When you first find out you’re going to have a summer pregnancy, you imagine yourself looking radiant and glowing, wearing flowing maternity dresses and fashionable summer outfits to show off your growing bump. But what you don’t think about is how ridiculously hot you’re going to get and how on earth you are going to stay cool during those days when your core body temperature flies off the thermometer scales.
Trying to keep cool for a pregnant woman can be tough! Whether you’re in the first trimester or the third, you will find the hotter it gets, the more uncomfortable you become.
Pregnancy is truly amazing but when you add in the summer heat (and the fact that you have all sorts of crazy hormones running through you), it’s hard to moderate your body temperature.
I spent my first pregnancy SUPER pregnant during the hot weather (my sweet September baby), and my second baby is due at the end of the year. So I know what it’s like to waddle around while it’s 95 degrees outside.
The following are some tips to help you when you are trying to survive both the sweltering heat or a lovely hot flush.
Tips on How to Cool Down Body Temperature During a Summer Pregnancy
We all know that getting sleep while pregnant is difficult at the best of times but when it’s hot it can be even harder. We’re talking – up all night, covered in sweat!
My house doesn’t have central air. We do have ceiling fans – but we all know how well they work – so I am well aware of how hard it is to get some sleep in the middle of summer…while pregnant.
You can only strip down so far before you run out of ways to cool off but one of the great purchases I made that helped me survive overheating was with this cooling pillow.
And you know another great tip – double up! I only got one of these pillows but I wish I would have bought two: one for my head and one for in between my knees.
Cooling and comfort – a great combination for expectant moms trying to sleep in hot weather.
Search for the best cooling pillow and try them out; they are even great when you’re not pregnant.
Swelling. When you’re pregnant, everything seems to swell! Talk to any mom and you will no doubt get their own experience of swollen legs…swollen feet…and swollen ankles or cankles! (I didn’t even know this was a word until I watched the episode of Friends where Rachel is complaining of fat ankles – aka cankles!)
So unfortunately, this puffiness is a common ailment of pregnancy and when you add the hot summer heat your feet can look like a hobbit in no time, and you feel like one of those blown up animals from Fat Animation!
And when your feet get so swollen they get HOT! And it is not comfortable! A bucket of ice water becomes extremely tempting (which I have done btw, and it’s not as great as it sounds).
So to keep your feet cool during your pregnancy you’re going to want to invest in some copper fit compression socks.
They’ll keep the blood flowing so your feet don’t get as swollen and hot. Trust me, as counterproductive as adding that extra layer on your feet is, it helps to keep you cool during the summer months.
One of the many problems women have when wearing skirts or dresses is inner thigh chafing and this is 10x worse on a hot day!
But thank goodness for leggings and stockings.
A major part of looking good and feeling good during pregnancy is the way you dress: short tops, tight shirts and skinny jeans just won’t cut it any longer. But as many pregnant women know, finding maternity wear that is both stylish and comfortable can be difficult.
Luckily, leggings are still very much in fashion and they can be worn with a variety of loose fitting clothing like tops, skater dresses and even maxi dresses. And for us pregnant ladies who suffer from swelling, there are pregnancy compression leggings.
According to Healthline compression stockings gently squeeze your feet and legs to help keep blood flow circulating.
Although it seems odd to be covering up your legs during the warm weather, feeling uncomfortable can actually make you hotter so it can be cool to be comfortable – literally!
Pregnancy is a beautiful but challenging time in a woman’s life. It is a season of growth…everywhere…but it doesn’t mean you have to look and feel frumpy and unfashionable. Many women find that wearing leggings during the last trimester of pregnancy is the only thing that makes them feel comfortable while still wearing high street, beautiful tops.
Ah, the pool! It’s a great way to cool off even if you’re not pregnant. But trust me, when you’re on the verge of heat exhaustion, lowering yourself into a refreshing pool of cold water – no matter how big the inflatable is – will be a welcome relief.
NB: A hot tub can work just as well, just adjust the temperature on its heat setting.
And if you have a swimming pool nearby then even better because as well as bringing down that body temperature, you can have a leisurely float, reminding yourself of what it felt like not to be the weight of a baby elephant!
