Being pregnant is a joyous time for most but in the summer months and as your belly gets bigger, the sticky summer heat may leave you wondering how you’ll survive!
But worry not! Along with Michelle from The Daisy Foundation Denmead, Waterlooville, Petersfield we bring you these Top Tips to survive the heat wave! (ok, maybe a bit optimistic for our British weather but we can but hope!)
You’re hot and sweaty, with morning sickness washing over you in waves and the constipation has kicked in – what can you do? One of the most important steps you can take is to make sure that you drink plenty of fluids (approx. 6 to 8 x 200ml glasses a day) here’s a few tips to help you succeed:
– Keep a bottle of water close by and take regular sips.
– If you are suffering from morning sickness, make sure you don’t become dehydrated* by making fruit juice ice lollies or sip on crushed ice as often as possible. Becoming dehydrated, especially during pregnancy, can be dangerous so make sure you can recognise the symptoms and know when to seek medical advice.
#2 Stop the Swelling
Swelling is a common pregnancy symptom and can be exacerbated by the heat and leave you feeling even more uncomfortable. Why not try some of these safe, and easy to do movements taken from a Daisy Birthing class, to help ease the symptoms!
Sitting on your bottom with your legs stretched out in front of you (no more than hip width apart), try doing some simple ankle flexes to help encourage the fluid to drain from your feet and ankles. Simply breathe in and draw your toes towards you, and then breathe out and point your toes away. Repeat this sequence 8 times. Please note – If you feel cramps in your calves, then try gently rotating your ankles in a clockwise direction instead.
To encourage excess fluid to drain from your fingers and hands, raise your hands above your head and wriggle your fingers. Please note – if you have low blood pressure, holding your hands above your head for too long may make you feel dizzy. Try for around 5 seconds (or as long as you feel comfortable) before allowing your hands to rest back down on your lap.
Sitting on your bottom with legs crossed or stretched out in front of you, raise your arms above your head and interlock your fingers (imagine holding a rope above your head). Start to draw an imaginary circle on the ceiling above you, allowing your entire upper body, from your hips to your head, to move in a clockwise circular rotation from the hips. Breathe deeply and slowly as you move, really encouraging stimulation of the colon, a boost of oxygen to your body, and relieve trapped wind and indigestion. Please note – if you have low blood pressure, holding your hands above your head for too long may make you feel dizzy. Try for around 5 seconds (or for as long as you feel comfortable) before allowing your hands to rest back down on your lap.
Due to hormonal changes taking place during pregnancy you may notice some changes to your skin such as moles, freckles and birthmarks getting darker and you may burn more easily if out in the sun. The NHS recommend that you don’t stay in the sun for a long time and you use a high-factor sunscreen. Click here for more NHS information.
Other things that may help are:
– Wearing sunglasses and a hat or scarf to keep you more shaded
– Use a good lipbalm with SPF 15 to protect your lips.
– Stay hydrated to stop your skin from becoming too dry.
Summer Parties, BBQ’s, Fetes, Picnics and Trips to the Beach – As soon as the sun shows it’s face everyone wants to get outdoors and make the most of the glorious sunshine with their friends and family.
However, when pregnant, socialising isn’t quite so carefree – you have a list of foods to avoid, a nice cool beer or refreshing cocktail seems like a distant memory and sitting out in the sun leaves you feeling a hot, sticky mess.
But all is not lost! Check out these ideas:
– Dress for Comfort – cool, loose cotton clothing and footwear that lets your feet breath will help you feel more chilled.
– If you’ve been invited to someone else’s event, let the host know what you like/ can eat so that you know you’re going to be able to enjoy a meal with friends (Or if needs be take your own food along).
– Get people to come to you – invite people over to yours for a gathering and don’t be afraid to ask them to help out with cooking/ hosting/ washing up while you get natter with your friends! This way you can take yourself off for a little lie down if needed.
– It’s all in the timing! – As the evenings are longer and cooler, use this time to get together with friends for a BBQ rather than mid afternoon.
– Non-alcoholic cocktails – If, like me, you love a nice cold beverage in garden try out this great alcohol free hack or explore your local supermarkets range of non-alcoholic drinks
2litres of lemonade (use diet if you prefer)
Fruit – you can add pretty much most fruits but I like to use the following :
Fresh Mint Leaves
And the final surprise ingredient –
2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar (I know, I know, it sounds weird but I promise you, it really tastes like a Pimms!)
Sleeping when pregnant can be enough of a challenge without the sticky evening heat causing more discomfort. There are a few practical things you can do to help you get a good night’s sleep after a hot summers day:
– Try to keep your bedroom cool by keeping your curtains or blinds closed all day, use fans to help circulate the air and have the windows open in the evening.
– If your bedroom is just too hot consider setting up a bed downstairs or in a cooler part of the house if possible (getting help to move you mattress if required)
The Daisy Foundation also offer these two great tips that can help you relax and unwind at the end of the day for a better night’s sleep–
Try going out for a gentle walk with your partner or friend* . Walking can help ease out muscular tensions from sitting at a desk or in a car, it can help to make upper body space to help you breathe more easily, it can get the blood pumping around the body sending all important oxygen to your uterus and baby, and help to ease common pregnancy swelling by moving excess fluid around your body. Gentle exercise also promotes a good night’s sleep!
Put on some relaxing music and have a lay down in a quiet comfortable room (left side is preferable but please choose a position that feels most comfortable to you). Working from your head downwards, feel each area of your body relax and release. Try breathing in through your nose for a gentle steady count of 4, and blow the breath away through a relaxed open mouth for a count of 8. As you breathe in feel your abdomen and bump expand, as you breathe out, feel your body releasing any tensions as your muscles relax. Tune in to your bump and baby, maybe you can feel them moving and kicking, enjoy this time knowing you are reducing stress hormones, and getting to know your unborn baby.
Tuning in to your body and baby in this way also helps bring awareness to your baby and their movements.”
* Just remember though, if going out for a walk on a bright sunny day, stick to shady areas and avoid the midday sun as much as possible to reduce the risk of overheating!
You will hopefully now feel calm, relaxed and ready to sleep!
For more information about The Daisy Foundation and the calming classes that they offer locally please check out The Daisy Foundation, Denmead, Waterlooville and Petersfield and watch this video from their Facebook Page!
Links and information taken from –