How to Stay Cool During a Summer Pregnancy

The summer can be an uncomfortable time for anyone, but it may be even more so for a pregnant woman. The heat can make prospective moms feel even more fatigued than normal and may get in the way of plans and daily activities. However, there are many things you can do to survive the hot weather, whether you're in your first, second or third trimester.

Crank Up Your Air Conditioning and Stay Inside

If you're one of the lucky moms who has air conditioning, being inside the cool confines of your home can make all the difference. For those who don't, you may want to consider seeking out a cooler refuge, such as a nearby bookstore, cafe or a friend's or family member's house, where you can spend the hottest hours of the day. Buying an A/C unit may be a good idea, since heat illness can be especially dangerous for mothers-to-be.

Also, try to avoid going outside in the middle of the afternoon. If you absolutely have to face the great outdoors, listen to your body, take as many breaks as your body needs and try to find shade whenever possible.

Go for a Dip

Just because you're pregnant doesn't mean that you can't do anything fun. Sure, you need to be cautious about exercise, but moderate physical activity is good for you and the baby. Slow swimming or walking around in a pool are great ways to move around without exerting yourself. The resistance of the water can work your muscles and keep you cool all at the same time. Always check with your healthcare provider first before starting any exercise routine.

If you go to an outdoor pool liberally apply sunscreen. Pregnancy raises hormone levels, which may make your skin more sensitive. Therefore, there's an increased chance that UV rays may burn the skin. In addition, sunbathing can dehydrate the body, which is why moms should always carry around a water bottle or have access to a refreshing beverage. The best times to go swimming are in the morning before 10 a.m. and in the evening after 4 p.m. When you're not in the water, put on a hat and wear sunglasses for additional protection from those nasty ultraviolet rays.

Drink Plenty of Water

As a rule of thumb, anyone exposed to extreme heat should drink lots of water. Hydration can prevent heat stroke, which is caused by prolonged sun exposure or exertion in the hot weather. The most notable symptoms include a fever of 104 degrees F or higher, muscle cramping, lack of sweating, nausea, lightheadedness and feeling faint, according to the Mayo Clinic. Drinking plenty of fluids can help your body sweat and sustain a normal body temperature. If you don't have one already, purchasing a reusable water bottle can make it easy to have water on you at all times. You'll want to double-check your bottle is BPA-free.

Wear Loose Fitting Clothes

This tip might seem overly obvious, but tight clothes can be uncomfortable when sweat is already gushing out of your pores. Here's a fun fact: tight clothing (or too much of it) won't let your body cool properly. Light clothing reflects the sun's rays, whereas dark colors absorb heat. That's why you'll always want to choose the white shirt over the navy blue, even if it's your favorite choice. Sundresses are also always a good choice, as they let air flow around. 

What are some activities that you do in the summer to stay cool? Does swimming help? Leave your answers in the comments section!