And if you don’t have access to a pool:
- take a cool shower as this can be just as refreshing, or if that’s too daring, maybe a lukewarm shower instead.
- fill up a spray bottle so you can hydrate your skin as well as enjoy the blast of cold mist (see portable misting fan below).
- Or splash some cool water on your face but remember to dry it off as leaving your face too wet can cause your skin to heat up.
Water is definitely your best friend when you’re pregnant – in fact at any time – drinking water is great for cooling yourself down and to help with dehydration, especially in the hot weather (and it can also help with water retention and swelling).
Heat Stroke or any heat related illness is not something you want to suffer, especially when you have so much else to deal with during those last few weeks.
If you take away anything from this please, please get breathable undies! And that means cotton!
As a mom-to-be, one of the best ways to handle your changing body is to wear comfortable clothing and that includes underwear. We can wear loose clothing everywhere else but unfortunately it’s a bit hard to get away with baggy breeches (although not impossible), so it is advisable to invest in some panties that can help you…breathe.
While you can wear a regular pair of underwear, you can also choose maternity breathable fabric that is made especially for pregnant women. And you can have either over or under your bump!
Over the Bump Underwear
This type of underwear works by having a wide waistband that is set higher than your normal underwear, which allows your belly to expand. There are also varying degrees of elasticity in the belly band, as well as the waist and legs, to accommodate for swelling and extra weight.
And for fun, you can even get these cute panties with smiley faces!
Under the Bump Underwear
As we are focusing on trying to stay cool, panties that sit below your bump could be better for you but this may be a little trial and error as they can sometimes ‘roll’ and end up sitting uncomfortably under your tummy.
These have a cross-over so they sit better, reduce rolling and don’t put as much pressure under your bump. They also come in some pretty colours and patterns or plain white.
Going back to your ‘normal’ underwear may take a while so any maternity panties work just as well postpartum as they do to support your growing tum but under the bump ones can be worn at any time so don’t go throwing them away…and they’ll come in handy for your next babs…;-)
But at the end of the day do yourself a favor and get undies that will keep you cool and dry. When you’ve decided on your style, make sure you look for a good percentage of cotton material e.g. 95% cotton and 5% spandex. I found that if the material has a lot of spandex in it, it’s not going to be very breathable and will not help you keep cool.
These fans are great when you are out and about in the heat. From parades to beach days, a portable misting fan is something that you will use at any time but especially when you’re an expectant mom.
I didn’t have a misting fan until after I had my little boy. But it’s been a lifesaver for my pregnant self this time around.
I like to keep one in my car and one in my diaper bag. That way I always have one at hand if I realise too late that I’ve left it at home. And if you attach it to a small carabiner with a cord, you can fix it to your bag/pushchair so you don’t leave it somewhere – like at the park.
And another great tip is to have one (or two) in your hospital maternity bag as they come in very handy when labor finally arrives. Although reviews say to pack plenty of batteries!
These might seem super obvious because summer is all about ice cream and popsicles but those glorious frozen sticks are definitely worth a mention as you can never have too many ice pops in your freezer.
I don’t know how many times I would wake up in the middle of the night hotter than hell and an ‘Otter Pop’ helped cool me down.
And to minimise your sugar intake, you can make your own!
There are some great recipes and tutorials on YouTube like this one below:
The great thing about making your own popsicles is that you know exactly what’s in them – no hidden chemicals. And your very own ice pop creations will come in handy when your little babs is older and they too want cooling down on hot summer days.
Keeping It Shady
And last but not least, try and keep in the shade and out of direct sunlight as much as possible, and invest in a wide brimmed hat. As well as helping to keep your skin protected, keeping to the shade will help prevent heat stress, heat rash and many other problems that high temperatures can cause. And don’t forget the sunscreen – even when you’re sticking to the shade!
When it’s so hot outside that you feel as if you’re going to melt, try out some of these tips above to help you cool off, feel more comfortable and make it through the rest of the summer. These seasonal months when trying to keep your core temperature low, shouldn’t be a time to distract from enjoying this incredibly gifted and special time with your growing babs.
Let me know in the comments what you found out as a must to keep you cool during your summer pregnancy.
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