Tips for a Safe Summer Pregnancy
Summer in Florida can be hot — especially if you are pregnant. It’s more than just being uncomfortable. Getting too hot (a body temperature over 102 degrees) while pregnant can cause problems, like:
- Braxton-Hicks contractions (false labor)
- Trouble breathing
- Congenital (present at birth) disabilities, like heart defects
Our labor and delivery department often see more moms in labor on really hot days. That’s why we recommend staying cool all summer with these tips.
Get Creative with Water Intake
It’s important to stay hydrated while pregnant, especially because you need so much extra fluid to support the baby.
We recommend drinking more than 64 ounces of water a day. But chugging water all day is not the only way to stay hydrated. You can also:
- Drink a healthy smoothie with your breakfast
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables that contain water, like melons and cucumbers
- Freeze pureed fruit in ice cubes and add it to your water
- Make homemade popsicles from fruit
- Use sugar free drink mixes to add flavor to water
Enjoy AC and Shade
Staying inside in the air conditioning can help keep your body temperature down. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the sunshine, too.
If you tend to exercise outside, try to find ways to bring it indoors when you can. Or, try to avoid the hours where the sun is the highest and brightest — between 10 am and 4 pm. A morning jog is much safer than a lunchtime walk.
When you are out and about, seek out shade whenever you can. Take an umbrella to the beach or set one up in your backyard. Always take water with you and always wear sunscreen.
What you wear can have a big impact on how cool you feel in the summer. Whenever you are picking out an outfit for the day, you should choose:
- Light colors, like white or pastels
- Loose-fitting clothes
- Cool fabrics like linen, cotton or dri-fit type fabrics
- A wide-brim hat to keep the sun off your face and neck
If you have to be out on a hot day, you can also use cooling cloths on your neck to keep your temperature down.
Hit the Water
When you do head out, don’t be afraid to hop in the pool or the ocean. Water can help keep your skin cool. Even if you want to just jump in and get right out, it will help you beat the heat as you dry.
Know the Signs of Dehydration and Overheating
If you feel any signs of overheating, you should go inside immediately, sit down and sip water. Signs of overheating and dehydration include:
- Flushed, red skin that might feel dry
- Rapid heartbeat
Pregnancy is not the time to push it in the heat. Take this opportunity to put your feet up and enjoy a cool drink in the shade before baby arrives.
At Memorial Healthcare System, our expert OB/GYNs offer supportive prenatal care to help you and your baby stay safe throughout pregnancy. We are always available to answer your questions and help you make healthy choices. Learn more about prenatal care and preparing for your baby.