Summer is officially less than a month away! While many of us are celebrating the arrival of the long sunny days and end to the seemingly endless rain - those who are pregnant may be longing for cooler temperatures.
So why does pregnancy turn your body into a furnace?
Your body increases its total blood volume by up to 50% during pregnancy, blood vessels dilate and bring blood closer to the surface making you feel flushed. Add this to the extra weight you are carrying around - the sweating that ensues can lead to both uncomfortable and unexpected symptoms of dehydration. Feelings of thirst, weakness, light-headedness, nausea, and muscle cramps, are all signs of overheating and dehydration.
What can you do when you feel like jumping into a pool of ice cubes?
1. Hydrate wisely
Water is a fairly obvious drink of choice to beat the heat- and one that everyone knows. Water is a great and easily accessible option but when you're needing something different there are a couple things to keep in mind. Avoid caffeinated drinks (coffee and sodas too!) that can raise your blood pressure and make your body heat up internally. Sipping on iced herbal teas are a great no-calorie replacement for sweetened juices and pops that also can have therapeutic effects (such as reducing nausea, swelling, etc.).
2. Embrace muumuus and maxis
Sure muumuus don't conjure up the most appealing visions of maternity-wear but their modern counterpart - the maxi dress - is super chic! Avoiding clothes that cling and are made out of fabrics that don't breathe can greatly improve your mental and physical health in the heat. Bonus: many non-maternity maxi dresses are super versatile and flattering during pregnancy and after!
3. Sink or swim
Sinking into a cool bath or swimming can be immensely refreshing during pregnancy. The water helps relieve pressure on your joints while cooling you down. Ensure you have enough hydrating drinks close by (it's easy to forget to drink water while you're in the water!) and enjoy some cool comfort.
4. Lighten your load
If you regularly carry around a big bag consider dumping it for a smaller one with just essentials. You're already carrying around a growing bundle on the inside making you heat up - minimizing the things you can control on the outside can help you keep as cool as possible. If you regularly carry a backpack, consider a lightweight option or transitioning into a shoulder bag that has less contact with your body. Don't forget to include your water bottle and a small fan!
5. Cool Your cave
Find the coolest room in your home (ideally one that faces North/away from the majority of the sun in the day) and set up a comfy cave to take a siesta in when the heat gets overwhelming. Ideally somewhere you can comfortably sleep so you can dream of cooler days with your sweet baby without adding heat discomfort to any pregnancy-induced insomnia. Draw the curtains, plug in a fan, and enjoy the cool!
Hopefully, the sunny days ahead are full of delicious iced tea next to a shady pool. Just think - in a year from now, your little one will be splashing beside you!