Keeping Cool During a Summer Pregnancy
When you’re pregnant your body temperature is already a little bit higher than average so hotter summer temperatures can make you feel uncomfortable. With heat records being broken all across Canada this year many pregnant women are feeling it keenly and keeping cool is important. During pregnancy, your body is already working hard so adding in the need to keep cool can be challenging.
So during the hotter months there are a few things you can do to try to keep comfortable. One thing is to pay attention to the heat index, not just the temperature. The heat index is how hot the temperature feels based on the combination of heat and humidity. Environment Canada calls this the humidex. When the humidex starts pushing temperatures into the 30s, it’s a good idea to stay indoors and near air conditioning if possible. That may be easier said than done, depending on where you live. If you don’t have air conditioning some options are malls, movie theaters, or public libraries as they tend to be air conditioned. When making dinner plans, look into if the restaurant you want to go to has air conditioning. Having a break from the heat, where your body has a chance to cool down can be really helpful.
If you don’t have the option of escaping to public air conditioning, there are a few things you can do. Really anything you do to cool yourself down when you’re not pregnant you can use when pregnant. Here is a list of some we know, let us know in the comments if you have any tips and tricks!
- A cool wash cloth to the neck
- Ice to the back of the neck
- Frozen peas to the back of the neck
- Anything cold to the back of the neck!
- The same as above for your forehead and/or the top of your head
- Put your feet in cold water/ice
- A cold bath
- Add ice to the cold bath!
- Wear cloths soaked in cold water and sit in front of the fan
- Do all of these things at once!
Most people will sweat when they are hot. Some of us sweat A LOT! Pay attention to how much you’re sweating and make sure you’re drinking plenty of fluids to replace the fluids you’re losing. Water is always good, but options such as orange juice, sports drinks, milk with not just help replace the fluids, but will also replace the electrolytes. Dehydration can cause Braxton Hicks (also known as practice contractions). Pregnant women are at a greater risk for heat stroke, dehydration, and heat exhaustion. Symptoms of these conditions are warm skin, dizziness, headaches, muscle cramps and nausea. If you are experiencing these symptoms and they last more than an hour, please seek medical treatment.
But you will get through it. Don’t let the heat, or being pregnant, get in the way of having an enjoyable summer!
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