Pregnancy is a wonderful time in a woman's life when she is carrying a child within her and looking forward to a beautiful new future as a mother. Summer pregnancy can be uncomfortable as the temperature rises. As a mother-to-be, you will need to take special care of your health as well as your baby’s. A summer pregnancy can be easier if you stay as cool, calm and collected as possible.
Risk involved in summer pregnancy
You have probably realised that being pregnant in the summer means you will be sweating profusely on many days. You would probably be gazing enviously as other sip mojitos by the poolside, while you drink water in between frequent pee breaks. What you may not realise is that being pregnant when it's hot out also increases your risk of developing gestational diabetes.
Gestational diabetes is a condition that occurs during pregnancy in which your body can’t produce enough insulin to keep the blood sugar at a normal level. Though it typically doesn't show any noticeable symptoms, it can cause women to have bigger babies, leading to interventions like C-sections during delivery. Moreover, it's associated with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Benefits of summer pregnancy
Vitamin D called the "sunshine vitamin," is known to keep symptoms of depression at bay. Making sure you are getting enough of this (200 IUs, or 5 micrograms each day if you are pregnant) is easier in summer.
Why is this vitamin important? If you are pregnant, vitamin D helps to regulate the levels of calcium and phosphate in your body as well as in your baby's body, which helps to build healthy bones and teeth. If you don't get enough vitamin D, you could experience pregnancy problems including achy muscles and weaker bones, which may put you at higher risk of fractures.
Tips to stay healthy during summer pregnancy
Does just thinking about venturing outside in the summer heat make you wilt? Don't let rising temperatures stop you from enjoying yourself. Follow these tips on how to stay cool, fit and healthy.
Do outdoor tasks in the morning or evening when the sun is lower, and the temperature is down.
When the temperature exceeds 32 degrees Celsius, stay indoors in the shade near a fan or an air conditioner.
Wear light-coloured cotton clothes.
Drink plenty of liquids to remain hydrated. Sports drinks with electrolytes can help replace lost salt and retain fluid.
Sip a cold mocktail like Pina Colada Smoothie: Combine 6 ounces of frozen coconut yoghurt, 1/2 a frozen banana, 1/2 of a 20-ounce can of crushed pineapple, and 1 cup milk; blend until smooth.
Carry a spray bottle of water with you to help cool down as needed.
Apply sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher 20 minutes before going into the sun. Reapply throughout the day.
Take quick showers frequently to keep cool.
Take frequent naps.
Put feet up to alleviate the swelling.
Minimise salt intake, which will combat water retention.
FAQs on summer pregnancy
What should be the diet in summer pregnancy?
There is no doubt that diet is the most important aspect of pregnancy. And because we’re talking about summer pregnancy, mommies-to-be would crave to eat something cold. However, it’s advised not to talk anything cold. Fresh fruits, juices, salads and cut vegetables abundant in water is advised.
How to remain cool in summer pregnancy at the night?
Nightwear should be cotton or linen.
Use pillows made of feather.
Always keep a bottle of water beside your bed.
What to wear if pregnant in summer?
Flowing dresses in natural fabrics and neutral colours are preferred.
Cropped maternity pants and tops are easily available. But make sure that they are either cotton or linen.
Summer pregnancy and heat exposure
It’s a common belief that sun gives us Vitamin D which is true but heat exposure leads to dehydration in pregnancy as water loss is prominent. So, it’s advisable not to be out in the sun for too long periods.
A pregnant woman is more prone to heat rashes, and its adverse effects directly affect the baby’s health as more basal temperature leads to complications like heat cramps on part of the baby.
Although the sun and heat can be brutal on some summer days, make sure you stay well-hydrated and cool. And remember if the heat seems to be getting overwhelming, it’s perfectly fine to retreat indoors for the day! Your safety and comfort come first.