The summer heat can be dangerous, especially when you’re dealing with a pregnancy. Taking heed of these tips can help you protect you and your baby.
Be Aware of the Temperature
If the temperature rises to 90 degrees or higher, it’s important to stay out of direct sunlight. If you must do work outdoors, you should arrange to do it in the early mornings or later in the evenings. During the afternoon, when the sun is at its highest, stay out of direct sunlight by making use of shaded areas and a fan whenever possible.
We all know it’s important to drink plenty of water, but this is especially important for pregnant women in the hot summer months. In addition to drinking water, try mixing it up with sports drinks, which also help replenish electrolytes. For something different, you can even try a healthier “mocktail” made with frozen coconut yogurt (6 oz.), half of a frozen banana, crushed pineapple (10 oz.) and milk (1 cup). Blend the ingredients until you produce a smooth shake.
Use Sunscreen to Protect Your Pregnancy
It’s also important to protect against the damage that the sun’s rays can do. You should apply a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 in the morning. Apply the sunscreen at least 20 minutes before you leave the house and reapply frequently throughout the day, particularly if you’ll be spending significant time outdoors.
Staying Safe at Home
If you have the day off or if you don’t work, try to stay home. This is suggested, because it will enable you to take frequent showers throughout the day, which will help you to stay cool. Additionally, try to take regular naps and, even when not sleeping, keep your feet elevated to minimize swelling of the feet, ankles and calves. If you feel tired, ask others to take care of the chores, such as cooking and cleaning.
Protect Against Insects
Even if the Zika virus doesn’t pose a threat in your area, there’s no telling what viruses or germs an insect bite may pass on to your growing baby. Yet, you mustn’t apply any insect repellent to your skin. Be sure to use a product certified safe by the EPA, which will ensure the chemicals in the product won’t harm you or your baby.
Eating Summer Fare
Summer is the ideal time for having family cookouts, but these events can present some unique hazards for your baby. As far as summer picnic foods, stay away from lunch meats, whether prepackaged or from a deli. When meats and unpasteurized cheeses are sitting out in the warm weather, the danger of contracting listeria is increased. If you have a lunch pack that can be insulated with ice, you can bring along your own food.
Going to the Amusement Park
There are more summer dangers at the amusement park that can affect your pregnancy. In addition to being wary of eating spoiled foods, stay away from roller coasters. The violent or rapid motions of the ride can cause a placental abruption to occur, which is a condition in which the placenta becomes detached from the womb. It might be better to save your trip to the amusement park for another time.
Stay Armed Against the Heat
Another way to beat the summer heat is to keep things with you to help you stay cool. For instance, wetting a washcloth and pressing it against your forehead can help you feel cooler. Similarly, carry a small spray bottle with you, which you can fill with cool water. If you can spray your face, neck or upper chest with water, you’ll feel cooler in the hotter temperatures.
Wear Lighter Clothing
Wearing less restrictive clothing can help you stay cool. Additionally, wear whites and light-colored clothing, especially shirts, to help reflect the sun’s rays. Darker clothing will absorb the sun’s rays, which will cause you to feel hotter and become dehydrated faster.
Following these tips will help you stay healthier in the summer heat and help you to protect your baby. While you don’t have to avoid the sun altogether, taking steps to protect against these dangers is important. Protecting your baby is simply a matter of taking precautions at a time when the sun’s effect is most potent.
Related Content: The Link Between Infant Brain Development and Maternal Iron Intake