As you think about your due date excited to welcome your new baby, you look a little closer at the calendar — and you realize you’re going to be very pregnant right smack dab in the middle of summer. Ugh! I’ve been there. It’s probably too late to invent a time machine and go back to adjust your date of conception (as if you have that much control over things anyway!), so if you find yourself pregnant during the hot, humid summer, the only thing left to do is to keep yourself as comfortable as you can — and vow to have a winter baby next time! You can also use these tips to stay cool and help you make it through the warmest months — even if you’re carrying around 20 extra pounds and a brand new human:
Get Outside — Just Not at Noon
Fresh air and moderate exercise are important for your overall health, and this is still true during your pregnancy. Exercise will help keep your muscles toned to carry the extra weight of the baby and can build your endurance for labor and delivery. Though you may be tempted to stay indoors in the air conditioning all summer long, you’ll feel better in the long run if you at least take a walk each day — just do it in the early morning or after dinner to avoid the worst of the heat.
You’re drinking (water) for two now, so make sure to keep a bottle of cool water by your side all summer long. Ice water will help cool you down, and making sure you get those eight to 10 glasses per day can help keep swelled hands and feet at bay by flushing out sodium and other toxins that cause you to retain excess water during pregnancy.
Embrace the Siesta
If at all possible, stay indoors after lunch to avoid the hottest part of the day — by the way, your skin will thank you for this maneuver as well. Taking a nap at this time will also help you get the additional rest you need to help your baby grow. If you’re at home, this should be easy, but if you can sneak a nap in at the office, give it a try! Even just 15 minutes of eyes-closed dozing can make a difference.
Hit the Water
Swimming is one of the best activities you can do when you’re preggo in the summer. It’s good, low impact exercise that will cool you down better than anything else. Spending time in the water is even linked to reduced swelling later in pregnancy! Floating in the water gives you a chance to take a load off your feet and back for a while – so what’s no to love? Here’s a pro tip for if you head to the beach to enjoy some sand and surf, too: Scoop out a hollow in the sand to fit your belly and enjoy lying on your stomach for a change.
Try a New Style
What’s one of the most underrated things about maternity clothes? Getting to try a totally new style for a few months. If you’re normally preppy and tailored, now’s your chance to try boho peasant skirts instead. Remember, your belly is the star of the show now, so bear it — or dress it up — proudly! You’ll only wear these clothes for a few months, so forget your regular style and stick to things that will keep you cool: loose, thin cotton, sleeveless tops and flats — always flats.
If you find yourself extra sweaty, you may have also developed a new problem: skin chafing. It’s pretty likely that parts of your body are now large enough to rub against other parts in ways that have never happened to you before. To relieve the pain, apply a bit of petroleum jelly to affected areas so they slip past each other instead of rubbing together painfully.
Put Your Feet Up
When it’s too hot to even think clearly, don’t be shy about playing the pregnancy card! Lie down in the cool breeze of a fan, put your (hopefully not too swollen) feet up and ask your partner to take care of dinner or the household chores. You should never feel guilty about this: Even when you’re asleep, you’re the hardest working body in your house for these nine months, and you should be respected accordingly.
Lower the Temperature
Air conditioning will be your best friend this summer, but you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to stay cool. Instead of dialing back your thermostat, try turning on an oscillating fan that’s aimed right at you when you’re watching TV or reading. You can also try putting a bowl of ice in front of it for a low-tech blast of cool air. Being pregnant in the summer can be difficult when it’s hot and humid outside, but you can take matters into your own hands to make your life easier. Follow these tips to beat the summer heat, and you’ll make it through the worst of the dog days!