While pregnancy can create a good amount of discomfort any time of year, it’s often elevated during warmer months. Being pregnant in the summer poses many questions – what do you wear over your burgeoning bump? Are you eating enough healthy foods for baby – but the No. 1 question is often: how do I stay cool in summer?
During pregnancy, it’s normal to experience a spike in body temperature. Your body is changing in myriad ways: there’s more blood pumping through you, your body may be retaining extra fluid that can cause swelling, and your metabolism is in overdrive. While a slight spike in temperature is to be expected, it’s important to not overheat, which can be challenging when you’re pregnant in the summer. But with the right cooling tips and tricks, pregnant women can stay safe and comfortable.
Water is your BFF during summer. It helps regulate your body temperature. When you’re hydrated, your body is better able to release heat (the positive side of perspiring), and sweat cools the skin as it evaporates. Because it’s necessary to replace the water leaving your body, the American Pregnancy Association recommends pregnant women drink 8-12 glasses of water each day. Extra active? You’ll need to drink even more water if you’re pregnant in summer and engaging in strenuous activities. How much? An additional 8-ounce glass for every hour of activity is recommended. If you want to stay cool in summer – and your doctor approves – fruit and veggie shakes are also a good way to ensure you’re powering your body with liquids. Because electrolytes, which are a crucial part of staying hydrated, are also lost through sweat you’ll want to ensure you’re eating foods like pickles, olives, bananas, spinach, and sweet potatoes to replace any lost nutrients.
Wear Loose, Light, and Breathable Clothing
Feeling bloated, swollen, or just plain uncomfortable? Ditch the spandex, pre-pregnancy jeans, and bodycon anything (unless that’s your style, then by all means, embrace it). Light-colored linen is your friend. It absorbs less heat and benefits from the fabric being extremely breathable. Repeat after us: Anything breathable is your friend this summer. And a nice little bonus? You’ll be on-trend too, with the coastal grandmother look sweeping TikTok and social platforms. Loose layers aren’t going anywhere—it’s your season to shine.
Try Pregnancy Exercises You Can Do in Water
While exercising is an important part of staying healthy during pregnancy, you don’t want to overheat. Head to a local pool (or clean body of water), and get some aqua-aerobics in. We know what you’re thinking, but aquatic exercises are a great way to stay active at any age since they help you build strength and endurance without all the stress of bouncing around on firm ground. Not only does swimming keep you cool during pregnancy, it also offers a gentle whole-body workout while increasing circulation, and provides relief from swelling.
Opt for Cool Summer Snacks
When the heat index climbs, the last thing we’re craving is a toasted sandwich or hot bowl of soup. Our summer diet usually involves more fruit, veggies, and plenty of nutrient-dense salads. Mix it up with cool gazpacho (packed with vitamins) or fresh-pressed juice that you can always water down.
Up your summer pregnancy diet with some cool summer snacks that will also satiate your sweet tooth. Have an ice tray, or, better yet: a popsicle mold? Mix together unsweetened yogurt and your favorite fruits, and pop them in the freezer for about five hours. We’re partial to yogurt with blueberries, or strawberries and banana.
Not into dairy? No problem: Try fruit-based smoothies with plenty of good-for-you greens. Blend up an array of fruit (using grapes and apple to naturally sweeten the blend) for a tasty treat. Try a PB & J (peanut butter powder, blueberries, kale, and bananas, all over ice) to get some much-needed protein. If kale’s not for you, try spinach, which is rich in iron – a key nutrient during pregnancy. Some of our favorite fruits to use include: watermelon (always a refreshing choice), citrus fruit with banana (like a healthy, summery dessert), and when in doubt, just add strawberries.
Create a Cooling Sleep Sanctuary
Because sleep is precious, especially when you’re pregnant, it’s important to set up a space that keeps you at an ideal temperature all night love. What you’re sleeping in and on makes a difference, so select loose pajamas in either cotton, silk, or linen, and dress your bed in bamboo or moisture-wicking sheets. From there, be sure you have some sort of moving air from a ceiling or floor fan, and consider blackout curtains so you’re not blasted with the sun’s heat first thing in the morning. If you’re really feeling toasty, wrap a freezer pack in a pillowcase and place it under your feet.
Use Peppermint Essential Oil
We’re serious. In addition to keeping your pregnant self cool in summer, enjoy the invigorating aroma of peppermint oil – and its nausea-relieving effects. Put three to five drops in an essential oil diffuser, or mix one drop in a carrier oil, like coconut or jojoba, then rub it on your chest and shoulders. Loving the scent? Try soaking your feet in a bathtub filled with cool water, two drops of peppermint essential oil, and a ½ cup of Epsom salt. In addition, you can place one or two drops on a washcloth, soak it with cold water, wring it out, and place it across your forehead.
Being pregnant in the summer is no mean feat. Don’t push yourself. Give yourself permission to relax in a cool room with the shades drawn, and if you’re currently kid-free, take a nap. Speaking of snoozing, a nap is another great trick for cooling off as your body temperature lowers during sleep, because you’re using less energy than when you’re up and about.
Draw a cool bath, light a candle, put on your favorite relaxing music or meditation recording and enjoy a sweet reprieve from the summer heat.
Go Open at Night, Closed by Day
If you know, you know. Keep the windows open at night to let cool air breeze through your home, and draw the blinds by day to keep out the intensity of the sun’s rays. If you’ve got AC, great, and if not, fans will help circulate the air.