tips is to stay indoors particularly at the time of the day when the temperature is maximum. If you cannot afford to stay indoors throughout the day, at least make sure that you are not out in the sun between 10am and 4pm. Staying indoors can save you from the effects of direct heat and scorching sun rays of summer days, which can wreak havoc on your skin, make you sweat excessively and feel frail. Complete your outdoor works either early in the morning or only after the sun has come down.
Do not exert yourself physically
In order to cope with the summer heat during pregnancy it is important that you do not opt for physically exerting works particularly during the day when the temperature outside is high. If you are pregnant and it is summer, it is best to ask for assistance to complete any physically tiring work. Being physically active is sure to make you feel more heated from inside. Also avoid going close to the oven during the day as it can make you feel even more hot and sweaty. If there are works that you need to complete, it is best to do them early in the morning or at night when the temperature is much lower.
Wear light, cotton clothes
To cope with pregnancy during summer, wearing light cotton clothes can be really helpful. Cotton is a natural fabric that is soft and friendly on the skin. It allows proper air passage and does not block sweat which can lead to more irritation and trouble. Light and loose fitting summer clothes can easily make you feel more comfortable during the hot summer days particularly when you are pregnant. Wearing comfortable and cotton undergarments can also be very helpful. Take a leave from any undergarments while you are taking a nap or relaxing, it will make you feel comfortable and will also reduce any chance of rashes on those areas.
Take frequent baths
Taking frequent baths can be very helpful to deal with summer pregnancy. Bathing is a simple process to loose excess body heat and to feel cooler. You can also add bathing salt and mint essential oil in your bathing water to make the bath more relaxing and to keep your body cool. Always spend more than 5 minutes in shower so that you actually loose the excess body heat and the coolness stays with you at least for some time. However, it is never a good idea to jump in a cold shower when you are feeling extremely hot. It can cause quick changes in the body temperature resulting into catching a cold.
Get the right diet
What you eat has a high impact on your body heat and hence to cope with summer pregnancy it is really important that you focus on your diet. While diet during pregnancy needs to be rich with protein, vitamins and minerals, during summer instead of bulking up on animal protein it is best to opt more for plant protein and dairy products. Soy products like soy milk, Tofu can also be a good substitute for the animal protein that you can get from meat. Meat can increase your body heat during digestion and hence to cope with pregnancy during summer keeping your meat consumption to low can be helpful.
Include all the types of fresh vegetables and fruits in your diet. Depend more on fluids. Water, Cold milk, juices, milk shakes, lassi, can be your best friend to cope with the heat of summer while maintaining a healthy pregnancy. Staying away from carbonated drinks and excessive sugary diet is also advised as these things can hamper the normal digestion process resulting into more body heat generation.
Keep your legs up
Swelling of legs is a common problem of pregnancy and it often becomes more pronounced during summer. In order to control swelling of your feet the best option is to keep your feet up. If you are sitting on a chair, make sure to take a foot rest that helps you to keep your legs more vertically. Take frequent breaks from a sitting posture. Also place a pillow or towel under your feet while taking a nap or sleeping or just spreading your legs on the couch. This will help in controlling the excessive swelling of feet. Wear flat shoes that allow sufficient passage for air movement.
Keeping a check on your total salt consumption can also be helpful to control leg swelling during pregnancy as salt is related with water retention in the body. However, never stop taking salt to get rid of feet swelling. Iodine present in salt is essential for the development of the brain of the fetus and salts are vital for normal functioning of your body as well.
Go for swimming
One of the best ways to cope with summer pregnancy is to make swimming your regular habit. Exercising is vital for a healthy pregnancy but opting for any type of physical exercise can be really difficult for an expecting mother particularly during the hot and humid summer days as it will surely make her feel even more hot and sweaty. On the other hand swimming can give you all the benefits of exercising minus the sweat. Swimming not only helps in cooling you down but also works as a great and safe exercise eliminating a number of problems related to pregnancy. The weight less feeling that you enjoy while swimming even with a baby in the tummy can actually make you feel a lot better while you are pregnant.
Take more care of your skin
Skin problems are common during pregnancy and if you are coping with a summer pregnancy taking the best care of your skin is paramount. During pregnancy the changes in the hormonal levels in the body makes the skin more sensitive and prone to skin problems like dry, itchy skin, dark spots, patches and rashes. When it is summer the chance of getting these skin problems is even higher.
So, in order to cope with summer time pregnancy, maintain a healthy skin care routine from the very beginning. Always apply a good quality sunscreen on your skin lavishly before going out into the sun and continue reapplication after every two hours. This can be helpful to control the excess production of melanin on the skin due to sun rays. Use a light moisturizer, like Aloe Vera gel on your skin to keep skin dryness at bay without making your skin feel sticky or heavy. Wearing light cotton clothes and taking precautions to sweat less can be helpful to control summer skin problems like prickly heat rashes.
Sleep in an air-conditioned room or under multiple fans
During pregnancy your body needs rest, particularly towards the advanced stage of pregnancy. If you are coping with pregnancy during summer, it is important that you ensure proper sleep for yourself, which is important for feeling comfortable and healthy. Sleeping in a room with air conditioning facility can be most helpful in order to ensure that you do not sweat while sleeping and can have a good sleep. If air conditioning facility is not available, make it a point to sleep in a room that is not very hot and is well ventilated. Also use multiple fans to control sweat while sleeping.
Use cold compress for immediate relief
If you are feeling very hot suddenly, which is not uncommon during pregnancy and particularly when the mercury is soaring high, opting for a quick cold compress can be a great relief. Keep multiple thick wash clothes or towels soaked in water in the fridge along with a few water bottles. You can use the chilled towels to wipe your forehead, neck, underarms, under the thighs, under the belly and the groin area in order to cool down your body quickly. Placing a chilled washcloth on your forehead and neck, when you are feeling a sudden hot flash can be very comforting. You can place the chilled water bottles under your arms and legs to fight the extreme hot feeling while taking a nap.
[ Hindi version ]