Keeping cool during the Indian summer is challenging, but it can be especially difficult for expectant mothers to deal with. This is because the extra blood flow that results from pregnancy adds to the heat and can cause higher-than-normal body temperatures. The effects of dehydration, heat stroke and other heat-related conditions get amplified when it comes to pregnant women and their babies. Thus, it is very important for moms-to-be to take the necessary precautions during the summer.
Here are a few helpful tips for staying cool during pregnancy in the hot weather:
- Avoid direct sunlight: Try to tackle all your outdoor tasks in the early morning or evening to avoid being out under direct sunlight. Make sure you apply sunscreen before you step out because pregnant skin is more prone to burning and blotching owing to the hormonal changes that the body goes through during this process.
- Eat light and healthy: Large meals put your digestive system in high gear, thus generating more heat. Eat light and fresh meals that are easier to digest. Also, reduce salt intake because excess salt results in water retention and this contributes to more body heat.
- Pace yourself: Do not take up more tasks than you can easily handle. Try to minimize or delegate your chores and make it a point not to push yourself when you feel exhausted.
- Water is your friend: Carry a spray can of water at all times and use it on your face or body when you feel overheated. Wrap a cool, wet napkin or towel around your neck and relax whenever you can. You can also cool off in a pool or bathtub whenever possible.
- Increase fluid intake: Drink at least 8 – 10 glasses of water a day and also include fresh juices and milk in your fluid intake as they help in replacing the electrolytes that your body loses during intense heat. Avoid fizzy and high sugar drinks as they tend to take away more water from your body than they add to it.
- Dress light: Stick to breathable fabrics and light colours as these will keep your skin properly ventilated and prevent you from overheating.
- Avoid stress: Pregnancy during the summer can be stressful as it is. Try and avoid any other stressful situations that get you worked up. Put your feet up and relax from time to time to alleviate swelling.
To know more about an ideal diet during pregnancy, you can also check out this earlier blog post on our website.