Summer can be an uncomfortable time, especially for pregnant women. Expecting mothers must take special precautions to combat the summer heat. “The hot weather can make you prone to a plethora of health problems,” warns Dr Pratima Thamke, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist with Motherhood Hospital, Kharghar. “Pregnancy tends to increase the body temperature, and the hot weather intensifies the effect. The red flags of overheating include warm skin, headaches, dizziness, muscle cramps and nausea. Fluid retention, while one is pregnant, leads to swelling in the legs and feet.” She adds that warm weather can aggravate pregnancy-related issues: “Pregnant women might also encounter various skin issues, allergies and infections. Dehydration, vomiting, acidity, constipation, dry mouth, fainting spells and dizziness are common occurrences in pregnant women.”
Dr Thamke lists ways to combat the heat during summer.
Hydration Is Key
To keep the body temperature stable and within the normal range, drink enough water, have juice after consulting your doctor, or opt for foods that are high in water content such as cucumber, watermelon and muskmelon, as well as soups and broths.
Take Showers At Room Temperature
A cold shower will leave you refreshed for several hours. If you’re not used to it, begin gradually by pouring room temperature water on your head, then on your feet, legs, and arms. Avoid taking hot showers.
Avoid working out in intense heat. It is better to exercise early in the morning or in the evening. You can also exercise indoors. Ensure that you don’t exhaust yourself. Avoid rigorous activities; try walking, aerobics, swimming or yoga.
Protect Yourself From The Sun
Sunburn and pigmentation problems are rampant in pregnant women. Avoid venturing out between 12pm and 4pm. You need to follow a good skincare routine as well; use a sunscreen recommended by your doctor with the appropriate SPF.
Get Enough Rest
Being well rested will help you stay active and energised instead of feeling sluggish. Take a nap in the afternoon if you feel like it. Wear loose, comfortable clothing in breathable cotton to help you rest better.
Eat A Well-Balanced Diet
Try to incorporate fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, pulses and lentils into your diet. Avoid junk foods and spicy, oily and canned foods. Keep an eye on your salt intake, as salt can worsen water retention. To tackle leg swelling, lie down with your feet up. Prop your feet up with the help of a pillow or towel while sleeping.
Also Read: Prenatal Testing: The Mandatory Tests For Your Baby During Pregnancy