Hot, Bothered and Pregnant: How to Cope With Pregnancy in the Heat

Heat and humidity makes most people feel weighed down, even a bit grouchy. Add the extra weight of a human life growing inside of you plus hormonal highs and lows, a higher core temperature due to blood flow and you have a recipe for … well you can imagine.

If only you could take the summer months off to sit in front of the A/C! But, for better or worse, there are still tasks that need to get done and errands to run.

Here are the best ways to cope with pregnancy in the heat:

1. Plan your errands around the sun.

During peak sunlight hours, stay in cooled indoor areas as much as possible. While this may seem like a no-brainer, we sometimes don’t prioritize this aspect of staying cool.

Errand Scheduling Tips:

  • Save as many errands as possible for the cooler hours.
  • If you exercise outdoors, do so either in the very early morning or during cool evenings. Mornings are ideal because the earth has had the night to cool down, whereas the evening street might still be harboring the daytime heat.

2. Hydrate

In pregnancy, our fluid intake needs increase because our bodies produce up to 45% more blood for the uterus, placenta, and baby. In addition, varicose veins and ankle inflammation are common, especially if we are not drinking enough water..  All told, water keeps things flowing, reducing risks of blood and other fluids pooling in our bodies.  And if on top of it all it’s freaking hot outside, we are certainly in dire need of extra fluids when pregnant.  We especially want to avoid dehydration because it can cause preterm contractions.

Hydration Tips:

  • Drink a glass of water or juice once/hour during the daytime.
  • Carry a spray water bottle with you everywhere. Spray yourself – whenever!
  • Eat water-rich foods: Fruits (2-3/day) and fresh vegetables (4 or more servings/day.) Before you go outside, consume water-rich foods rather than say, a hamburger – see how different you’ll feel! You can even freeze fruits such as grapes, or sliced mango, nectarine, or plums.
  • Shower (or swim) at least once/day, imbibing the skin with hydration.

3. Wear cooled clothing

Yes, cooled. Here are suggestions for cooling your clothes and accessories before donning them.  With really hot weather, you’d be surprised how quickly these wet items will dry, but at least you get a half an hour of a much cooler outdoor experience.

Cooled Clothing Tips:

  • Dunk your hat or head scarf in water.
  • Wet your shirt, and put it in the freezer.
  • Carry a wet scarf or wash cloth and place it on your face, and the nape of your neck.

With the above suggestions, hopefully you will be able to get through the hotter months much easier during your pregnancy. If you experience any preterm contractions, or other malaise whatsoever, contact your care provider right away.

Wishing you a happy and healthy pregnancy ahead!