Summer can be the best of times and the worst of times for mommies-to-be. Often, the added glow of the summer sun also heats up common pregnancy complaints. While it’s an ideal time to get out and enjoy those last carefree moments, your swollen ankles may not agree!
Here are five tips to make the most out of your summer pregnancy:
This may seem like obvious advice, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. Remember that if you are thirsty, you are already getting dehydrated. Keep that water bottle handy! You can also cool down by using a spray bottle to spritz your face. Try a cold, damp washcloth around the back of your neck while you sip on a refreshing glass of freshly squeezed lemonade.
Swim or Float
As with hydration, water is your friend! Swimming will cool you off and maybe even provide a little exercise. The buoyancy of the water also takes pressure off your sciatic nerve. For pregnant women with either sciatica or pelvic girdle pain, water provides huge relief!
Eat Your Fruits & Veggies
Pretty soon you will be giving your little one the same advice! Luckily, summertime provides a plethora of fresh, healthy, and tasty options. Focus on getting a rainbow of colors in the fruits and vegetables you eat for maximum nutrition. They also taste good! Some experts even say that babies can “taste” the food you eat through the amniotic fluid during late stages of pregnancy.
Plan Outdoor Time
The summer sun is known to provide beneficial vitamin D, to boost your mood, and even to help you sleep better, according to the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). But, be sure to avoid direct sunlight during mid-day hours, as pregnant women burn more easily. If you are in your second trimester, you may have some extra energy; just be careful not to overdo it, especially when it is hot outside.
Leg and ankle swelling is a common complaint of pregnancy any time of the year. Summer heat may exacerbate this edema, making you even more uncomfortable. A certain amount of swelling is normal, although you will want to call your doctor or midwife if you notice sudden or excessive swelling. They will want to rule out preeclampsia, which can be a more serious condition. In addition to the tips above, stretch occasionally and avoid crossing your legs. Opt for a lounge chair in the shade where you can prop up your feet. If you can get someone to feed you grapes, even better. Get the royal treatment while you can!