Pregnancy: Stay Cool During Summer
Crazy PA weather
I'm from the suburbs of central Pennsylvania. Growing up in Pennsylvania, I always hated how the weather would change so drastically. In a single day, it would be 85 degrees and nice outside. Then, several hours later, there would be a torrential downpour. The temperature would drop from 85 to 55 in a split second with 30mph winds. Sometimes, we would even get hail. Then, just as quickly as the storm came, it would cease and everything would go back to the way it was. We would have the 85 degree weather, the sunshine would come back out, and the birds would be chirping again. I'm sure there are plenty of other places out there that are just like that, but it's just something about the place I grew up at that I've learned to laugh about.
Hot Oklahoma Weather
I'm sure that one thing many places have in common is the summer heat. Granted, temperatures vary. Weather conditions vary. My boyfriend, Jason, and I recently moved to Oklahoma. I was 21 weeks pregnant when we ventured out here. I am currently 27 weeks pregnant. We have been staying with my boyfriend's brother in the city. Since we got here by train, neither one of us have a car. Most of the time, we have to walk to wherever we go. Sometimes his brother will drive us places, but he actually LIKES walking.
The weather here has been very, very hot. It's been over 100 degrees during the day here. Keep in mind, back in Pennsylvania, it is usually in the 80's. Sometimes, in the lower 90's. Then, during the night, it will fall to around 65 degrees. Here in Oklahoma, it's been over 100 degrees during the day (usually with no rain to cool off), and during the night, it will fall to about 80 degrees.
That is ridiculous! Being this far along in my pregnancy and living in a place where it is 20 degrees higher is hard. Like I said before, since we don't have a car, Jason and I have to walk to most of the places we go. If we walk somewhere during the day, as soon as I step outside, I feel like I just walked into an oven! The heat is so overwhelming. I start sweating right away and immediately wish I was back inside. Not only that, but walking in the city while pregnant is not the most comfortable thing in the world on your feet (which I will get into at a later time).
When we walk somewhere, we try to keep it under 45 minutes (one way). Unfortunately, I've gotten much slower at walking since becoming this far along in my pregnancy. I more or less waddle when I walk. It's quite humorous, really.
Tips to Stay Cool While Pregnant
Now that I am done with my little rant, I just want to say that being pregnant can be difficult; however, being pregnant during the summertime can be absolutely dreadful. Pregnant women already have a disadvantage because their body temperature rises. That is because their basal metabolic rate increases. There are many ways to stay cool during these hot summer months.
1. Drink Lots of Water! That is pretty much common sense. Being out in the sun will dehydrate you; especially walking, jogging, or exercising in the heat. In order to stay hydrated, drink plenty of water. You should drink at least 8-10 glasses each day. I know that being pregnant, women feel the need to use the restroom more often. Many of you are thinking, "I don't want to drink too much water or else I'm going to have to pee even MORE often". Just remember: the more water you drink, the more you will stay hydrated. It can help reduce swelling. It can reduce aches and pains. It can even help with constipation and hemorrhoids. Plus, it's great for your baby. Remember, what's good for you, is good for your baby; so drink up!
2. Keep Your Electrolytes Up. Electrolytes also keep you hydrated. When you sweat, you lose electrolytes. To gain them back, drink fluids such as milk and fruit juices (orange juice, for example).
3. Wear Loose Fitting, Reflective Clothing. Wear clothing that is loose fitting. You will be way more comfortable in the heat. Also make sure to wear something that is not too dark. Dark colors attract sunlight, therefore making you hotter. And remember that fabrics such as cotton are breathable.
4. Wear Sunscreen. It is easier for pregnant women to get sunburned due to the rising amount of hormones. Melanin production is increased during pregnancy, so it is always a good idea to put some sunscreen on before heading outside.
5. Wear Sunglasses and a Hat. Going along with why you should wear sunscreen while pregnant, you should also make sure to wear sunglasses and a hat when going outside. The sunglasses will help against the UV rays which could damage your eyes. And the hat will help protect your head, face, neck, and shoulders from getting burned.
6. Keep Your Belly Covered. I know that many pregnant women out there want to show off their baby bumps in a bathing suit during the summer. Just remember that not only are you more prone to getting sunburned (once again due to those rising hormones), but UV exposure is not good for any stretch marks that you may have or soon receive. The UV rays will make the stretch marks darker. Also, many pregnant women end up getting a Linea Nigra. Linea Nigra is a dark line that pregnant women get which goes from either just below your chest down to your pubic bone, or from just below your belly button to your pubic bone. UV exposure will darken it.
7. Don't Go Outside When the Sun is at it's Highest. Typically, that is between Noon and 2 PM or mid-afternoon. Try to not be outside during an extended period of time during that time.
8. Eat Cold Foods. Trust me, snacking on a lollipop or drinking a cold smoothie while walking home in the heat helps! At least it feels that way.
9. Avoid Heavy Exercising. Obviously, heavy exercising will dehydrate you and really isn't good for a pregnant woman (which, you shouldn't be doing 'heavy' exercise to begin with).
10. Don't Over-do It. Try to stay inside as often as possible; especially if you have air conditioning. If you are ever outside and feel like you are getting too hot, get dizzy, feel faint, or feel dehydrated, get inside where it's cooler, lay down, and drink some water.
I wish all of you pregnant ladies out there the best of luck. Stay cool!
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