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Beat the Heat: Coping with a Summer Pregnancy

If you feel like your own personal heating system is suddenly in overdrive, you're not far wrong! During pregnancy your body temperature increases and, with more blood pumping around your body to cope with the needs of your unborn baby, your body has to work that much harder to stay cool. Add to that the summer heat, and you have a recipe for absolute discomfort. But keeping cool and staying fresh during a summer pregnancy needn't be hard work. Beat the heat with these cool tips.

Bump up those fluids

It's particularly important during pregnancy to stay hydrated. Ideally, you should already be drinking at least 6 to 8 glasses of water a day, but you'll need to increase that to 10 glasses a day during summer. Keep a bottle of water with you at all times to sip from and eat plenty of fruit, a delicious way to maximise your fluid intake. Add a little fun and zest to your chilled icy drink with a splash of mango and lime juice, high in vitamin C and iron.

Take a load off

Oedema, or swelling on the calves, ankles, and feet during pregnancy is prevalent and can be aggravated by the heat. Try munching on watercress, celery, or citrus fruits as a natural diuretic, and keep your feet elevated, resting as much as you can. Pop your feet into a tub of cool water and wear comfortable flat shoes rather than heels.

Get wet

Take several cool showers or baths each day or try a refreshing dip in the pool to lower your body temperature; not only does it cool you off, it also takes some of the weight off your sciatic nerve. Carry a water-filled spray bottle for a cooling mist spray when you start to overheat. You could sit in a paddling pool in the shade, or soak your feet in a bucket of cool waterRunning cool water over your wrists or using a cool wet flannel on your forehead will help lower your temperature and leave you feeling fresh.

Dress for summer

Lightweight, comfy maternity clothes are a must! Avoid feeling sticky and sweaty by choosing loose-fitting, light-coloured maternity clothing. Darker colours absorb sunlight, so avoid black and dark blue during the summer heat. Silk, cotton, and other natural materials allow for air flow over your body, cooling you as sweat evaporates, and helping to prevent chafing and heat rashes.

Keep cool

Light exercise is essential, but avoid the hottest time of the day. Exercise during the cooler morning or late afternoon and evening, and avoid exercising until you overheat. Plan any outdoor tasks for the cooler times of the day, staying indoors with the air-conditioner or fan turned on at hotter times.

And finally… Breathe!

Believe it or not, breathing is an important means of keeping cool and letting off heat. So ensure you have a good breathing pattern, consider yoga, or just take a few calming, deep breaths.

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