It's been unusually hot on certain days this summer and being pregnant makes that just so much more unbearable. I spent 11 hours yesterday (the hottest day of the year so far) outside. I was announcing for the motorcross race at Dyracuse park in Rome. It was a good time, but the heat made it a little harder to enjoy. The Rapid Angels the motorcycle club that puts the event on usually schedules this race for April, but due to scheduling issues they were forced to hold it in July. They were in desperate need of volunteers so my dad who is a member of the club offered up my announcing services. I had never announced at a race before so I was excited about that part, but when I found out we were expecting a heat index of 115 I was instantly concerned.
I was in the announcer booth which is in a shady spot of the park, Dad made sure I had a fan, Josh made sure I had a chair, Mom made sure I had towels that I could wet down in the cold water from the ice melting my cooler and I made sure I had plenty of water and Powerade. Everyone was looking out for me because when you're pregnant you're already warmer than normal so I'm in the most at risk for heat exhaustion category. This event was a family affair and we have many family friends who are involved in the club as well so I had lots of people checking in on me to make sure I was doing alright throughout the day.
Though so many people were worried about me I was most worried about the racers. They are all geared up in long sleeves, pants, boots, a helmet and exerting a ton of energy during the races. I was constantly reminding people over the mic that they needed to be drinking plenty of water and taking frequent breaks to sit in their airconditioned cars, though I meant that for the spectators too I was really saying it for the riders. Sometimes they think they're too tough to be cautious.
The first part of the day announcing was the worst because I had the sun beating in on me, but during the hottest part of the day I was covered in shade. I sure was glad (even though my feet were extremely dirty) that I was wearing flip flops instead of tennis shoes though because my feet swelled up so much!
Everyone's hands and feet swell in hot weather, but being pregnant I think it's twice as bad! Swelling during pregnancy is normal too, it's called edema. It's common for pregnant women to experience edema late in their second and through their 3rd trimester no matter what time of year it is. It is usually a discomfort and most women can't wear their wedding rings, but most of the time it's nothing to worry about. When you should be concerned is when the swelling occurs in your face or if you have excessive swelling of the feet, ankles and hands. This could be a sign of a much worse problem preeclampsia which is dangerous to mother and baby (it's also called toxemia).
If your swelling is normal (which mine is) try to put your feet up as often as possible, don't cross your legs or ankles while sitting (this is tough for me), stretch your legs often, wear comfortable shoes that stretch, drink plenty of water, exercise, and eat well.
By the end of the race day the swelling wasn't the only discomfort I was experiencing, I was suffering with some of the symptoms that I was warning people about, a throbbing headache, warm red skin, and dizziness. I was very glad to get back to my mom's and hop in the shower to cool down. I drank water like crazy all day, but I guess not enough.
Did you experience a lot of swelling with your pregnancy?