It is important to learn how to survive a summer pregnancy ahead of time.
If you have been through a pregnancy during the summer you can likely relate, if not, consider these suggestions.
Don’t find yourself looking back and saying “If I only knew this .. I would have done that .. !”
Let’s face it being pregnant is exhausting in itself. Your metabolism is put into overdrive as you are creating another “little human being” while carrying on your everyday tasks.
When you are pregnant (especially during the summer) you are faced with:
- Heat intolerance
- Susceptibility to dehydration
- Increased swelling
- Frequent smaller meals (to avoid blood sugar fluctuations)
Add to these physical demands, a job that is not flexible or (if you have kids) that they are out of school… YIKES .. you can see how a little planning to make your summer pregnancy easier can go a long way!
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9 Tips On How To Survive A Summer Pregnancy:
1. Stay Hydrated
Keeping yourself well-hydrated during pregnancy is essential, especially during the hot summer months. Of all the tips we will share about how to survive a summer pregnancy, hydration is the most important when it comes to your immediate health and well-being.
Dehydration can cause contractions. They may not be labor contractions; however, it is hard to determine this without fetal monitoring and making sure the cervix is not dilating.
Unfortunately, during the warm summer months, many pregnant women will be at their health care provider’s office being evaluated for premature labor due to these contractions.
Hydration is very important when planning how to survive a summer pregnancy.
In addition to plain water, remember to drink fluids with electrolytes (ie. Gatorade). If you don’t care for plain water, another excellent option is water infused with fresh fruit and vegetables.
2. Use Sunblock that is safe during pregnancy:
During pregnancy, it is extremely important to protect yourself from the damage of direct sunlight.
UVB rays not only cause skin cancer but also significant skin damage leading to early aging.
Unfortunately, melanoma is common among women in their twenties. This is, at least in part, due to excessive sun or tanning bed exposure.
Tanning beds should never be used and certainly not during pregnancy. Aside from the risks of skin damage, your core body temperature can rise and this can be another concern during pregnancy.
Avoid excessive sun exposure during pregnancy. Being pregnant during the summer is uncomfortable enough, the last things you want to deal with is a severe sunburn or dehydration.
3. Keep your feet up as much as possible:
Even if you are not experiencing pregnancy complications that cause swelling, swelling can be a problem for anyone during pregnancy, especially during the summer months.
Once you have been evaluated by your prenatal care provider and know your swelling is not due to a pregnancy complication there are measures you can take to decrease swelling during pregnancy.
Below are some simple tips on how to survive a summer pregnancy. For more information, you can check out our article on
- When possible, make sure your legs are elevated. Ideally, try to elevate your legs above the level of your heart. This will allow the fluid in your ankles to go back into your bloodstream and be removed by your kidneys.
- Decrease your salt intake… perhaps everyone knows this but it is worth noting. Salt retains fluid and causes swelling. It also contributes to high blood pressure. The standard for many years has been to keep your salt intake under 2gms/day.
If you have a significant amount of swelling during your pregnancy (whether or not it is related to a pregnancy complication or not), seriously consider removing your rings. Have had two occasions where pregnant women have had to cut off their rings.
4. Avoid Extreme Heat:
During pregnancy, it is important to avoid exposure to the extreme heat that can result in an elevation in maternal core body temperature (hyperthermia).
Animal studies have determined that maternal hyperthermia (during the first trimester of pregnancy) can affect fetal development.
What is important is to recognize the problem and take the necessary steps to cool down:
- Environmental (extreme summer heat, work environment)
- Maternal Fever (viral or bacterial infections)
- Hot Tubs and Saunas ( Must be avoided during pregnancy since they will elevate your core body temperature.)
- Extreme Exercise (Aside from the risk of heat prostration, extreme exercise is to be avoided during all phases of your pregnancy. Not only for fetal development but also to avoid serious maternal health problems.)
Additional tips to help you avoid extreme heat:
- Wear light-colored clothing to reflect heat
- Take quick showers frequently to keep cool
- If the outside temp climbs above 90 degrees, stay indoors with a/c on and if you get a lot of direct sunlight in the house, draw the blinds.
- Go swimming if you are near the beach or a pool (use sunscreen)
- Put a cold washcloth on your forehead. Your head radiates a lot of heat from your body and is one place where you can try to turn the thermostat down.
