Is it hot in here, or is it just me? Heat and humidity can be tough, but it’s even tougher when you’re pregnant. You’re not imagining it. Your body temperature naturally runs a bit higher when you’re pregnant. So the added heat of a warm summer day is bound to make you more uncomfortable.

Looking for ways to beat the heat this summer? We’ve got some practical tips from other moms who’ve been in your sweaty shoes. Grab a fan and get ready…your summer pregnancy survival guide is here.

Beenke’s Summer Pregnancy Survival Guide

Clothing

Wear loose comfortable clothes that aren’t constrictive, particularly around your waist. Dark colored clothing holds heat, so stick to lighter shades. Also, be sure to choose breathable fabrics (like cotton) so you don’t sweat as much. This helps prevent heat rash, a common problem for pregnant women in warmer weather.

Exercise

Workout at the cooler times of the day to avoid overheating. Your best bet during the summer months? Get in the pool! Swimming is a great way to cool off, and it helps take the weight off your sciatic nerve, so it’s a win-win for expectant moms!

Sun

Did you know pregnant women are more prone to sunburn? It’s true. You need to be even more careful to avoid the mid-day sun as a result. Do any outdoor activities in the morning or evening. If you do step outside, be sure to use a high SPF sunscreen to protect your more sensitive skin. A natural (non-chemical) sunscreen formula is also recommended.

Hydration

Getting enough fluids is especially tough in the hot summer months. Dehydration can be a major problem for pregnant women. Ordinarily, you should drink two liters of clear liquids every day. But in the summer, you need to add eight ounces for every hour you spend in the heat. Get in the habit of carrying a BPA-free water bottle with you everywhere you go to make sure you’re drinking enough. If plain water isn’t your jam, try a fruit-infused water bottle to add a little flavor.

If you feel dizzy, lightheaded, or weak at any point during a hot day, get indoors as soon as you can! Drink water or electrolyte replacement liquid until you feel better. Some moms also suggest carrying a water-filled squirt bottle with you so you can mist yourself when you start to feel warm. This can be a lifesaver in really hot weather.

Summer Hats

In the hot summer months, sunglasses may not be enough to protect your face from the glare. A cute straw hat offers more protection from the beating sun and can help you keep cool.

Naps

Your body is working hard to grow a healthy and beautiful baby. You’re tired, hot, and cranky. We get it! That’s why we want to encourage you to take as many naps as you can close to a fan or in an air conditioned room. Cool air and a little bit of sleep can do wonders for your well-being. If you have small children, take your nap when they take theirs. Everyone wins!

Cool Compresses

If you feel like you’re starting to overheat, place a cool gel compress on your forehead or the back of your neck to help bring your body temperature back down. Leave the compress in place until it warms up, and repeat as often as you like until you feel cool again.

Swelling

A common problem in summer pregnancies is the dreaded leg swelling, or edema. In the hot summer months your ankles, calves, and feet can become one bloated uncomfortable mess. Not fun! But there are steps you can take to reduce swelling and feel better. Here is a quick list of Do’s and Don’ts for women experiencing swelling while pregnant:

Do:

  • Keep your legs elevated when sleeping by placing a pillow or rolled up towel under your mattress.
  • Wear comfortable shoes (you may need to go up half a size due to swelling) and lie down at the end of your work day with your feet up for 30-60 minutes.
  • Remove your rings if you start to experience swelling in your hands. If you wait too long, the rings may become so tight you have to cut them off.

Don’t:

  • Don’t stand in one place for too long. Keep moving or sit down to avoid pooling.
  • Don’t eat too much salt. You want to reduce the amount of sodium in your diet to avoid swelling, but you don’t want to eliminate it completely because salt contains iodide which your baby needs.

Being pregnant in the heat of summer isn’t always easy. Follow the mom-tested tips in our summer pregnancy survival guide and you can stay cool and healthy all summer long.