Hazy, hot, humid… and possibly humungous if you’re pregnant. Ugh! Summer heat waves can be exceptionally tough on pregnant women. When pregnant, you can be extra sensitive to the harsh rays of the sun, to heat, to dehydration. Here are some tips on surviving nature’s torments.
- Stay inside in the air conditioning, but if you feel you must go to the beach, take a big umbrella with you and sit in its shade. Spritzing yourself with water from time to time may feel great and help cool you.
- Exercise in the cool of the day if you are doing something outside. Swimming is excellent, but if the air quality is bad or you have asthma, try to stay indoors.
- Slather on the sun block before going out, using an SPF of 30 or higher. Reapply it regularly – goopify!
- Wear a wide brimmed hat to protect not only your face, but ears and neck. Caps don’t protect as well.
- Wear sunglasses that block UVA and UVB rays, even with a hat.
- Wear light-weight, breathable, loose-fitting clothing.
- If you wear sandals to help keep your feet cool, be sure to keep suntan lotion on your feet. And put those piggies up for a rest whenever you can.
- Walk on the side of the street that has shade. (The sun is hottest between 10 AM and 4 PM so try to avoid going out then.)
- Drink water throughout the day. Carry a refillable water bottle with you and leave one in the car. Drinking slightly warm water is better than drinking no water. Sport drinks and OJ can help replace electrolytes that you may be sweating away. Remember, despite the heat, pregnant women just sweat more to begin with.
- Reduce your level of activity when heat and humidity are high. Now might be a good time to practice being a couch potato!
- If you do overheat, apply a cool damp cloth to your forehead and back of the neck. Ice cream is good for helping to lower your temp, but fruity pops are better.
- If you feel weak, dizzy, or lightheaded, or you’re overly thirsty, go indoors immediately. Drink some cool water or a sport drink and lie down. If you don’t feel better soon, call your health care provider.
And if you have children, make sure you read our article about protecting them from heatstroke.