Pregnancy: How to Stay Cool in Hot Weather | Modern Mummy

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Pregnancy: How to Stay Cool in Hot Weather

HURRAY for the Summer! It only took 91 days longer than it should have to arrive (I am reliably informed) but at long last it is here, and we must enjoy it before it is snatched away from us and winter descends on us yet again....

30degree heat is great when you've got nothing to do and are lounging around on holiday, drinking cocktails and working on your tan, but it's a different thing altogether when you're knocked up and you feel like a great big sweaty beached whale. Without coming over all boring and responsible and naggy on you, it really is vitally important for both your health and your unborn baby's that you take extra special care when the sun is out.

First of all a couple of relevant facts:

-  When you're pregnant your blood supply increases as your bump grows and extra pressure is put on your heart as it pumps the extra blood to your baby, as well as all your vital organs. All the extra blood can result in you feeling hotter in the summer months - and as your body heat goes up and your body sweats to cool itself down, your veins dilate, lowering your blood pressure. This means that you are more likely to feel faint and dizzy in the hot weather - plus the sweating can also lead to dehydration which will make you feel extra woozy and wobbly.  

- There is evidence that a rise in your body temperature can be detrimental to your developing baby, particularly in the first trimester, which is why you are advised to avoid hot baths and to keep out of the sun for prolonged periods.

- When you are pregnant, your hormones cause your skin to be more sensitive and you are more likely to burn and suffer from heat rashes when in the sun. Pregnancy related pigmentation changes in your skin are also more likely to develop.

With all that in mind..... here are some Tips on How to Stay Cool

Keep out of the midday sun.
This might sound really obvious but it really is super important. Avoiding being outside during the hottest part of the day is sensible if you don't want to overheat, so save venturing out to do outdoor chores and exercise (ahem! If you are that way inclined!) for cooler times of the day.

While you are on maternity leave, you might think it would be nice to improve your tan, but sunbathing really isn't a good idea when you're pregnant for reasons I've already listed - you are more likely to overheat, burn, develop heat rash and dehydrate. 

Why not spend a few hours in a lovely air conditioned spot, like a shopping centre! It's a great excuse to spend some money on yourself and your bump!

Whether you choose to adhere to advice or not, whenever you're outside during the Summer, make sure you wear sunscreen.
Stay hydrated.
It is SO EASY to become dehydrated in the Summer, preggers or not, but as a woman 'In The Club' you are even more in need of plenty of fluids. You should be drinking 8 to 10 glasses a day anyway but top this up when it's hot. Water, squash, iced herbal tea and ice lollies are perfect. Avoid caffeine and salty foods as they will dehydrate you even more. 

Something I have found a god-send in this heat is a water spray. You can buy special cans in Boots, or just fill up an empty misting bottle (available from all good garden centres!!) with water and keep it in the fridge. Spritzing your face, neck and limbs has an instant cooling effect and if you keep a can/bottle in your handbag while you're out and about you can do it as often as you like. Running your wrists under cold water also has a similar effect.

I know this is easier said than done, especially when you are at work, or at running around after your family at home, but you will feel so much more physically exhausted in the heat so stopping for a break and putting your feet up is really, really important. Did you hear that, bosses and other halves all over the world? Its REALLY, REALLY IMPORTANT. Grab a nap if you can, and actually *do* put your feet up as this will help control the lovely pregnancy swellings we are all prone to. Don't be afraid to ask for help.

Wear natural materials.
What you wear can make a GINORMOUS difference to how you feel in hot weather. Natural or 'breathable' fibres, such as cotton and linen, help sweat evaporate from your skin and in the process helps prevent heat rash so invest in some clothes (and undercrackers) made of natural materials if you can. 

Lighter colours reflect the heat away which also helps keep you cool and a loose fit enables air to circulate around your skin, making you feel less hot and claustrophobic.

At home.
Buy a fan or two. You can get them so cheaply these days and I promise it will be money well spent. Have a portable one to hand wherever you are, and/or a larger one pointed at you whenever you stop! Open ALL THE WINDOWS at the front and back of your house (to get a draught blowing through) and keep curtains closed during the day (not the loveliest, I know, but it really does help keep the temperature down). A friend also recommends putting your pillow cases in the freezer before bed to help you drift off into a blissfully chilly sleep.

Thats it for now - please feel free to comment with any other tips you might have! Keep cool, hot mamas xoxox


  1. Love the idea of the pillowcase in the freezer, I've not been pregnant for 8 years but that sounds very tempting!

    When I was pregnant (and 2 weeks overdue in the middle of June) I swore by Magicool, that stuff is amazing at cooling you down without getting you wet. I still keep a can handy in the car nowadays as it cools the air in the car down so it's nicer to get into after you left it parked in the sun!

  2. This is a great post. I've retweeted it too )

  3. Great tips! I will certainly give some of these tips a try! I discovered I was pregnant when my skin came out in an allergic reaction to my favourite necklace - so I know what you mean about skin sensitivity! Never thought about the effect of the sun though!

    Luckily I'm not feeling super hot at the moment. But will certainly keep out of the sun!


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