It is important to learn how to survive a summer pregnancy ahead of time. If you have been through a pregnancy you can 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 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 can go a long way!
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1. Stay Hydrated
Dehydration can cause contractions and though they may not be labor contractions, it is hard to determine 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.
During the hot summer months, make sure you keep yourself well-hydrated. Have a water bottle with you at all times.*
* 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) .
2. Use Sunblock that is safe during pregnancy:
During pregnancy, you want to protect yourself from damaging sunlight. Use sunblock to block the UV radiation which can cause skin damage, skin cancers (melanoma, basal cell) and wrinkles. This advice is not only about how to survive a summer pregnancy , this is good practice throughout your lifetime.
* Melanoma is common in women in their 20’s. Needles to say, tanning beds should never be used and certainly not during pregnancy as core body heat is yet another concern during pregnancy. (see below)
It is also worth noting that pregnancy can be uncomfortable enough during the hot summer months, dealing with a severe sunburn is something you will definitely want to avoid.
3. Keep your feet up as much as possible:
Even if you are not experiencing pregnancy complications such as toxemia, ankle swelling can be a problem for anyone during pregnancy and especially during the hot summer months.
Once your swelling is evaluated by your provider and not related to any pregnancy problems there are some things you can do to decrease the swelling in your ankles.
4. Avoid Extreme Heat:
Though there is an association between elevated maternal core body temperature (hyperthermia) and fetal developmental abnormalities, this association is too complex to address in this article.
One would have to factor in the intensity and duration of heat exposure and at what time during pregnancy maternal hyperthermia occurred.
- Environmental (extreme summer heat)
- Maternal fever (viral, bacterial)
- Hot tubs
- Extreme exercise
Additional tips to help you avoid extreme heat:
- Wear-light colored clothing
- Take quick showers frequently to keep cool
- If the outside temp climbs above 90 degrees, stay indoors in the a/c.
- Go swimmimg
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, requiring a tremendous amount of energy (noted above). 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:
Eating light meals three times a day with snacks is often tolerated much better during pregnancy. Aside from the fatigue associated with digesting a large meal, eating lighter and more frequently also helps to maintain a stable blood sugar. Large fluctuations in blood sugar can result in low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) many hours after eating. 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:
Protect yourself from insect bites (mosquitoes, etc.). The association of the Zika virus and fetal microcephaly is the most recent example of why this is so important.
Read more about Zika Virus and the best ways to protect yourself during pregnancy from the CDC.
9. Crank down the A/C and Netflix-Binge your summer favorites:
When you are thinking about how to survive a summer pregnancy , is all about comfort. Feeling relaxed can help increase your comfort level. Decreasing your pregnancy related stress can increase your comfort level and help your summer pregnancy to be more tolerable. Cranking down the a/c, pulling the blinds closed the binging on your favorite shows is a great way to relax and cool off!
Here are a few ideas of movies you might :
- 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
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When you are trying to decide how to survive a summer pregnancy, the single most important piece of advice is to prepare as best you can. Anticipate what to expect (children’s activities, weather etc.) so you can plan your days accordingly.