When the heat is on during the hottest days of summer, you may feel like you are going to spontaneously combust at any moment. Don’t worry, that hardly ever happens 🙂
During pregnancy your body is hard at work. Your metabolism is kicked into high gear, and so you are more likely to feel the effects of summer heat. The reality is that you are more likely to perspire heavily, as your body tries to keep you and your baby cool.
The extreme heat of summer requires your body to use more water than usual. It becomes easy to dehydrate which is a common cause of pre-term contractions. Keep your water bottle handy – and here are some more great ways to keep cool when the mercury rises:
- Schedule errands and appointments during the early hours of the day to avoid mid day heat.
- Swim! Swimming not only cools you down and provides relaxation but it can also help your baby get into the best position for labor.
- Plan indoor activities with people that bring you joy. You can plan to meet good friends in cool places such as the mall, the movies or your local tea house.
- Nap. Find a comfy, cool spot and take a nap. Napping just fifteen minutes a day has enormous health benefits for you and your baby.
Tools for Staying Cool
- Water bottle with fan
- Cooling gel bandanas (found at sports shops)
- Herbal wipes
- Aromatherapy spritzers
- Cool clothing – It’s a good idea to avoid tight clothing, dark colors, and non-breathable materials.
What did mommas do before air conditioning? You can learn from the wisdom of the ancient Ayurvedic texts that have long kept many families healthy and happy. These texts are the foundation of Hindu medicine and teach balancing techniques for the body using diet, herbal treatments and yogic breathing. In Ayurvedic terms, keeping cool means balancing the effects of the Pitta dosha, which controls the metabolism and increases heat in the body.
To do this, it is recommended to eat foods that have cooling effects, such as sweet, balancing and astringent foods. Avoiding salty and spicy foods during moments of increased heat can also be helpful. Additional suggestions include avoiding iced drinks and carbonated beverages as they slow down digestion. Slowing digestion only makes the body work harder, which can increase heat!
During pregnancy, your digestive track is working overtime and the hormones of pregnancy can increase your risk of indigestion and reflux. Promote healthy prenatal digestion by drinking cooled or room temperature liquids, not iced. Foods that balance Pitta include melons, cherries, mangoes, cucumber and zucchini. Cooling herbs include fennel, mint and coriander. In the heat of the afternoon try a smoothie with chilled mango, mint and coconut milk.
While keeping cool is important for your comfort and (let’s face it) your sanity it is also important for the health of you and your baby. A little pre-planning on your part can make the warmest days of summer more bearable. Remember, pregnancy doesn’t last long nor does summer. And there’s nothing wrong with occasionally wearing just your birthday suit.
For more information, check out http://www.thegreatestpregnancyever.com. Also available on Kindle!