I never wanted to be pregnant in the summer. I remember when I was younger before me and my husband struggled to get pregnant I would see pregnant woman walking around at the fair miserable and uncomfortable and I said I would never do that to myself. Well years later here I am! 5 and a half months pregnant on a 95 degree day with a heat index between 100 and 110!
Not only are pregnant women carrying around extra weight, but their body temperature is naturally higher than normal so when you mix hot weather with that there's a recipe for danger!
Hyun-Joo Lee, MD, an ob-gyn at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, has some suggestions for keeping your cool while pregnant:
- Avoid direct mid-day sun, because pregnant women are more prone to sunburn than non-pregnant women.
- Drink one eight-ounce glass of water or electrolyte replacement liquid for each hour you are outdoors in hot weather.
- Avoid vigorous outdoor activities during the hot hours of the day.
- Use a high SPF sunscreen. If you have fair skin, use SPF 30 or 45. (Increased melanin production can lead to the "mask of pregnancy," so make sure your time in the sun is limited and don't head out without sunscreen or, better yet, sunblock.)
- Get indoors at the first sign of weakness, fatigue, dizziness, lightheadedness, or excessive thirst. Lie down and drink some cool water or electrolyte replacement liquid. If you don't feel better soon, call your doctor.
- Lie down for 30 to 60 minutes a day, either at the end of the workday or during lunch.
- Keep your legs elevated while sleeping by placing a rolled-up towel or blanket under your mattress at the foot of the bed.
- Wear comfortable shoes and, if possible, wear one pair of shoes that are a half size larger than your normal size.
- Walk two to three times a week during times other than mid-day heat.
- Remove your rings if they seem to be tight. Some pregnant women experience mild swelling of the hands and have to get their rings cut off.
- Don't wear constrictive clothing, especially around the waist.
- Don't stand in one place for too long.
- Reduce, but don't eliminate, salt from your diet. Salt contains iodide, an essential element for the health of the fetus.
- Don't take any diuretic substances. Diuretics can cause the loss of electrolytes that could endanger the fetus.