Summer pregnancy: stay hydrated and healthy for you and your baby

Summer pregnancy: stay hydrated and healthy for you and your baby
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See your doctor regularly as scheduled, and remember to mention any unusual symptoms you may have noticed.

See your doctor regularly as scheduled, and remember to mention any unusual symptoms you may have noticed.

Dr Jayashree Nagaraj Bhasgi, Senior Consultant, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Fortis Hospital, Bangalore, shares summer pregnancy tips

Proper care during pregnancy is a must and the same is more important in summers. If you are pregnant in the summer, sometimes the heat can be really annoying.

Challenges faced by pregnant women in summer

  1. Nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy
    This is a normal phenomenon faced by 60-70% of pregnant women. Excessive vomiting can lead to dehydration and weakness requiring hospitalization, which can be worse in the summer months.
  2. Indigestion, “gas”, feeling bloated and reduced appetite
    Changes that take place during pregnancy contribute to the slow movement of food through the alimentary canal, stomach, and intestine. There is also relaxation of the intestinal and sphincter muscles which cause a regurgitation of acid and food, worsening heartburn. The growing pregnancy presses up on the stomach and worsens the discomfort.
  3. Edema
    Fluid buildup in the feet and legs occurs after the first 3 months of pregnancy. About 60% of normal pregnant women have swelling of the feet and legs. This can get worse and cause discomfort in hot weather. However, remember that excessive or sudden swelling of the feet, legs, fingers, and face can be a sign of high blood pressure during pregnancy. Therefore, it is advisable to see a doctor if the swelling is disproportionate or does not go down with rest.
  4. Difficulty breathing – due to the growth of the uterus
    The growing uterus compresses on the lungs, causing shortness of breath. During high temperatures, this can increase a woman’s “suffocation” sensation, leaving her breathless, especially when she is lying down.
  5. Warmth sensation
    Some pregnant women complain of feeling hot and sweaty most of the time. This could be because pregnant women have 1 to 1.5 liters of extra blood in their bodies, compared to their non-pregnant counterparts. It could also be because your metabolism is higher.

Tips for a ‘cooler’ pregnancy in summer:

  1. Keep hydrated
    Pregnant women often see their body temperatures rise. The goal is to keep it stable. To beat the heat, the number one tip is good internal hydration. This can be achieved by ample fluid intake, mainly water, but also fruit juice or intake of fresh vegetables with a high water content. In addition to drinking a lot, it is strongly recommended to include fruits, vegetables and soups in the diet. Some drinks that are too sweet can cause you to feel thirsty shortly after ingesting them, so avoid them if possible.
  2. Cold shower
    To withstand the high temperatures in summer, nothing better than baths or showers at room temperature. Although cold showers are more tempting and desirable in hot weather, they tend to increase body temperature because our bodies have to work to adapt to the ambient temperature. That is why a few minutes after a cold shower one is warm again. A cold shower at dawn or just before bedtime will refresh you for several hours. If one is not used to it, do it gradually starting with the shower head on the feet, the legs, and then the arms. Make the tummy last, while massaging it in circular motions.
  3. Choosing the right clothes
    Choose clothes that make you feel good and comfortable. In summer, clothing should not be tight and should facilitate breathing and movement. You should prefer natural fabrics that shed sweat and do not accumulate sweat. Wear light clothing to also breathe through the skin. Avoid cluttering with too many items of clothing.
  4. moderate sports activity
    For pregnant women, a moderate sport activity is always welcome and good. In the summers, do not neglect physical exercises unless your doctor or gynecologist advises you to do so. Working on the elasticity of the muscles and tendons will allow you to better withstand the fatigue and exhaustion associated with progressive weight gain. Also, practice exercises that improve blood circulation that tends to be interrupted during pregnancy. Walking and swimming are the most recommended activities.
  5. Light and frequent meals.
    In summers at night, don’t dine too late and eat light. On the other hand, breakfast must be complete, nutritious and energetic to avoid snacking in the next three hours. It is best to eat five meals a day. Of these five meals, at least one or two should contain fruits and vegetables. Do not forget to consume light proteins.
  6. rest and relaxation
    They nap once or twice a day, in the shade, open the windows to get fresh air into the room. Floating in the water is also a good way to relax. Relaxation through a total disconnection with everything that disturbs you is beneficial.

See your doctor regularly as scheduled, and remember to mention any unusual symptoms you may have noticed.


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