Sporting a baby bump in summer can get uncomfortable thanks to hot flushes, swollen ankles and heat intolerance. Here’s how to stay cool. By Thobeka Phanyeko
Being pregnant in the warmer months also means you’re more prone to heat exhaustion, which includes excessive sweating, fatigue, dizziness, headaches and abdominal cramps. Relocating to the North Pole might be a bit extreme, so we have a few hacks to help you stay cool.
Go for a swim
Dipping your body in cool water will prevent overheating, and swimming is also an ideal form of exercise when you’re expecting since it’s a low-impact activity that provides cardio benefits.
Snack on frozen fruit
It’s refreshing and will help keep your body temperature down. Other healthy snack options include frozen yoghurt and chilled carrot sticks.
Make sure you always have a water bottle on hand to help keep you hydrated. If you’re more likely to reach for juice or fizzy drinks, rather add lemon zest or your favourite fruit to your water for some flavour.
Use an ice pack
Your body temperature is slightly higher during pregnancy, so wrap a wet face cloth over an ice pack and place it over your forehead to help keep you cool. You can also suck on ice cubes.
Wear un-restrictive clothing
Flowing dresses and light-weight clothing such as sheer blouses will give your body room to breathe. Steer clear of tight fitting clothing, denim and heavy cotton.
Stay in an air-conditioned area when it gets too sunny. Being outdoors allows you to get your dose of vitamin D, but indoors is best when the heat is unbearable.
Take a shower
Taking cool showers throughout the day will help you feel cooler and less sweaty. And if you’re feeling sluggish, a shower might be what you need to feel more refreshed.
Take it easy
Working up a sweat is bound to make you feel hot and sticky, so put your feet up and enjoy being pregnant. If household duties are screaming for your attention, ask for help.
Eat lighter meals
Summer is all about salads, fresh juices and veggies so have fun with healthier food options. Rather than fried food, opt for boiled or grilled because greasy food slows down your metabolism and produce more heat during the digestion process. Instead of eating a big portion in one sitting, try eating smaller portions throughout the day.
Dip into prenatal yoga
Stress and anxiety can cause your temperature to rise and yoga will help you to slow down and practice deep breathing. When you’re calm and relaxed, you’re likely to be in a better mood.
Thobeka Phanyeko is mom to Oratile, 4. She is a journalist with a BA in Media studies from the University of Cape Town and has extensive experience as a journalist and content producer which she gained from Reuters, eNCA and Caxton Magazines. She is also a life coach and NLP Practitioner and is passionate about motherhood and women empowerment.