Pregnancy Tips for the Summer
Tips for Preventing Summer Health Issues
- Summer Health Hazards and Infections
This Hub aims to give some examples of infections or conditions that are more frequent during the summer months, explaining what can be done to prevent them and enjoy the summer!
Swimming during Pregnancy
Some tips on swimming during pregnancy include:
- Prefer the sea rather than the swimming pool since higher concentration of bacteria and yeast infestations may be found in some pools or a high percentages of disinfectant (prefer chemical-free pools)
- Shower right after you come out of the water and dry yourself thoroughly, changing into cotton, clean clothes
- Avoid the sun and swim during the coolest part of the day – go swimming late in the afternoon for example
- Wear sunscreen high in SPF (at least 30), a hat, and sunglasses
- Stay hydrated!
- Do not eat before swimming!! Avoid food at least 3-4 hours before swimming and eat lightly
- Do not push yourself! Be careful of the stroke you chose, swim in safe water preferably with a partner
Being pregnant during the summer especially if you are in your third trimester during the hottest months of the year can be very uncomfortable for the mothers-to be. Like with every situation though there are not only disadvantages to a summer pregnancy but also many advantages (even though the heat may not let you appreciate them!). Try to enjoy your pregnancy this summer and above all stay healthy and have a healthy baby!
Tip 1: Avoid the sun and hottest part of the day
Although walking can be very beneficial during pregnancy avoid going out during the hottest part of the day (between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.), stay in a cool, air-conditioned environment. Find other things to do during that part of the day like for example getting ready for the baby, cooking, doing work on the computer, etc.
Tip 2: Wear loose fitting, light colored, cotton clothes and underwear
Infections are common during the summer months, and one way to avoid them is by wearing appropriate clothing that will not hold moisture and heat that is perfect for yeast and bacterial infections that flourish during the summer!
Tip 3: Drink plenty of water! Each fresh fruit and vegetables high in water and fiber content!
Summer is the perfect time of the year for eating fresh fruit and vegetables since they can be found in abundance. They are also ideal for your baby since they are packed with vitamins and nutrients necessary for the baby’s growth and development. Try to drink at least 2-3 liters of water a day (depending on your activity and losses) and eat 2-3 servings of fresh fruit and vegetables especially those that are high in water content such as water melon, melon and cucumbers (and also low in calories!). Remember to wash fresh fruit and vegetables thoroughly before consuming them.
Tip 4: Swim and walk!
Walking after the sun has come down or very early in the morning is the perfect exercise during your pregnancy in the summer months. Swimming also offers a perfect alternative to walking since it supports your back and belly. Remember to start slowly and not over exert yourself. Always consult with your healthcare provider before exercising and use your common sense.
Tip 5: Prevent swelling!
Swelling is common during pregnancy and can get worse during the summer months. The main reasons for swelling are the hormonal changes, the increase in blood volume but also swelling in the feet is due to the growing uterus that prevents the return of blood to the heart because it compresses veins. Sudden swelling nevertheless (especially in the hands or face) may be signs of a dangerous condition called preeclampsia and you should contact your health care provider immediately.
Reduce swelling by:
- Hydrating! As strange as it may seem drinking water helps reduce the swelling so don’t keep back on your water intake if you notice swelling because swelling may also be a sign of dehydration.
- Exercise! The muscles of the legs act as pumps for the veins and help return blood to the heart so despite misperceptions that exercising makes swelling worse in reality it makes it better. So walk or swim always remembering never to push yourself and use common sense.
- Stay off your feet! Avoid standing for too long and take walks after standing or sitting still for long periods of time.
- Posture! Lay down on your left side. Lying on your left side ‘frees’ the veins from under your uterus allowing blood to return to your heart. Elevate your feet slightly by putting cushions under them.
- Jewelry off! Remove any rings from fingers or toes since swelling might get so bad that they might not come off.
- Shoes! Wear comfortable shoes (avoid flip flops since they do not give you enough support for your feet)
- Stockings? Ask your health care provider if you can wear compression stockings.
- Stay cold! Apply cold compresses to affected areas.
- Pool! Standing in a pool seems to help reduce swelling due to the hydrostatic pressures exerted by the water.
Tip 6: Avoid Insect bites!
Insect bites can be dangerous during the summer months so try and avoid them by for example using natural repellants such as citronella, lemongrass and cedar, wearing long sleeved clothing, checking your body for ticks or tick bites, avoiding contact with insects, staying indoors in the air-condition, and using a bed net.
Tip 7: Be careful of infections and food borne illnesses!
The summer months are the perfect time of the year for pathogens to multiply so be careful during these months of infections and food poisoning. Wash your hands frequently! Take a look at my Hub on Summer Health Hazards and Infections and ways to prevent them.
No matter what you do this summer, stay cool, happy, healthy and enjoy your pregnancy!
The information provided in this article is intended for informational purposes only and is not advise also provided without any representations and no warranties whatsoever. The provided information should never substitute the consultation, opinion , diagnosis, and treatment options provided by a professional healthcare provider.