Six of my pregnancies were spent during the beautiful summer months. Sure, it was nice to carry a growing belly around in the delightful sunshine rather than the icy, slippery days of winter, but the combination of me getting bigger and bigger and the temps outside getting hotter and hotter made for some extremely uncomfortable conditions.
But even though things are heating up, you can still enjoy your pregnancy. Mighty Mommy shares 10 cool ways that you can chill out this summer – even if you’re not expecting!
Tip 1: Drink—A Lot!
When you’re expecting, you already spend much of your day and night heading to the bathroom, And during the hot months, you should expect to keep that momentum going, because you really need to stay extra-hydrated. Drinking ice water (or your fave beverage such as sparkling water or iced tea) will not only keep you cool and refreshed, it’s also super important for you and your growing baby.
In Your Total Summer Pregnancy Guide, Kathy McManus, RD, Director of the Department of Nutrition at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, explains that “by the time you actually feel thirsty, you’re already well past the point of dehydration. That’s why it’s important to drink water all day long.” So keep your water bottle full and sip 6 to 8 glasses a day. This truly was one tip that kept me feeling cool and refreshed during those summer scorchers!
Tip 2: Keep Cool in the Kiddie Pool
During my first pregnancy, we had a lovely, in-ground pool, so all I had to do to cool off was put on my (maternity) bathing suit and head to my backyard. It truly was heaven! The cold water felt great on my swollen ankles, and I could float away to my heart’s content. A year later, we moved to our current home, which is a stone throw’s from the beach – but we had no pool. To remedy that, I invested in an extra-large blow up pool for the backyard. It was big enough to sit in comfortably in, my then 1-year old could play in it right beside me. Sure, it wasn’t the same as having our in-ground spa, but it was a great alternative to keeping cool and having fun with my toddler at the same time.
Tip 3: Try an Ice-Cold Foot Bath
For a really quick fix in the heat, grab a large bucket and fill it with ice water. I would soak my feet a couple of times a day while watching TV, reading, or just waiting for dinner to finish cooking. It was just enough to cool me down quickly, and ease my swollen ankles, too!
One summer, I was seven months pregnant when our family traveled to Walt Disney World in early August. Hot was an understatement!
Tip 4: Spray Yourself
Misting yourself with cool water can refresh you instantly, especially if you’re outside in the heat of the day. Buy a spray bottle and fill it with water, then spritz it on your face regularly to cool down. One summer, I was seven months pregnant when our family traveled to Walt Disney World in early August. Hot was an understatement! Luckily, I purchased a water bottle that had a fan on it. I went through several batteries, but it was worth it!
Tip 5: Ice it Up
I didn’t have many cravings during my seven pregnancies, but one that I had for each and every one was crushed ice. I worked in a dental practice for 20 years, so I knew better than to chew on ice, but I also needed to satisfy my craving. So instead of noshing on ice, I created my own frozen delights such as frozen lemonade and OJ, and other homemade pops. When I was feeling overheated or needed a fix, I’d head to the freezer and grab one of my frozen treats. They were tasty and took the edge off!
Tip 6: Use Cold Compresses
When you’re hot and pregnant, your new best friend could easily become an everyday washcloth. Wet a few washcloths (I used to wet mine with a mixture of water and lemon juice—ahh!) and stick them in the freezer, then pull them out on a hot day, lay down, and place the compress on your forehead. As a bonus, see if you can get your spouse or partner to rub your tired, pregnant feet at the same time. It’s an instant spa moment!
Tip 7: Seek a Cooling Scent
In 10 Ways to Keep Cool in Pregnancy, we learn that certain fragrances can help lower body temps. “Mandarin and neroli essential oils are known for their cooling properties – perfect when you’re feeling hot and bothered,” says Susan Curtis, Medicines Director and natural homeopath at Neal’s Yard Remedies. “Simply add a few drops of either oil to witch hazel flower water and use as a spritz for your face, neck and arms.” Curtis goes on to suggest adding a couple of drops of lavender oil to a foot bath to help soothe swollen ankles.
Tip 8: Keep the Bedroom Cool
It can become increasingly more difficult to get a good night’s sleep as your pregnancy progresses, so making your bedroom comfy is key. To help, keep your bedroom as cool as possible, keep the curtains drawn all day to prevent the sun from warming it up, and use a fan. If you’re lucky to have a few moments to yourself on a hot summer’s day, sneak off into your bedroom for a power nap or just some quiet time. The cool, dark environment will help you relax and chill out.
If you’re lucky to have a few moments to yourself on a hot summer’s day, sneak off into your bedroom for a power nap or just some quiet time.
Tip 9: Find a Polar Jacuzzi
One of my favorite indulgences (pregnant or not) is soaking in my Jacuzzi tub; it’s something I treat myself to at least once a week, all year long. When I was pregnant, I enjoyed this special time even more, but during the sizzling months of summer, I would fill my Jacuzzi with crisp, cold water, put on my bathing suit, and soak away, jets and all. If you can’t do this at home, try the local gym or YMCA. Bonus: I loved to listen to audio books when I had a cold soak, because I could close my eyes and escape to a whole new world!
Tip 10: Think Cool
If you don’t have access to an ice cold Jacuzzi or a frozen lemon compress, you can try another method of cooling down that only requires one thing: closing your eyes and using your mind. Popular for years now, visualization is a technique in which one quiets the mind and focuses on a particular theme or idea that she wants to see come to fruition in her own life.
In Visualization A Key to Achieving Your Goals, the author states that visualization “is the use of the imagination through pictures or mental imagery to create visions of what we want in our lives, and how to make them happen. Along with focus and emotion, it becomes a powerful, creative tool that helps us achieve what we want in life.” So with that in mind, try this technique when you need to cool off. Here’s a fun beach meditation that will help you relax and feel as cool as a cucumber.
How do you stay cool in the heat of the summer? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section