Pregnancy is great in winter – you carry around your own little heater. But in summer, especially here in the humid South, the heat can get a little overwhelming.
“Pregnancy hormones cause a faster metabolism and contribute to a rise in your core body temperature, making you wonder who turned up the heat,” says Pam Noonan, RNC-OB, C-EFM, BSN, MS, perinatal nurse clinician at Gwinnett Medical Center. “Your baby turns up the heat, requiring extra energy from your body to grow. In addition to feeling the heat, you may also feel tired. Your body is working very hard.”
Here are a baker’s dozen of our best tips to keep you comfortable in the summer (with that bun in the oven):
1. Go skimpy on the salt as too much sodium can lead to swelling. “And put your feet up as often as possible, avoiding crossing your legs,” adds Noonan.
2. Laze in the pool. You’ll float better than ever.
3. If you fingers start to swell, go ahead and remove your rings. Notify your provider of worsening swelling, as this can sometimes be a sign of another pregnancy related condition called preeclampsia.
4. Place a cool, damp cloth on your neck or forehead to cool down at home.
5. If it’s too hot to be outside, go to an air conditioned mall, movie theater, library or museum.
6. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of cool fluids.
7. Wear loose-fitting, light-colored breathable clothing.
8. Use higher SPF sunscreens.
9. Stay out of the midday heat. Walk, run errands, etc., in the morning or evening when it’s cooler
10. Ditch the skimpy flip-flops for more supportive shoes. If your shoes feel tight, you may need to change to a pair with a more comfortable fit, more support, or a low, wide heel.
11. The heat can wear down your energy when you’re pregnant, so plan ahead, ask for help, and leave things undone if you’re too tired. Take frequent naps if you can.
12. Be especially wary of typical potluck foods such as potato salad and coleslaw which can go bad quickly in the summer heat.
13. Go ahead and use these too-hot-to-stir days to take classes on childbirth, caring for an infant, car seat safety and more. Find a full list at gwinnettmedicalcenter.org/classes. Or schedule a free health and wellness consultation with our Women’s Health Navigator at 678-312-2303.
Gwinnett Women’s Pavilion: Support Before, During and After
At the Gwinnett Women’s Pavilion in Lawrenceville, where more than 100,000 babies have celebrated their birth day, we’re large enough to serve all your needs – including a Level III neonatal intensive care unit, should your baby be born ill or prematurely. And we’re small enough to provide each new mom with a personalized experience.
“We know new parents have a lot to learn with an infant, so we offer extensive classes and pregnancy education,” says Noonan. “One of the most common issues is breastfeeding. While breastfeeding is natural, if often doesn’t come naturally, so each of our mother/baby nurses is also a lactation specialist.”
Learn more at gwinnettmedicalcenter.org/GWP.