Current indications suggest that Britain may be on the brink of a long lasting summer heat wave (I know, I know lets keep our fingers crossed summer actually gets started). While many may leap for joy and break out the suntan lotion, those with babies due in the next three months may have other reactions. Pregnancy at the best of times can bring with it a myriad of side effects that can be hard to live with, add constant heat to the mix and you may well start questioning whether you will make it out alive (or at least with your sanity intact). Having had a June Baby, I know this all too well.
Keeping your water levels up is always important during pregnancy, and as with everyone it is suggested you drink two litres a day. However, when it’s hot outside you should increase this by eight ounces for every hour you spend in the sun (as this is theoretically the water content you will lose via sweat).
Yes, your bladder may well be your baby’s favourite play toy/pillow, and you could find yourself making even more frequent trips to the bathroom, but it is worth it to avoid the dehydration headaches. Besides, bathrooms tend to be one of the coolest parts of a house, so perhaps it’s not a bad thing after all.
One of the reasons us Brits complain so vehemently when it gets hot is because we are not prepared for it. Unlike our cousins across the pond our houses do not come with air conditioning as standard and in the real heat of summer simply having a window or door open may not cut it.
While investing in a fan can go a long way to keep you cooler, if the air itself is hot you may simply feel you are pushing heat around. One way to create your own instant air con is to fill a plastic bottle with water, freeze it and then place it in front of the fan. Sit back and enjoy the icy cold air and feel better within seconds!
It is also important you avoid wearing tight fitting clothes (I’m sure you’ve abandoned most of those anyway) and don’t spend too much time sitting in direct sun. Putting ice cubs or cold compresses on your wrists can also help to lower your body temperature.
Avoiding the swell
For many the heat brings with it the joy of swollen ankles which can be uncomfortable at best, painful at worse. The easiest way to deal with the onset of cankles is to keep your feet raised. Ask for a foot stool or other support whilst you are at work, and when at home lie on the sofa or bed with a pillow or cushion under your feet. Even the slightest bit of elevation can help to reduce the swelling and get you back to normal quickly.
Do remember though that swelling can be a sign of pre-eclampsia so keep on eye on what your body is doing and look for any other symptoms that may suggest something more serious is going on than just plain heat.
Of course, it’s not just legs and ankles that can swell during the heat and pregnancy; fingers can too. While little can be done to avoid this necessarily (other than soaking them in cold water) it makes sense to remove rings, especially if they are snug. This will remove the possibility of having to have them cut off should they become stuck and start to interfere with your circulation!
Have you got a favourite tip for helping keep cool during the hot weather?