All around Australia pregnant women have been feeling the heat the last couple of months.
When pregnant, your body temperature is already a little higher than normal so add in some hot, steamy days as well as a big belly and most pregnant women are feeling really uncomfortable.
In order to avoid dehydration, fatigue or heat stroke, pregnant women really need to look after themselves on these high risk days.
Staying inside in the air conditioning is the best plan so it may be worth cancelling or rescheduling outings that will have you outdoors when temperatures are soaring.
Staying hydrated is the number one goal as this keeps the body working well and ensures baby has lots of amniotic fluid around it. Water is the absolute best thing to drink but if you want to include coconut water or an electrolyte drink every so often, that’s a good alternative.
Some of our best tips are:
- Stay out of the sun
- Keep indoors with air conditioning or fan
- Rest, nap, keep your feet up
- Wear light, loose clothing
- Place a cool washcloth on forehead or back of neck
- Run wrists under cold water
- Swim in a shaded pool, even a kiddy pool is nice
- Carry a mist bottle of water to spritz your face with
- Head to a movie
One thing that we do need to be careful of is over-hydration as this can be as unsafe as dehydration. When we drink too much fluid, our electrolytes become diluted and can cause cramps and fatigue.
Many women also experience swelling during pregnancy but especially when it’s hot. It can be very normal but if it’s sudden or severe, it’s always worth getting checked out by your care provider. To minimise swelling, keep your feet up as much as possible, wear comfy shoes and add in some foot and ankle exercises.
Not pregnant but dealing with a newborn in the heat?
Bubbies are susceptible to the effects of heat as they are still learning to regulate their temperature, so dressing them in nappy and singlet, preferable natural fibres, keeping them indoors with the air-conditioning or fan is the best place for them.
If you do go out, keep baby out of direct sunlight. It can be tempting to cover capsule or pram with a cover to keep baby shaded, so if you do, ensure it’s not heavy enough to trap heat which can be very dangerous.
Baby will likely be demanding extra fluids so offer breastmilk or bottle feeds more regularly. Baby does not need a bottle of cool boiled water – this is an old wives tale and breastmilk or formula gives baby all the hydration it needs.