With your belly getting bigger and bigger just as summer hits, you may find yourself wondering if you’ll make it out alive. Don’t sweat it—while it’s true that a summer pregnancy isn’t always easy, we know a few tricks for easing your hot-weather woes.
By: Erin van Vuuren
Summer Bummer #1: Dehydration
Getting enough fluids is especially tough in the hot summer months, but staying hydrated is especially important in pregnancy. Ordinarily, you should try to drink at least 10 cups (2.3 liters) of liquids every day, but in the summer, you need to add 8 ounces for every hour you spend in the heat, since that’s about the amount you’ll be sweating out, according to NYC nutritionist Lara Englebardt Metz, MS, RD, CDN.
Cool fix: Icy concoctions
Since you’ll be constantly downing drinks during your pregnancy, you might as well make it a fun one. There are a bunch of companies out there that sell tasty pre-made mocktails. Curious Elixirs, for example, offers an herbaceous option that’s in line with Old Fashions and Negronis, as well as a spicy, floral one. For an easy booze-free cocktail you can mix up at home, try Metz’s favorite: chilled seltzer with a splash of lime and mango juice, which is loaded with vitamin C and iron. (Or check out these other yummy mocktail recipes.)
If you get sick of sipping, go for a homemade Popsicle. Metz suggests blending nonfat yogurt, walnuts and blueberries and pouring into Popsicle molds for a sweet snack loaded with H2O (not to mention omega 3s, calcium, antioxidants and fiber).
Summer Bummer #2: Swelling
Edema can be worse in summer, causing your calves, ankles and feet to become one wide, bloated mass. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?
Cool fix: Kick up your heels
“To help reduce swelling, make an effort to keep your legs up whenever you can—even in the office,” Metz says. Simple foot and ankle excersises can also help, and try to lay off the salt. (The last thing you want is to retain more fluids.) If your swelling persists, Metz suggests munching on watercress, celery, citrus fruits or small bits of parsley, which may act as natural diuretics.
Summer Bummer #3: Extreme heat
A summer pregnancy has a way of making you feel overheated all the time. Now that it’s steaming hot outside, you’re miserable. We get it.
Cool fix: Get wet
Water is a mama-to-be’s best friend, so don’t shy away from the pool! An afternoon dip will not only lower your body temp, but the buoyancy will also ease the stress on your squished organs. Plus, splashing around provides a great low-impact workout. (Need a bathing suit? We’ve rounded up some of the cutest maternity swimwear for you.)
No access to a pool? Try the plastic kiddy version. Just make sure you’ve got sunscreen on while you’re outside. Not only is it safe during pregnancy, it’s even more important to wear now that you’re expecting: Thanks to your raging hormones, your sensitive skin may develop dark brown splotches (aka the mask of pregnancy) if exposed to too much sun.
Summer Bummer #4: Sticky sweat
Okay, so the summer may have you chafing a bit. But the best thing about a summer pregnancy? Lightweight, comfy maternity clothes!
Cool fix: Breathable maternity wear
For maximum cuteness and comfort during your summer pregnancy, go for loose, light-colored clothes. It’ll help keep you from overheating and allow sweat—especially beneath and between your breasts—to evaporate, preventing nasty rashes.
Summer Bummer #5: Boredom
The simplest way to keep your body temp on track? “Stay indoors in an air-conditioned home,” Metz says. But how’s a girl to keep her sanity when she’s hanging out on the couch all day?
Cool fix: Fun summer flicks
Beat the heat during your summer pregnancy with a few belly laughs courtesy of some baby-themed movies. Your, er, “condition” might have you looking at a couple of ’80s and ’90s classics in a whole new light. Remember Baby Boom? How about Father of the Bride Part II? Streaming from home (rather than hitting the theaters) will give you the freedom to pause the flick and walk around to ease your aches (or pee every 10 minutes).