June 19, 2019
Surviving Your Third Trimester... in the Summer
By: Cara Terreri | 1 Comments
If you live in warmer climates, being pregnant and in your third trimester during the summer months can feel extra challenging . On the one hand, you're at the tail-end of pregnancy, which means you get to meet baby soon (yay!). On the other hand, the extra heat during a time that already feels like it will stretch on forever does not make for a pleasant time, unless your summer job involves floating in water most of your waking hours (in which case, lucky you!).
Thankfully, there are also some perfectly great things about being pregnant in your third trimester during summer. Swimming, tank tops, air conditioning everywhere, watermelon, yummy BBQ food... it's not all gloom and doom. That said, pregnancy raises your internal body temperature and increases your need for water, so it helps to know how to stay safe and more comfortable when it's hot outside. This summer, keep in mind some of the following tips.
This goes without saying, really, but I'm going to say it. Keep. Drinking. Water. Or soda water. Or flavored soda water. Or water flavored with a bit of juice. However you can stand to take it in, do it. Your needs for water in pregnancy are higher, and if you're spending any time outdoors in the heat, you're losing more water through sweat. Some people track water drinking on an app, and if that helps, great. Otherwise, just be the person who's always carrying around a reusable water bottle.
Heat + third trimester = foot and ankle swelling. Some swelling in the third trimester and in the heat of summer is to be expected. You can reduce swelling in the feet and ankles by getting off your feet and elevating them; exercise; drinking water; cooling down; massage; and epsom salt soak baths. If you experience swelling in your hands and face, contact your OB or midwife right away, as it could be a sign of preeclampsia.
If you're spending any time outdoors, even if it's intermittent, it helps to do all that you can to stay cool like, keep clothing light (breathable fabrics like cotton, linen, rayon) and minimal; skip the hat (it's good to keep the sun out of your eyes, but traps heat around your head); use a neck cooling towel; bring a portable fan; eat light meals or graze; or, consider wearing your hair wet.
Navigating Outdoor Functions
Summer is a great time for outdoor parties, which typically are SO fun. But when you're hugely pregnant, they can feel so NOT fun. Consider your choices: you can skip the get-together altogether; you can go, but for a shorter period of time; you can go, but spend most of your time in inside (if possible); or, go and enjoy yourself while you also make sure to keep as cool as possible outside and keep a close eye on hydration.
Pregnancy hormones cause your skin to be extra sensitive, which means it can also be more sensitive to sunburns and UV damage (which raises skin cancer risks). Good skin safety in the sun during pregnancy is the same as it is when you're not pregnt -- wear sun block, minimize time in the sun, wear a wide-brimmed hat, and/or seek shade or partial shade.
As humans, we are creatures who are influenced and affected by weather. Warmer temperatures and sunny skies often improve your mood and emotions, which is a great benefit to pregnancy! Enjoy the sun and the summer -- even if it's stinkin' hot and even in your third trimester -- by following a few simple steps for comfort and safety.
TagsThird Trimester Summer Pregnancy