Anyone who has endured the late stages of pregnancy during the summer months can testify to its misery. Mothers who have gone before you will shake their heads in sympathy and tell you exactly how miserable you are going to be before D-Day gets here. (As if you didn’t already know that.) Yes, late term summer pregnancies tend to bring out the grouch in even the most docile of women, but there are ways to beat the heat and enjoy what should be the most exciting time in your life.
The rule of hydration applies to everyone and at all times, but it is particularly important for pregnant women battling oppressive heat waves. A regular old 20-ounce water bottle won’t cut it. You need one of those jumbo, half gallon sized mugs and you should refill it with nice, clean, cool water 2 to 3 times every day. Sure, you’ll find yourself making multiple trips to the bathroom every hour, but it’s good for you and baby too. Keeping yourself hydrated not only helps with the heat, but it also reduces the chances of uncomfortable swelling in your legs and feet, a common third trimester complaint.
It may sound like common sense advice, but the best way to stay cool is to avoid the heat altogether. If you are a very active or outdoorsy type person, try to keep your outings limited to very early morning or late evening when the temperatures are not quite so extreme. If you must venture outside during the heat of the day, have your water bottle attached to you, dress in loose, breathable clothing, and avoid doing anything much more strenuous than walking.
It may also be helpful to keep a cool, damp washcloth or towel handy to apply to your face and neck. Don’t forget, too, that swimming is a wonderful pregnancy exercise, so if you feel you simply must get out and do something, jump in the pool. Just be diligent with your sunscreen and don’t overdo your sun exposure.
Despite all of the uncomfortable physical consequences that are a rite of passage into motherhood, remembering that this will not last forever can do wonders to help you cope. Remember also that the end result is a precious, tiny new life that depended on you all this time for survival. Take it easy as much as you can and avoid the heat of summer whenever possible.
There are plenty of non-strenuous things that you can do indoors to get ready for your imminent arrival. You will still feel accomplished but you’ll stay cool and comfortable. Arrange the nursery, wash and fold all of those tiny clothes, and stock up your freezer with meals to prepare for the first few hectic weeks with your newborn. It may seem like eternity now, but it will be over before you know it. Cherish every little kick now; you will miss them soon enough.