Feeling hot is part and parcel of being pregnant I’m afraid, there’s no getting away from it due to the heat generated by your growing baby. If pregnancy isn’t enough to make bits of your body swell you can guarantee that hot weather will! So with the warmer weather now upon us let’s look at how you can stay one cool mama if you are pregnant during the summer.
Water becomes your best friend when it’s hot. To avoid dehydration you need to increase the amount you drink, but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring! Add chopped cucumber, lemon or mint leaves to sparkling water, throw in some ice & you have yourself a beautiful summer drink.
Place a cold wet flannel over your face for an instant pick me up when you get home or rinse your hands under the cold tap.
Get a kiddies paddling pool and enjoy a dip to cool down in your garden.
Chaffing and sweating
As your bump (any other body parts) grows you may notice that you experience chaffing, add to that sweating and you can develop rashes and irritations. Oh, pregnancy is so glamorous!
Enjoy having lukewarm showers with a soothing body wash to calm any irritations and try to wear breathable lightweight clothing. Something airy, floaty and light coloured is perfect; allow your body to breath and if you swell throughout the day at least nothing is going to feel tight.
The same goes for your bedding, natural fabrics are more breathable and a light sheet over you will actually feel cooler than no covers at all.
Oedema can be worse in the summer as your body retains more water than usual. Due to gravity swelling can appear in your feet, ankles and calves as well as your fingers. It tends to be worse at the end of the day and further into your pregnancy. Try these tips to help avoid swelling or ease the discomfort if you already have it:
- Cut back on your salt intake.
- Avoid standing for long periods of time.
- Avoid tight-fitting footwear (they may not start off tight but once you swell shoe and socks can start to dig in, so, keep your eye on them).
- Where possible try to rest with your feet up as much as you can. * Do foot exercises to reduce swelling in the ankles, improve blood circulation and prevent cramp in the calf muscles.
Just to say that swelling that comes on gradually isn’t harmful to you or your baby although it can be most uncomfortable. However, if you notice any sudden swelling in your face, hands or feet, a very bad headache, vision problems or a severe pain just below your ribs you should contact your Midwife immediately as these may be signs of pre-eclampsia.
Avoid the Sun
I know this suggestion will not be popular given the fact that we see so little of the sun; however, your skin becomes much more sensitive in pregnancy and will easily burn, never mind the fact that sitting in the sun will only make you hotter! So choose the shade outdoors and consider keeping blinds closed and staying indoors with a fan on. People in hot countries tend to have their shutters closed during the hot weather to keep their houses cool so there is a method in what might seem like madness!
Cool with aromatherapy
The idea of a water spray appears on lots of hospital bag lists and several aromatherapy oils have cooling properties, therefore we’ve combined the two to develop Cool It Mama – Cooling Body Spritz using a refreshing blend of Grapefruit and Bergamot essential oils with a Neroli flower water to bring you an amazing cooling spritz to use safely throughout pregnancy (and labour and life as a new mama). Perfect for swollen ankles, restless legs, hot flushes and mood swings its spa-like delicate natural scent leaves you feeling totally revitalised. Keep it at home in the fridge for extra chillness or pop it in your bag to use when you’re out and about or at work. But be careful because everyone else will want to be borrowing it too!
Thanks for reading.
Jane – The Midwife x
For more blogs on pregnancy, birth and life as a new mum please visit www.naturalbirthingcompany.com/blogs/news
If you are unsure about anything or have any concerns whilst pregnant please speak to your Midwife.