Summers in Florida can be hot, humid and downright uncomfortable for the average Jane — but what about for those who are pregnant? Combine that with the fact that expectant moms are combating errant limbs in their ribcage, bizarre cravings, brutal cramps and the onslaught of Braxton Hicks contractions, and you’ve got a recipe for one very miserable mama-to-be.
There’s no reason for you or your growing baby bump (or hips or breasts) to be more sweaty and sticky than necessary. Consider this your summer pregnancy survival guide and heed these tips for making your third trimester as pleasant as physically possible.
Drink lots of water
It’s an obvious one, and yes, it will likely increase your number of midnight bathroom runs, but proper hydration (8-10 glasses a day) is crucial — and even more so during the summer months. Not only will it help stave off fatigue, headaches, swelling and overeating, but it cools you down and can help keep the pesky pregnancy UTIs, constipation and hemorrhoids at bay. Bonus: An appropriate amount of water can boost your chance of having a healthy, full-term baby, as dehydration during the third trimester can be known to cause contractions, potentially sending you into preterm labor.
Tip: Dress up your liquid refreshment with sliced fruit or up your water intake by munching on water-dense foods like watermelon, cucumbers, oranges, celery or homemade Popsicles.
Dress the part
Keep cool with loose-fitting cotton or linen maternity clothing in light colors. Synthetic fabrics and dark hues tend to trap heat and absorb the sun’s rays.
Tip: A wide-brim hat can not only protect your skin and ward off any excess hyperpigmentation, it helps you feel cooler when it’s sweltering outside.
Minimize salt intake
Added salt from seasonings and processed foods retains water, which does nothing to help bloating, discomfort and swollen ankles.
Tip: Still craving salty? Try one of the pregnancy-safe salt substitutes on the market, or opt for a little garlic, pepper or another sodium-free seasoning.
Go for a swim
This popular summer activity serves double duty — not only will it lower your body temperature, it also offers a gentle, low-impact workout. In addition, the water’s buoyancy can offer a feeling of lightness, easing the stress on your internal organs. (Just don’t forget the sunscreen!)
Tip: No pool nearby? Take a cool shower, buy your babe an early gift of a kiddie pool (and put it to use!) or tuck a spray bottle of water in your purse for instant, on-the-go relief.
If all else fails, stick to good, old-fashioned air conditioning. The possibilities are endless: Get to that freezer-meal prep and any nesting tasks you’ve put on hold. Pick up a favorite book, binge on some Netflix and sip a little fruit-infused water. Or better yet, there’s always another important order of third-trimester business — napping.
Tip: Run errands in the mornings or evenings when the weather is cooler. And don’t forget to put your feet up when you can to alleviate swelling.
Contact Beaches OBGYN at (904) 241-9775 for more information or to schedule an appointment.