I think any mamas who have ever been pregnant can agree that having a summer pregnancy can be tough. Yes, pregnancy is indeed an absolute joy and a blessing, a precious and sacred journey, but it can be extra tough in the summertime when \”regular\” pregnancy symptoms can often be amplified due to the hot summer heat.
Will you be in the later stages of your pregnancy this summer? If so, this post is for you!
Here are 8 practical tips to help make your summer pregnancy more enjoyable!
1) Wear breathable and light-colored clothing
Cotton and silk are some of the best fabrics to wear, especially during a summer pregnancy. These fabrics are both light and breathable, making them ideal to wear when you’re sporting your beautiful baby bump.
You’ll want to wear light-colored fabrics because light colors reflect light, whereas dark colors absorb light, making you feel hotter. Tunics with light-colored leggings, cotton shorts paired with a flowy silk top, or even a loose-fitting mini cotton dress; there are endless options!
One of the things I pay particular attention to during the summer is undergarments. Underwear and bras. Regular bras are made with polyamide fabric which is not breathable, quick to absorb moisture, and slow to dry. Lately, I\ve been wearing a lot of cotton sports bras. (Granted I am not pregnant this summer, I just love the support I get and how dry I feel throughout the day even when I’m working out.)
2) Drink plenty of liquids and eat water-dense fruits
Adequate hydration helps you regulate your internal body temperature, based on your surroundings. Not drinking enough water can cause unpleasant symptoms, including pre-term contractions and overheating!
So it’s important that you drink up, especially when it’s hot out.
The good thing about this is that you probably don’t even have to force yourself to drink more water because pregnancy often makes you thirstier than usual. That’s because your body is supporting a growing baby, along with all the increase in blood circulation, and creating and maintaining amniotic fluid levels.
Your body is also warmer during pregnancy, and warmer weather can cause you to sweat, leaving you feeling parched. I drank at least a gallon of water a day during both my pregnancies!
Hot weather makes you more prone to dehydration, so it’s important to drink plenty of liquids throughout the day.
Tired of drinking plain water? Try coconut water.
It is full of electrolytes (which are essential for replenishing the loss of fluids, including amniotic fluid). And it’s also much healthier than sports drinks which are often laden with nasty chemicals and a ton of sugar. I don’t love ALL coconut water, to be honest. But my personal favorite is the Kirkland brand organic coconut water. *chef’s kiss* It’s delicious!
Tired of drinking altogether? Eat your hydration!
Consume water-dense fruits! Watermelons are made of 92% water, pineapple, strawberries, and oranges are also have a very high water content. Chop some of these fruits up and have a deliciously refreshing and nutritious fruit salad.
Note: When drinking large amounts of water, it’s good to space them out so as not to tax your liver.
3) Relax and put your feet up
Swelling in the ankles and feet (edema) is usually caused by all the additional blood (up to 40-50%!) and fluids running through your body. Pregnancy edema is quite common and can actually get worse as the temperature begins to rise.
Here are some tips to help prevent this from happening to you during your summer pregnancy:
- Drink a lot of water! This may sound like the wrong thing to do when your body is retaining water, but taking in more water helps flush your system of wastes and any extra fluid in your body.
- Studies show that pregnant women should sleep on their side, preferably on the left side for improved circulation.
- Avoid socks with elastics tops, so you don’t slow down your circulation.
- Put your feet up and relax!
- Wear comfortable shoes when you go out. It’s cute to be pregnant in heels, but they’re not what you need during the hot summer months.
- Stay away from refined carbs, or at least try to limit your consumption of such foods because they can contribute to water retention. Try to find healthier substitutes for your refined carb-dense foods (swap that regular pizza dough for one made with cauliflower!)
- Stay active in your home or at the gym when it’s too hot to go out, and go for a brisk walk perhaps early morning when it’s still cool out. Swimming is also an activity that is not only refreshing but good for your heart.
4) Go out during non-peak times
Depending on where you live, you’ll want to go outside during the most optimal times of the day.
Where I live here in Southern California, it seems much hotter during the summer between noon and 4 PM. I tend to plan my outings with the children with that in mind.
Don’t want to be stuck at home until the evening? There are still plenty of indoor places you can visit. Open-air markets are also wonderful to visit (yummy food galore) during these times!
5) Keep yourself entertained
If it’s just so hot that you can’t be bothered to go out, no problem! Just have some entertainment that you can enjoy from home. You can read, watch movies or shows from your streaming subscription service, sew or knit, or you just REST (imagine taking a long nap in an air-conditioned house while everyone is away…amaaazing!).
After all, these are things that may be harder to enjoy once you give birth to your baby and have to tend to mommy duties around the clock.
6) Visit the chiropractor
If you’ve followed my blog for some time, then you probably know why I’m an advocate for chiropractic care during pregnancy, especially to help prepare for childbirth, and postpartum to heal and maintain optimal physiological functioning.
Can adjustments help relieve swelling from water retention? Maybe! This study suggests that they may indirectly help relieve water retention symptoms. Although more research is needed in this area.
Even if your chiropractor may not be able to fully resolve these symptoms, they can help improve overall physiological functioning and relieve painful conditions such as sciatica and pelvic girdle pain. That’s amazing because those conditions can really dampen the fun of your summer pregnancy! Chiropractic adjustments can also help you have a smoother and faster natural birth experience!
7) Think positively
Sometimes you may just want to (or need to) go out even when it is really hot. That’s ok, there’s no problem with that!
But what will help is having a positive attitude.
I know that when I’m out in the heat, I get even more agitated when I think about how hot it is and how much I may be sweating. And this is in an area where triple digits are common during the summer months. It makes me anxious and that causes me to feel the heat even more and start sweating more.
Can you relate? Just because you’re pregnant, does not mean you can’t enjoy the hot summer fun! Just remember that trying to have a positive attitude about it will help make your summer pregnancy a lot more enjoyable!
8) Plan ahead
Planning the logistics of your outings ahead of time is crucial to making your summer pregnancy more enjoyable, especially when you’re going out during summer when temperatures can soar.
Depending on where you’ll be going, you’ll want to make sure that there are some cooler shadier areas where you can go cool off and relax. Staying in the sun too long, especially when it’s really hot, can be quite uncomfortable during pregnancy.
Excessive heat and sun exposure can cause rashes and hives, and can even worsen chloasma (aka pregnancy mask. Consider purchasing an umbrella that provides SPF 50+ protection from the hot sun, to keep yourself in the shade as you take a stroll.
You’ll also want to make sure you know where the bathrooms are. If you’re drinking plenty of liquids, chances are you’ll also need to visit the bathroom much more frequently!
Want more support during your pregnancy?
Join PURE Pregnancy, my holistic pregnancy guide. Have your best, most prepared pregnancy… starting today!Learn More