Heat and pregnancy are an uncomfortable mix, so this heat wave that’s been holding massive parts of the country in 90+ temperatures must be driving a lot of pregnant women crazy. (See last year's post: 5 Ways to Beat the Heat in Pregnancy.)
A summer pregnancy has its challenges to begin with, as regular summer heat can exacerbate a bunch of pregnancy discomforts, including swelling, morning sickness, fatigue, and acne. (Read last week's post: Summer Pregnancy Survival Kit.) This summer has been turning up the heat on women all over the country, with temperatures over 100 degrees throughout the Midwest, South, mid-Atlantic and Northeast. As for the southwest and Texas, pregnant women there are no strangers to 100+ temps.
While you ladies elsewhere have been suffering for over a week now, here in the Pacific Northwest, we’ve been wearing sweaters and long pants through until yesterday. At 80 degrees, we just had the hottest day of the entire year of 2012 here on Friday. Until now, it’s been so cold that we’ve been sleeping with down comforters and wool blankets on our bed.
But today, we’re supposed to bake with almost 90 degrees as our high temp this afternoon. So I guess while I’ve been thinking about you pregnant women in the hotter states and sending out tweets to remind you to drink water and go the pool and stay indoors, I haven’t really thought further about what you could do to *enjoy* yourself during pregnancy in the heat.
It’s too hot to clean the house, paint or garden. It’s too hot to cook. It’s too hot to get in the car and go shopping. For safety’s sake—and for comfort—you need to stay indoors, stay cool, drink lots of water, and find some way to have some summer fun through your pregnancy despite the heat.
10 Ways to Cope with Heat and Pregnancy
1. Write in a Pregnancy Journal
You have wishes for your new baby, questions about what he or she will be like, hopes for his or her future, and promises that you’re making to yourself and your baby about what kind of parent you’ll be. I know you do. We all do. Before it’s too late, write them down. Whether it’s in a simple letter to your baby, or a private daily pregnancy journal, or a short, once-in-a-while journal, jot down some thoughts during this unique time of your life. While the heat keeps you indoors during your pregnancy, now is a great time to sit and think and write in a pregnancy journal
2. Play on Pinterest
Surfing the internet is one thing, but on Pinterest, it takes on a whole new level of visual, inspirational discovery. If you’re not already, get yourself on Pinterest and explore. Trust me when I say you can spend hours and hours on Pinterest finding useful, interesting, inspirational material from other women like you. Find freezer recipes with make-ahead meals for after baby is born, DIY ideas for baby and maternity, crochet patterns for making something cute for baby, must-have baby clothes, inspirational quotes for motherhood, parenting articles, nursery ideas, or just fantasy vacation destinations. It’s a lot of fun. If you want to start somewhere, come browse through my pregnancy pins and boards on Pinterest
3. Shop online
Why leave the house, get in the hot car, and make yourself grumpy and uncomfortable waddling across hot asphalt parking lots? Do your shopping online. While the heat keeps you indoors during pregnancy, sign up for a discount shopping site such as Zulily to find deals on baby clothes and diapers. Research baby gadgets and order your nursing bras, nursing clothes and baby skin care essentials online. Savvy shoppers know to find coupon codes for online shopping. Go ahead and use ours. You can find a $5 coupon code for Maternitique at YourBabyYourWay.com, a $10 coupon code for Maternitique at TheBump.com (you have to be a member of The Bump to get it) and a 20% off coupon code on our Facebook page this month. It pays to shop online!
4. Give yourself a manicure
At at-home manicure isn’t as fun as going to the salon, but it’s safer: you can use non-toxic, pregnancy-safe nail polish
and stay away from the nauseating fumes that smother you at the salon. Plus, it’s cheaper. Justify the higher price tag of non-toxic nail polish by ordering it for your home use and save each time you paint your fingers at home. Since the summer heat during your pregnancy prevents you from gardening and cleaning, you’re mani will last longer, too.
5. Take a cool bath
If you don’t have air conditioning and the heat is making you miserable through your pregnancy, take a cool bath every day. Bathing is a simple, safe way to lower your body temperature and relax, while you’re at it. It’s not the pool, but, hey, it works.
6. Crochet something cute for baby
If you know how to do basic crochet stitches, you can find patterns for all kinds of cute little things to make for your baby. Since you don’t want to be making a blanket in this heat, think beyond the afghan and try your hand and hook on making a baby toy, booties, or hat. They’re really easier than they look and you’ll love having something hand-made for your little one.
7. Watch pregnancy movies
What could be better than using the 100+ degree heat and your pregnancy as excuses to sit on the couch and eat ice cream bon-bons and watch a chick flick? Some of my favorite pregnancy movies are indie comedies, including “Juno,” “Away We Go,” and “Knocked Up.” More mainstream tastes might like “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” “Father of the Bride 2,” “Mr. Mom,” and “She’s Having a Baby.” The recent movie from Tina Fey, “Baby Mama,” isn't side-splitting funny, but it's enjoyable enough. You can also rent the enlightening childbirth documentary “The Business of Being Born” on Netflix—which I recommend for every pregnant woman.
8. Pick out your baby announcement/pre-address your envelopes
There are tons of great websites that allow you to upload a photo and create your own baby announcement. Why not start browsing now? When you find one you like, create your account and start uploading your addresses to have them ready to send. If you plan to send a baby announcement the old-fashioned way, start organizing your address list or addressing envelopes now.
9. Body work
Even during a heat wave, you can find ways to move your body during pregnancy. Gentle leg stretches will help prevent calf cramps at night. Kegel exercises can be done on the couch while you’re watching your pregnancy movie or while you’re surfing Pinterest. Hold onto a sturdy chair and do some squats to strengthen your thighs for labor and birth. Do a modified cat-cow pose to relieve your lower back pain. Browse through some workout ideas at FitPregnancy.com
and clear any indoor summer exercise with your doctor or midwife.
10. Take an online childbirth class
I highly recommend that every first-time mother attend childbirth class during pregnancy. Since you’re home-bound in the heat, why not try one online? There are a couple of exceptional programs that I can recommend without hesitation. They are:
- Giving Birth Naturally: http://www.givingbirthnaturally.com/
- Pregnancy About.com: http://pregnancy.about.com/od/onlinechildbirthclasses/ss/childbirthclassonline.htm
Other ideas to cope with heat and pregnancy
- download some pregnancy, breastfeeding or baby care apps
- read some good books
- have someone paint your belly and photograph it
- read some blogs about pregnancy, like this one!
Tell me, how are you coping with this summer's heat wave and your pregnancy?
Thanks for reading and sharing,