Pregnancy is an exciting and transformative journey, but when it coincides with the scorching summer months, it can pose some unique challenges. The heat and humidity can make this time even more challenging for expectant mothers. In addition to our pregnancy guide, to help you navigate your way through a summer pregnancy with ease, we’ve compiled a list of top tips to beat the heat, prepare for giving birth, and care for your newborn during the hottest time of the year.
During pregnancy, staying hydrated is essential, and this is especially true in the summer heat. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to prevent dehydration and ensure optimal functioning of your body. Carry a water bottle with you wherever you go and consider adding slices of lemon, cucumber, or mint for a refreshing twist and to encourage you to take sips more frequently.
Dress for comfort
Unlike a pregnancy with a spring baby where the weather may be changeable, summer pregnancies, especially those in the later weeks and months, may find that they feel warm or even overheated at times. To combat this, choose lightweight, breathable fabrics like cotton and linen to keep cool and comfortable. Loose-fitting, flowy clothes can help you stay airy and prevent excessive sweating, and if worn in layers, should see you throughout the day as you remove parts of your outfit when necessary. Opt for light colours, as they reflect heat, instead of darker shades that tend to absorb it. And you can embrace the summer sunshine with easy-to-slip-on sandals and floaty dresses!
Seek shade and cool environments
When outdoors, pregnant women should seek shade as much as possible to avoid direct sun exposure. Overheating is a common problem in pregnancy, and while most people think this is only in the later stages, the first trimester is when you’re in fact most at risk. During this time, your skin is also generally more sensitive to things like sunburn and heat rash. Plan your activities during cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or evening. If you do venture outside, wear a wide-brimmed hat and apply sunscreen with a high SPF to protect your skin.
Embrace water therapy
Take advantage of water to beat the heat and relieve pregnancy discomfort. Swimming, taking cool showers, or even soaking your feet in a tub of cool water can provide much-needed relief from swelling and heat-related discomfort. Just bear in mind that jacuzzis and hot tubs are not recommended for pregnant women due to the risks of overheating and feeling faint.
Create a cool sanctuary at home
Set up a cool environment in your home to escape the heat. Use fans or air conditioning to maintain a comfortable temperature. Create a cosy nook with a comfortable chair, some books, and a fan to relax and unwind. This space can serve as a retreat during the hottest parts of the day.
Prioritise self-care and rest
Pregnancy in the summer can be exhausting due to the heat. Ensure you get enough rest by taking regular breaks and napping when needed. Don’t hesitate to ask for help with household chores or delegate tasks to friends and family. Taking care of yourself is crucial for both you and your baby’s well-being.
Plan for giving birth in the summer
If your due date falls during the summer months, it’s essential to plan for the birth accordingly. You may want to visit your planned birth location to find out more about the ventilation and what is available in terms of fans and air conditioning. Pack comfortable, breathable clothing for yourself and your newborn in your hospital bag. Discuss pain relief options with your healthcare provider, as certain pain management techniques might be affected by the heat.
You can read more about how to prepare for your baby’s arrival here.
Protect your newborn from the sun
Once your little one arrives, it’s crucial to protect their delicate skin from the sun – babies 6 months and younger should be kept out of direct sunlight. Keep your baby in the shade as much as possible and dress them in lightweight, loose-fitting clothing made from breathable fabrics. Use a stroller with a sunshade or a parasol to shield them from direct sunlight. If you keep your baby out of direct sun, there should be no need to use sunscreen, but if it is necessary, make sure to use one with an SPF of at least 30.
Maintain proper hydration for you and your baby
Not only should breastfeeding mothers continue to prioritise hydration to ensure an adequate milk supply to keep themselves and their babies hydrated, but all parents should do – it’s easy to forget to grab a drink until you’re nap-trapped under a peacefully sleeping baby! Keep a large bottle of water on hand at all times, especially during nursing sessions If needed, it may be helpful to consult with a lactation specialist to address any concerns related to hydration and breastfeeding in the summer.
Babies younger than 6 months do not need additional water until they begin eating solid foods, although bottle-fed babies may have a small amount of cooled boiled water if required in between feeds.
Keep your baby cool and comfortable
To keep your newborn comfortable during the summer, avoid overdressing them. Dress them in light layers and use breathable blankets or sleeping bags at night time. Keep the room they’re sleeping in well-ventilated, if possible maintaining a temperature between 16C and 20C for the most comfortable sleep for your little one.
Plan for the future
Just like the warm sun brings new life and growth, stem cells offer incredible potential for the future. These amazing cells, which serve as the body’s building blocks, have the remarkable ability to repair, replace, or regenerate various types of cells.
Imagine the peace of mind of knowing that you have safeguarded your child’s health and well-being for the future. Stem cells collected at birth may not only benefit your child, but they could also be a potential match for siblings, offering a lifeline of hope and healing if needed.
The summer season is a time of growth, exploration, and making cherished memories. By considering stem cell collection and storage for your baby now, you are embracing the potential of these incredible cells and ensuring that your family is equipped to face any future health challenges that may arise. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to secure your child’s health and give them the best chance for a bright and promising future.
To learn more about the benefits of storing your baby’s stem cells and how it can positively impact their life, we invite you to read further about stem cell storage here.
Surviving a summer pregnancy can be challenging, but with these top tips, you can navigate the heat, prepare for giving birth, and care for your newborn with confidence. Remember to prioritise your well-being, stay hydrated, seek shade, and create a cool sanctuary wherever you go. By taking care of yourself, you’re ensuring a happy and healthy journey for both you and your little one during this beautiful season of your life.