How To Keep Yourself Cool While Pregnant
It doesn’t have to be unusually hot weather, for you to feel roasting while you’re pregnant. Feeling hotter than usual is perfectly normal during pregnancy: The amount of blood in your body can increase by as much as 50 percent; and to handle all the extra blood, your vessels dilate slightly; allowing blood to closer to the surface, which can make you feel hot.
And with the energy you're using as your baby develops, it's like having your own central heating system; meaning that the ‘pregnancy glow’ might feel more like you’re melting.
We’ve whipped up a few quick tips to help you survive the summer; whether you’re in Ireland or the Algarve:
Feel the breeze between your toes
Especially if you have swollen feet and ankles, it can feel great to wear sandals rather than closed shoes; so some of that heat can escape. If possible, make sure you’re wearing sandals with proper foot support rather than cheap flip-flops. They might be more expensive, but they’ll make you a whole lot happier when you’re out and about. And at any opportunity, stick your feet in a bucket of water: Delicious!
Wherever possible, wear natural fabrics like Cotton and Linen. Sticking to loose flowy items rather than tight fitting clothes can help the air circulate, so get out those maxi dresses and flowy shirts. Natural fabrics can also make a big difference at night; so look out for cotton/linen/silk sheets, and feather rather than synthetic duvets and pillows.
Spraying some cool water on your face and the back of your neck can be instantly refreshing. Some brands sell special face spritzes; but you could also buy a cheap travel atomiser bottle and fill it with tap water for a quick pick-me-up on a budget. If you’re feeling fancy, add a drop or two of Mandarin, or Neroli essential oils to the water; which are both known for their cooling properties.
It’s more important than ever to look after your skin in the sun at the moment, as it may be more sensitive. Get a good sunscreen with SPF30+ and at least four UVA stars; and reapply regularly. Invest in a wide-brimmed sun hat, and stalk the shade wherever possible: Not only will it help protect your skin and make you look like a mysterious Hollywood star; it will also help you avoid overheating.
I’m your biggest fan!
Fans are a great invention. Consider getting one for your desk if you work in an office; and carry a portable electric fan (or traditional paper fan) in your handbag. Unless you want to try out this hat of course?
Drink plenty of water, or treat yourself to an ice-pop. You need your fluids, and you need to stay cool … perfect excuse! However tempting it may be to eat ice cubes when you’re at your hottest, it will actually cool you down quicker to drink tepid, rather than ice-cold drinks, as this stops your blood vessels from contracting. It’s also handy to cut down on caffeine if you haven’t already, as this can dehydrate you further.
If you’re trying to stay active, but finding outside activity too sweaty, consider aqua-aerobics or swimming. This can help reduce swelling in your legs and ankles; and is an excellent form of exercise.
Need a quick fix?
If you want something super-fast to cool you down, run cool water onto your wrists; or sit with your feet up and a cool damp flannel on the back of your neck. You may feel like a beached whale now, but all too soon it’ll be jumper weather again!
So what do you do to help you keep cool? Any tips for our other moms? Let us know how you get on!