The summer months can get uncomfortably hot in many areas of the country and world, especially if you are pregnant. Maybe it is just me, but when I was baking our baby boy in the proverbial oven, I felt like I was an actual oven. I got so warm and sweaty at an alarming rate, and usually it led to me acting even more grumpy than I already was. For the first half of my pregnancy with our little boy, I was living in Colorado. Even in late winter and early spring I was getting hot to the point that I would put a box fan in the window at night. It was only 40-degree weather, but it worked. My winter-loving husband was also happy and comfortable.
The second half of my pregnancy, though, I was inland in Southern California. The peak heat for that region happens around August when I was eight months pregnant. The surrounding month’s temperature were not any more welcomed or much cooler. I was at that point where you start to wonder how you could possibly get any bigger or more uncomfortable right as the sun was blazing down in its fullest glory. Needless to say, it was a long, hot summer.
If you are pregnant right now, with the summer solstice only a month away I know what’s going through your mind. I am here to help! I am happy to tell you that you do not have to simply run your air conditioner around the clock and stay indoors. That is effective no doubt, but frankly between the high cost of living in California and the fact that my husband is an environmental scientist, I tried my best to get creative and wouldn’t blame you if you did too!
Here are some things that I found to be useful and inexpensive when it comes to keeping cool while expecting in your summer pregnancy:
Dip into some chilly water.
The tub works great if a pool isn’t available. There were many days in the couple weeks leading up to the big day where I spent an hour or two sitting in a cool bath with a cool cloth on my head. The baby would always become more active (he is a major water baby now) and it was a way for me to relax.
Invest in cooling rags and rotate them out.
The ones that I used can be found here. I found placing them on my belly was a huge comfort—and would always cause my baby kick when counts were low. He gets warm so easily now that he is a toddler, and I am convinced that started in the womb.
Pregnancy means putting your clothes in the freezer before bedtime.
This one may sound odd, but I am telling you it works! Waking up in the middle of the night or early morning feeling too warm can often lead to a general feeling of grogginess and sickness for the rest of the day. This method is a good way to avoid that. You can also freeze your bra briefly for during the day! Again, I know it sounds really weird but it was effective.
Place dampened washcloths on your ankles, wrists, and back of neck.
These areas of your body are more sensitive to temperature since they are pulse points, so this can help tremendously and may even help with feet and hand swelling.
Eat cooler and lighter foods, and drink LOTS of water.
Even if it isn’t summer, and even if you aren’t pregnant, staying completely hydrated is important! When you are pregnant and it is hot out, it is especially critical. Have that frozen sorbet if it sounds good, or maybe some frozen berries with whipped cream. Track your water and make sure you are quenching your thirst whenever you feel like you need to. At times I just sucked on ice cubes, and there were days when I was actively out in the sun that I drank 120 oz or more of water. My body needed it! I would suggest getting an 18-25 oz water bottle such as this one, and refilling/drinking it about 4 times a day to make sure you are getting fluids. I can’t stress enough how much better you will feel, and having a water bottle to help track it is a lifesaver!
Do more of your laborious type work in the mornings or evenings.
Get your harder tasks done before it is scorching hot out, or after the sun has started to go back down or there is a breeze. Some cities offer movies for a couple dollars or less on certain summer mornings into the afternoons—this can be a great place to indulge in cold air conditioning while relaxing! If you have other kids, this is a particularly fun way to beat the heat.
Of course, when all else fails, just be in your undies whenever appropriate. For a pregnant woman in her third trimester, this should be every day, everywhere… Let’s be honest 😉 Look on the bright side, every day you suffer through the heat is one more day your newborn doesn’t have to. Plus, it is one day closer to meeting the love of your life.
If you have other ideas, be sure to share them in the comments so that we can all help each other out!
Much love, Supermoms!