Summer is finally here, and while we are all pleased we can leave our umbrella at home for the first time in months, the sun brings it’s own set of unique problems, especially if you’re pregnant.
When you’re expecting, your body temperature is already higher than the average person and this hot weather can become unbearable, particularly at night.
Dr Helen Webberley, GP for the Oxford Online Pharmacy, told The Huffington Post UK: “If you are pregnant your higher temperature may lead to overheating.”
In order to avoid this, use these tips to get through the hot weather – and remember it will probably be raining again by next week anyway!
1. Don’t over exert yourself.
If you’re guilty of pushing yourself and doing too much, make a conscious effort to take a step back, especially if the mercury is rising.
“Is that task essential?,” asks Dr Webberley. “We all do too much. Ask for help, delegate and leave non-essential tasks until later, when the temperature drops.”
Try not leaving the house around lunchtime, when temperatures are peaking, find somewhere cool and shady to sit at home instead.
2. Drink plenty of fluids.
Being dehydrated will make you feel groggy and under the weather.
Make sure you carry a bottle of water with you when you’re outside, and every time you go to the toilet, make sure you refresh yourself afterwards – it’s a good reminder to do so at set intervals throughout the day.
“Drink plenty of fluids, it doesn’t have to be water, but avoid alcohol or anything too sweet as this will make you more thirsty,” says Dr Webberley.
3. Wear loose clothing.
It is especially important to wear loose clothing during the day if it is hot.
The NCT (National Childbirth Trust) recommends lightweight fabrics, such as cotton and linen, over synthetic materials, because they don’t encourage you to sweat.
4. Avoid air conditioning.
If you are in an office during hot weather, it can be tempting to sit near the air conditioning to keep your temperature down. But don’t be fooled, AC units aren’t as beneficial as sitting by an open window.
Dr Webberley says: “Air conditioning can be very dehydrating, is there a breezy window to sit by instead?”
If you’re at home and you don’t have outside space, then a small desk fan can provide some welcome relief too.
5. Ditch the duvet .
Nighttime is particularly difficult if you are overheating, tossing and turning only exacerbates the problem.
So make sure you don’t have any excessive items on your bed – such as additional sheets, blankets or thick covers – a single sheet normally helps you feel cooler than nothing at all.
If possible, get your partner to sleep elsewhere so that your body temperatures aren’t making things even more uncomfortable for each other.
6. Listen to your body (and your baby).
Don’t kid yourself that the heat should make you feel much worse than normal, it will make you uncomfortable, but should not make you feel sick or particularly unwell.
“Listen to your body, if you don’t feel well, don’t just blame the heat, check with your midwife or GP and have your blood pressure and urine checked,” advises Dr Webberley.
And most importantly, remember what is normal for you and your baby: “Listen to your baby,” adds Dr Webberley.
“Foetal movements are an excellent way of knowing that baby feels happy. If they drop off then ask your midwife for a check.”
7. Change your schedule if needed .
Now this won’t work for everyone, but Rosie Dodds, Senior Policy Adviser at NCT, told HuffPost UK, you should consider working flexible hours.
Dodds says: “Rush hour can be unbearably hot on some commutes so travelling outside this time can be less crowded and cooler – and there’s more chance of getting a seat.”