Weight gain, swollen joints and hormonal changes are part and parcel of pregnancy, and they can be troublesome at the best of times. But a pregnancy during the warm, summer months can put an even greater strain on mums-to-be.
While rising temperatures can make life uncomfortable for expectant mothers, there are several ways to make the experience of a summer pregnancy a little more relaxing. Indeed, by following these tips, you might be able to use the warmer weather to your advantage.
Stay well hydrated
Staying hydrated is always important during a pregnancy, but it takes on a new level of importance during the summer months.
You should be consuming at least two litres of water every day, but how you take on this amount of fluid is up to you. However, if you're enjoying the summer heat outdoors, you should be drinking an extra glass of water for every hour you spend in the sunshine.
Rather than sticking to water throughout the summer, why not indulge in some fruit juice cocktails? You can blend yourself some delicious smoothies with low-fat yoghurt, or take on extra fluids with some ice lollies made with real fruit juice. If you're planning to spend time in the heat, invest in a cool bag to keep your drinks, smoothies and ice lollies cold.
Put your feet up regularly
Although you might be tempted to take long walks in the summer sunshine, swollen joints can become a major problem during the latter stages of pregnancy.
Rather than cut down on the exercise that is that crucial to your well-being during pregnancy, invest in some garden furniture that allows you to enjoy the sun with your feet up.
Elevating your joints will help to reduce any swelling you might be suffering with. It might also be a good idea to ask your partner to give you regular rub-downs and massages with natural oils and extracts.
Invest in some breathable maternity wear
The summer months can make walking around over short distances a chore, which is why it's always a good idea to wear lightweight, baggy clothes wherever possible. Breathable fibres allow sweat to evaporate before it can cause skin irritation and rashes.Having a collection of cotton maternity dresses, skirts and tops in readiness for the summer will help you to enjoy the sunshine without becoming too uncomfortable.
Consider the benefits of private maternity care
If you are due to give birth during the summer, consider the having your child delivered by a team you know and trust, with privacy and luxury surroundings that will leave you relaxed and in control. The Portland Hospital offer state-of-the-art equipment, emergency care and consultant-led service, with a designated maternity team. Enjoy an experience equivalent to a stay in a five-star hotel by booking a private room or suite at The Portland Hospital.
Get wet as often as possible
The simplest, and perhaps most enjoyable, way to beat the summer heat during pregnancy is to get wet. Whether you are swimming, paddling or taking regular cold showers, water could be your best friend during hot, summer days.
Swimming in particular is a great way to stay cool, as it also provides a gentle way of staying fit while pregnant. But you don't have to travel to the local pool or to a sun-kissed beach to cool off. Simply invest in a child's paddling pool for the garden, or turn on the lawn sprinklers for a refreshing soaking.
If you can stay cool during a summer pregnancy, the great weather and opportunities to get out and about could make the experience of having a baby a more rewarding one.