Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Health & Pregnancy

Font Size
A
A
A

Pregnant This Summer? Beat the Heat

Hot, humid -- and heavy with child. Pregnancy can make the summer seem hotter. But following a few simple guidelines can keep you cool.

Keep Cool continued...

Hyun-Joo Lee, MD, an ob-gyn at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, has her own suggestions for keeping your cool while pregnant:

  • Avoid direct mid-day sun, because pregnant women are more prone to sunburn than non-pregnant women.
  • Drink one eight-ounce glass of water or electrolyte replacement liquid for each hour you are outdoors in hot weather.
  • Avoid vigorous outdoor activities during the hot hours of the day.
  • Use a high SPF sunscreen. If you have fair skin, use SPF 30 or 45. (Increased melanin production can lead to the "mask of pregnancy," so make sure your time in the sun is limited and don't head out without sunscreen or, better yet, sunblock.)
  • Get indoors at the first sign of weakness, fatigue, dizziness, lightheadedness, or excessive thirst. Lie down and drink some cool water or electrolyte replacement liquid. If you don't feel better soon, call your doctor.

Another common problem in summer pregnancies is leg swelling -- called physiologic edema, Lee tells WebMD. "If the second half of pregnancy occurs during the summer months, the degree of leg swelling can increase dramatically."

Lee offers a list of dos and don'ts for women who experience leg swelling while pregnant:

Do:

  1. Lie down for 30 to 60 minutes a day, either at the end of the workday or during lunch.
  2. Keep your legs elevated while sleeping by placing a rolled-up towel or blanket under your mattress at the foot of the bed.
  3. Wear comfortable shoes and, if possible, wear one pair of shoes that are a half size larger than your normal size.
  4. Walk two to three times a week during times other than mid-day heat.
  5. Remove your rings if they seem to be tight. Some pregnant women experience mild swelling of the hands and have to get their rings cut off.

Don't:

  1. Don't wear constrictive clothing, especially around the waist.
  2. Don't stand in one place for too long.
  3. Reduce, but don't eliminate, salt from your diet. Salt contains iodide, an essential element for the health of the fetus.
  4. Don't take any diuretic substances. Diuretics can cause the loss of electrolytes that could endanger the fetus.

If you follow all these tips, says Lee, you may very well be able to ignore the heat and get back to enjoying the excitement of awaiting the arrival of your baby.

1 | 2

Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

Today on WebMD

Woman smiling as she reads pregnancy test
Slideshow
pregnant woman with salad
Quiz
 
pregnant in thought
Article
babyapp
NEW
 

slideshow fetal development
Slideshow
pregnancy first trimester warning signs
Article
 
What Causes Bipolar
Video
Woman trying on dress in store
Slideshow
 

pregnant woman
Article
Close up on eyes of baby breastfeeding
Video
 
healthtool pregnancy calendar
Tool
eddleman prepare your body pregnancy
Video