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I remember it well. It was a looming, heavy presence that drained every energy from you.
It was like a shadow that played games with you following you down back streets, creeping up on you inappropriate moments.
It made my skin glow with a constant beam of sweat.
Sticky was an understatement. And the fatigue from being on my fat feet…don’t even go there.
Yep, it was summer alright. And for the first time ever, I wasn’t a young woman enjoying every minute, basking in the rays and trying to gain more freckles *scough*
This time was different. This time I felt more beach whale than beach goddess. And all cause I was unprepared and had no idea how exhausting summer can be when you’re pregnant.
That’s why I decided to write down a few tips I sure could have used before finding myself sprawled out on the couch at the party in the tiny appartment of a friend’s house, fanning myself with whatever I could get my hands on.
True story. Way to be discrete right?!
OKay, let’s get to it…
1) Stay hydrated
Although it sounds kinda obvious and something your teachers, parents and something everyone else in between were incessant about when you were kid, I gotta tell you: they were right.
We know that we have to drink a certain amount of water normally anyway, but during pregnancy did you know the intake you need to get increases?
Experts say around 8-10 cups a day, which equals to 2,3 litres give or take.
This can sound like a lot I know, so try and just have a water bottle with you at all times, and sip at it often. Any fluids count as your intake, but be aware that they don’t hydrate you in the same way.
Some tips to help you drink more
One way I tackled this was to drink around 500ml or more as soon as I got up. It would help me start the day right so I didn’t have to worry as much. Word’s out that this kickstarts your metabolism too – win win!
I know it can get boring to drink water all the time but you could always try adding flavours to your drink – check out some inspiration.
If not, juices will do fine as well – but watch out as quite a few of them have a ton of sugar inside which is what you want to avoid. When choosing your juice, look at the label and check it says 100% or freshly squeezes as guidance.
The importance of electrolytes
A lot of pregnant women swear by coconut water – it gives you all the electrolytes your body needs durign pregnancy. I personally can’t vouch for it as I don’t really like the flavour but hey, there’s no stopping you!
Speaking of electrolytes, an important note about them: while you’re gowing this little bean in your belly, you actually lose more electrolytes than ever! This is cause of the constant bathroom runs AND sweating during summer.
Getting the right electrolytes in can help you avoid blood pressure problems, swelling, constipation and headaches. Don’t opt for Gatorade or other sugary sports drinks though!
Try out this DIY electrolyte energy drink by one of my favourite blogs, Mommypotamus.
As always, check the colour of your pee to see how hydrated you are – it should be on the clear side rather than yellow.
Also watch out for a sugary smell, as this could be a sign of diabetes. Okay, let’s get onto the next point!
Read also: 5 DIY Remedies for Heartburn
2) Stay out of the heat at peak hours
Kinda goes without saying right? It’s true though!
One of the best thigns you can do for yourself is hibernate indoors, when and wherever possible. If you’re on maternity leave already, great – catch up with that film you’ve been dying to watch.
Or you can find other indoor places with air conditioning such as shopping centre to stock up on baby gear ahead of time, a cinema date with your bestie while it’s still easy to make the time.
I don’t mean you have to stay inside all day long, but when you do have to go out at peak times – make sure there’s air conditioning.
One thing to consider too is making sure you have your rights when you’re out and about. What do I mean? I mean that you get your seat on the bus, skip the queue at the post office, those kind of things.
Don’t be afraid to step up and ask if you need it – there are many times I didn’t feel brave enough and that only got me into trouble. Some people won’t offer so you have to stand up for yourself – don’t get a dizzy head like I did!
3) Wear special socks
Let me explain – this may not be to your taste but those knee high tight compression socks work wonders for avoiding dizziness and the likes.
I had mine cause I had varicose veins during my pregnancy, so I wore a special tight size. Check with your doctor, but I do believe the ones you can get without a prescription are ok for anyone.
Bear in mind, your blood pressure needs to be on the low side to start with as what the socks do is increase the circulation in your body, hence raising blood pressure.
I still wear mine today as I’m prone to low blood pressure and seeing black when I stand up too quickly. If that’s you, you might want to check ’em out. You can get them in black, so they don’t always have to look like granny socks.
4) Take a dip
If there’s one thing you do when you’re pregnant during summer, do this.
Seriously, nothing feels better than the soft current lapping your swollen feet and drawing you in.
Not only does it cool you down, but the buoyancy from the water will take the weight off your back for a little while.
Check the opening hours at the local pool and get a friend to tag along if you feel self conscious.
Or, better still, take a dar trip to the beach (respecting the previous point about the time of day you go) and enjoy the waves of the sea.
Take care to not spend too long in the water though and make sure the temperature’s ok before you go in.
You could hire a pool for your back yard or just run yourself a tepid bath if you like – just be sure again to check the water isn’t too cold.
Water that’s too cold can be a shock to the system and provoke adrenaline release in the body to warm up – which is not great when you’re pregnant.
Do check with your doc too that you’re fine to go swimming if it’s late in your pregnancy and you might have lost the mucus plug.
Read also: 5 Benefits of water birth
5) Feet up
After a long day on your feet with all that extra weight, it’s always a good idea to sit down and put your feet up.
If you’re having trouble with swelling, this position will help the fluid in your system begin to circulate again. It’s also great for when you have a bit of a dip in your blood pressure.
Not only that, it’s a great pain relief when your poor back and legs are tired out. Did anyone say non alcoholic cocktail?!
6) Comfy clothes
Ladies – pregnancy is not a time to be stepping out in your favourite heels and and skin tight dress.
I mean, you’re welcome to if that’s what does it for you, but I can’t guarantee you’ll last very long.
That doesn’t mean, however, that you have to resort to frumpy old-school frocks and leggings that come up to your bra line.
Nowadays, the fashion industry has caught on to the fact that even expecting mothers (!!!) still want to look glam. So how do you pick the right comfy clothes that don’t compromise on style?
I found a great article just for that. And here’s another.
7) Be prepared for the worst
Okay not the worst – I’m just kidding!
Do prepare though. When you know that you’re going somewhere for a certain amount of time, take a bag with all your necessities.
That may entail a change of clothes if you get a little sweaty, a big bottle of cold water – you could maybe get yourself a reusable flask and add your own flavoured water! The great thing is they really do stay cool.
Other things you may want to include could be your favourite brand of wipes, a little hand fan to keep you fresh and a sun umbrella.
Always remember to take a hat to keep the sun off your head, and wear comfy sandals – they don’t have to be mumsy! I find my Birkenstocks are just perfect on the comfy/stylish mark.
Nowadays you can get them in all sorts of colours too. Yes, they are on the pricey side – but mine have lasted me for years, which is way better than buying a flimsy cheap pair you have to throw away after the summer’s out.
Side note: you may want to check the material of the strap. Some are in plastic which is cooler but can take longer to get used to, some are in original leather.
The greatest thing about them is that they are actually adapted for wide feet (you may want to aim for a size down) so they’re perfect for sore preggo tootsies.
Yeah I’ll stop raving about them now, but seriously – one of the best investments you’ll ever make! Get them here.