10 Tips to surviving a summer pregnancy
Monday, May 24, 2010
Pregnancy can be uncomfortable enough, but what do you do when the dog days of summer set in at the peak of your pregnancy? Grab a virgin pina colada, put your feet up and try these tips.
- Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate! At the top of your to-do list, strive to stay well hydrated. Aim for two liters of liquids, preferably water, per day. Avoid soft drinks, since they work like diuretics, stealing more water from the body than they provide. Wherever you go, commit to bringing along a reusable water bottle. Make your own refreshing drink by adding a few lemon and cucumber slices to a pitcher of cool water. By keeping your body constantly hydrated, you'll help avoid the discomfort of pregnancy-related swelling.
- Put your feet up. To prevent swelling, elevate your feet any chance you get: at home, at the office, at the pool.
- Comfy footwear only, please! You might be tempted to opt for flip flops as your footwear of choice, but did you know that flip flops can be just as bad for your piggy toes as wearing high heels during pregnancy? Your feet now need extra support and stability to prevent eventual back pain and possible spills. Stick with supportive sandals with secure straps.
- Jump in. Swimming is the perfect exercise during pregnancy. Hop into the pool and swim or simply "water jog" around. Not only will you cool off, but, if only for a moment, you'll experience the bliss of weightlessness. Don't have a pool nearby? Jump into a backyard sprinkler!
- Crank up the AC. Now is not the time to save money on your utilities. The next time you're tempted to turn the air conditioning off, think about Chicagoan Veronica Arreola, who was pregnant the summer of 2003. "What finally got me to turn on the AC? When I almost fainted at eight months pregnant. It wasn't funny at the time, but it makes me laugh now."
- Step outdoors. Take advantage of the fresh air, combined with sundown, and make an after-dinner walk a priority.
- Keep your maternity clothes light and comfy. Choose light-colored clothes and linen and cotton fabrics to let your belly breathe. You'll be pretty and comfortable in a flowy, roomy sundress, a wide-brimmed hat and a pair of strappy, flat sandals. "I never wore maternity clothes-just sundresses and tank tops or baby doll tops with draw string shorts," recalls Kim Rhiannon Nie, mom of Conner, an August baby.
- Protect your skin. Chloasma, aka "pregnancy mask," is a tan or dark skin discoloration common in pregnancy, which usually appears on the upper cheek, nose, lips, upper lip and/or forehead, and is caused by hormonal changes and sun exposure. Avoid it by always wearing sunscreen, or even better, a wide-brimmed sun hat. Up your sunscreen to the maximum protection factor available.
- Easy does it on the ice cream. For cool treats, focus on fruit-based Popsicles, sorbets and smoothies, which will also boost your needed liquid and food-based vitamin intake. Avoid salty snacks, which will only lead to swelling.
- Treat yourself. Indulge in a pregnancy massage, invest in a hot pink pedicure or treat yourself to a movie. Enjoy your pregnancy and remember that it's fleeting. Next summer you'll have a sweet little baby to keep you company.