Almost 4 million babies are born every year in the United States, and many are born during the summer months. In fact, according to the CDC, the three months with the highest number of births are August, July, and September.
As luck would have it, those are also the three hottest months of the year for most parts of the U.S., including the greater Los Angeles area. If you’re pregnant, those warm, sunny days can be downright unbearable — unless you know a few tricks to stay comfortable.
At Harbor Community Health Centers, we’ve got your back. Our team is skilled in helping expectant moms keep their cool, even when the temperatures start to climb.
Prenatal visits are the ideal time to get personalized tips and advice tailored to your lifestyle. But for now, here’s a quick review of some of the simplest, most effective ways to stay cool this summer.
#1: Stay hydrated
In the summer, we all sweat more than usual, and that means we need to increase our fluid intake to make up for the fluid we’re losing through sweat. Plus, when you’re pregnant, your body needs even more fluid to support your and your baby’s needs. Carry a water bottle at all times — even when you’re lounging at home. Or check out these mocktail recipes for a burst of flavor without the alcohol.
#2: Put your feet up
Swollen feet and ankles aren’t uncommon during pregnancy, but the summer heat can make these issues worse. Take every opportunity to elevate your legs (yes, even at work) and cut back on your salt (sodium) intake. Massaging your feet and ankles can help, too.
#3: Hit the pool
Swimming is a year-round activity for lots of people in the Los Angeles area, but in the summer, it’s even more crucial to take regular dips to help your body stay cool. Swimming is also good exercise during pregnancy since the water’s natural buoyancy helps support your growing belly. No pool? Use a spritz bottle filled with chilled water to cold down throughout the day.
#4: Catch some Zs
When you’re hot, your body has to work a lot harder to stay cool. Not surprisingly, that leads to being extra tired. Add that to the increased fatigue caused by pregnancy, and you can start to feel worn out pretty quickly. The solution: Grab a nap whenever you can in a cool spot that lets your body replenish its energy stores.
#5: Dress the part
Update your summer wardrobe with some cool maternity duds featuring breathable fabrics. Add a hat for outdoor wear, and carry a lightweight cover-up if you’re wearing short sleeves or tank tops.
#6: Rethink the barbecue
Barbecues are a natural summer pastime. While steering clear of a hot grill is pretty obvious, you should also think twice about spicy barbecue sauces. The peppery ingredients can quickly make you feel a lot warmer — and during pregnancy, they can give you heartburn, too.
#7: Don’t overdo it
Summer is all about fun in the sun, but doing too much can quickly wear you down when you’re pregnant. It’s certainly OK to socialize, but do try to simplify your schedule and work in regular periods of rest to avoid getting overtired and overheated.
#8: Don’t skip prenatal visits
Getting regular prenatal care is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your baby. During the summer months, our team can give you tips and advice for staying cool and comfortable so that you can get the most from your pregnancy experience. To schedule your prenatal exam at one of our three locations in San Pedro, California, call the office or book an appointment online.