LEWISTOWN - Summer heat can be uncomfortable for everyone, but it can take a greater toll on expectant moms. A pregnant woman's body temperature is already higher than normal, and summer weather can make it more uncomfortable.
Expectant moms should pay attention to the heat index - the temperature it feels when combining the actual temperature and humidity. If the heat index is in the 90s, you should stay indoors with the air-conditioner turned on. Staying within a consistent temperature is recommended. Avoid going from outdoor heat to indoor air conditioning and back again, as your body has to work harder to adjust to temperature swings.
Taking a cool shower or bath or keeping a cool, damp washcloth on the forehead and back of the neck can also keep your body temperature down.
William Crowder Jr., MD
Try to avoid being outside during the hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. If possible, run errands or exercise in the mornings and evenings. Always wear sunblock with at least 30 SPF.
Stay hydrated. If you're thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Drink plenty of water - even more than normal - and if you're perspiring heavily, consider drinking orange juice or sports drinks which will replace electrolytes that are sweated out of the body.
Stay in the shade as much as possible and stay away from wearing dark colors, which absorb the heat. Wear light-colored, cotton fabrics and avoid clothing that is too tight.
Finally, watch your diet. Eating spicy foods may cause you to break out in a sweat, and foods with high amounts of sodium may cause excess swelling and bloating. If your feet are swelling, elevate them.
Following these tips can help you to beat the heat and allow you to get back to the excitement of awaiting your baby's arrival.