Tips for Surviving a Summer Pregnancy

Author: Matthew Isom, D.O., F.A.C.O.G., OB/GYN, Kelsey-Seybold Clinic – Katy and West Grand Parkway.

Texas, the unending summer heat, and carrying a bun in your oven makes for an uncomfortable season in pregnancy. Texas high heat and humidity are compounded by elevated levels of hormones and a faster metabolism in pregnancy. Every expectant mother should take note of these helpful tips on staying cool to survive the summer months.

Dress for Coolness

Lightweight clothing made from breathable fabrics, such as cotton or other natural fibers, may help keep you cool and could help prevent heat rash that may develop under your breasts and on your abdomen.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Carry a water bottle with you and drink frequently to stay hydrated, especially when spending time outside in the Texas heat. Enjoy fresh, juicy fruits on a hot day – watermelon, cantaloupe, peaches, nectarines – seasonal fruits like these are packed with vitamins and may also help keep you hydrated.

Exercise and the Heat

If you prefer to exercise outdoors, or if you are planning an outdoor activity, try to plan outdoor time in the early in the morning or later in the evening to take advantage of the cooler weather at those times. swimming is a preferred activity for women who are pregnant – helping to alleviate sciatic nerve pain, as well as being an excellent way to cool off.

Pregnancy and Sun Safety

It is recommended that everyone use sunscreen or sunblock with an SPF of 30 or higher to help protect against skin damage. Pregnant women in particular are more prone to sunburn and should be diligent about skin protection during these hot summer months.

How to Keep Cool

For extremely hot days, it’s best to stay indoors, preferably in an air-conditioned space. Pregnancy puts women at higher risk of dehydration and being outside may not be worth the potential risk.

If being outside cannot be avoided and you’re feeling too warm,  place a cool, damp washcloth on the back of your neck, forehead, and the top of your head to help keep your body temperature down.

Watch for signs of lightheadedness, weakness, fatigue, dizziness, or excessive thirst. If you are experiencing these symptoms, lie down in a cool and shady place, and drink some water. If you continue to feel these symptoms after a few minutes, call your doctor right away.

Summer months in Texas are uncomfortable at best for most people, but being pregnant in the middle of this heat shouldn’t mean you have to be miserable. Keep it cool to keep yourself, and your little one, well.