Pregnancy is a blessing and a journey- but the actual being pregnant part doesn't always feel like either of those things. It feels like your body is being taken over by your summer pregnancy, and you're hot, sweaty, hormonal, and grumpy.
Especially if you're pregnant during the summer, when heat outside just worsens your symptoms. And while it can feel like every day drags on when the heat index is high, there are ways to keep yourself cool in the hot months.
It's going to take some effort, and we know you're tired, but we promise that feeling cool and breezy will be worth it! Here are five tips that will take you from the bad kind of hot and bothered to one happy mother!
1. Nix the Salty Snacks
Pregnancy cravings are real, we're not shaming you for that. And each pregnancy comes with its own specific sets of cravings. If you're craving salty over sweet – we have bad news. Salt causes swelling and inflammation within the body.
And if you'll think back to fourth grade science class, when your body is working hard to reduce swelling or calm inflammation it heightens your body temperature. That's part of the reason you get a fever when you're sick, your body is working hard to fight the virus.
Don't avoid salt altogether, though, even though that's nearly impossible if you eat any kind of packaged food. Salt is a carrier for iodine (make sure you get some iodized salt, not just sea salt) and iodine is essential for healthy fetal development.
This means you may have to find different snacks than the salty ones you've gotten used to. It's a necessary thing in the summer, and it's not as hard as it sounds.
For example – you can find no salt added tortilla chips, if you're keen on chips and salsa. Just make sure the salsa isn't carrying the salt you're getting rid of. It's easy to make your own, if you have a food processor or blender – just half or third the salt amount in the recipe.
2. Drink More Water
Almost every health article out there is going to tell you to drink more water. And for good reason! Everything in our body works better when we're hydrated, from our joints, to our immune systems, and even our brains!
If you've ever gotten more tired after drinking a (small!) cup of coffee, there's a good chance it's because you're dehydrated. Coffee is dehydrating in itself, so if you start from an already dehydrated place, it takes your body more resources to process it, which means you get less of a buzz.
Staying hydrated even helps reduce swelling and inflammation, which are two things pregnant women know well.
If you're not a huge fan of water by itself, don't reach for those flavor packets quite yet. They're full of salt (yes!) and sugar that will have a not-so-great effect on your body. Instead, invest in an infuser bottle. You can find them for under$20 on Amazon. Pack some fresh fruit, mint, or citrus in the middle and now you have freshly flavored water!
Look at you, you're fancy now!
And if you don't want to slice up all that fruit, here's a hack for you: frozen fruit. Yes, it's going to discolor the water a little as it melts, but it's pre-cut and it acts as ice cubes in your drink.
Finally – if you really can't give up the salty snacks, drinking more water will at least help dilute the salt and reduce its effects on your body.
3. Befriend Matinees
Now is your time to catch all the adult movies you can. Soon you'll have to pay for babysitters (or pay your babysitter more) and stick to the grating voice of Caillou.
Why is this a summer hack? One word: free air conditioning. You may not even need that sweater you usually bring, as your belly will act like your personal insulation.
Of course you can go in the evenings, but flicks are cheaper in the non-peak hours.
4. Skip the Spandex
We know that stretchy clothes are your go-to right now. Why wouldn't they be?
But those spandex/poly blends don't breathe well in the heat, unless they're specifically made to. You want to stick to cotton whenever you can during your summer pregnancy, and linen if you must.
That especially goes when it comes to underwear. Not only should you only wear cotton for your vaginal health, but we all suffer from summer butt sweat.
It's not glamorous, but it's the truth.
5. Go Swimming
We're not talking about the Michael Phelps kind of swimming, just some time in your backyard or local pool. Not only will it cool you down during and for hours after, but swimming is a great way to reduce the pressure that comes with being pregnant.
It can help with sciatic pain and any aches you have from carrying another human inside you. And if you don't know what to do when you get to the pool: just walk. Find a 4 or 5 foot section and walk back and forth, like you're pacing.
Get some waterproof Bluetooth earphones (or just be careful) and listen to music or a podcast while you walk. You'll get movement in and you'll stay cool. It's much more than that little fan attached to the treadmill can do.
Cooling Down Your Summer Pregnancy
If you're worried about sweat stains on your clothes, then hopefully you can use some of these tips to cool yourself down. At least three of them you can do on a daily basis, which can turn into your summer pregnancy staying sane routine.
And while you're probably pinching pennies getting ready for the baby – let yourself turn the thermostat down just one or two degrees. The comfort vs cost is worth it, we promise.