5. Clean and run errands in the early morning:
During pregnancy getting daily activities completed early in the morning will help you get through the hot summer days.
Doing any cleaning or errands in the early morning will help you avoid the peak sun of the afternoon.
The bonus benefit to early morning errands is you avoid the crowds as well!
If something absolutely doesn’t have to be done, don’t do it. It can wait.
Focusing on how to survive a summer pregnancy means you will have to make some compromises.
6. Schedule an afternoon nap:
Pregnancy is exhausting because it places a tremendous increase in maternal energy required to complete the usual daily activities and supply the nutritional groundwork for maternal changes and fetal growth.
So Don’t feel guilty about wanting to take a nap. Use the time to recharge your batteries.
Be careful not to sleep too long, that could make falling asleep at night more difficult.
Sleeping during pregnancy can be tough enough, so finding the right balance between nap time and awake time will be key.
7. Eat light meals:
During your pregnancy, eating lighter meals more frequently is thought to be the best dietary regimen. Many suggest an interval of 3 to 5 hours between meals. Some potential benefits of lighter more frequent meals are listed below.
Whether these benefits apply to your pregnancy will depend on a number of factors. Some factors include Body Mass Index, your level of physical activity, the presence of gestational diabetes or pregestational diabetes, the composition of your diet (carbohydrates, proteins, fats), etc..
Reasons why frequent meals during the day may be beneficial during pregnancy:
- Helps maintain stable blood sugars.
- Metabolism increases during pregnancy
- Heavier meals, especially near bedtime, can cause heartburn.
- During the warm summer months, heavier meals can leave you feeling bloated.
Planning your dinners ahead of time is another useful tactic if you want to know how to survive a summer pregnancy.
Check out these summer dinner ideas:
- No Bake Dinner Ideas for Summer – Passion for Savings
- Chicken and Avocado Ranch Burritos – Damn delicious
- Avocado Toast 12 Ways – Fannetastic Food
- Tortellini with Pesto and Roasted Veggies – Cooking Class
8. Protect yourself from insect bites:
During the summer, insects are a problem virtually anywhere you go. Especially in areas where the weather is warm. When it comes to learning how to survive a summer pregnancy, it is important to have a good understanding of the insects that pose health concerns in your area.
There are many insect-borne illnesses that many of us are aware of such as Lime’s Disease and the effects of the Zika Virus on fetal development. However, this is information is constantly being updated. If you have questions about insect bites or travel plans during the summer, it is best to visit an authoritative resource with up-to-date information such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
If you want to learn more about the Zika Virus and the best ways to protect yourself during pregnancy visit the CDC website: CDC
Always use pregnancy-safe insect repellent and avoid insect infested areas (mosquitoes, ticks, etc.).
9. Crank down the A/C and Netflix-Binge your summer favorites:
There are two main goals to focus on when it comes to learning how to survive a summer pregnancy:
- Keeping yourself cool and well hydrated
- Get enough rest to restore the energy demands associated with pregnancy.
If you can master these two objectives and maintain the nutritional requirements for your pregnancy, you will be doing a lot to decrease your pregnancy-related stress.
This will improve your overall comfort and make your summer pregnancy more tolerable.
Pregnancy is not the time to deprive yourself of the extras you might otherwise go without. Keeping cool and getting enough rest is essential during pregnancy.
Cool down the house, grab a water bottle and put on your favorite Netflix programs so you can rest and replenish your energy stores. During pregnancy, this is a necessity, not an option. If you work a full day, the evening should be dedicated to rest and relaxation.
Here are a few movies you might like:
- Leap Year
- Finding Dory
- Lady and the Tramp
- 500 Days of Summer
- The Fox and the Hound
- Beauty and the Beast
- The Secret Life of Pets
- Finding Nemo
When you are trying to decide how to survive a summer pregnancy, the single most important piece of advice you should take away from this article is to focus on your health and well-being. Especially in the areas of hydration, rest and nutrition.
The physical demands associated with summer activities combined with the warm weather adds a significant amount of stress to your already stressed system.
To offset this stress you need to schedule downtime for yourself. This can be hard for those who always want to be going full speed so it may be necessary to force yourself to schedule time for yourself.