The weather out there is truly amazing at the moment! But while a bit of sunshine is great for boosting your mood & helping us all to relax but it can be hard to keep a cool head when temperatures reach the high 20s...especially during pregnancy when your body temperature is higher than normal due to the increased blood flow, hormonal changes & the heat produced by the placenta.
Here are my top tips for keeping you and your bump cool & comfortable:
1. Stay hydrated.
Ideally aim to be drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day in this heat. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty before grabbing a drink...you already suffering from the effects of dehydration by the time your body registers thirst. Carry a bottle of water with you and take regular sips. Also avoid caffeine as this can make you feel more dehydrated.
2. Look after swollen feet & hands.
Hot weather can cause your hands & feet to swell up. Wear loose/open/comfortable footwear or buy a size up. Put your feet up when possible. Remove any rings from your fingers & toes. Minimise your salt intake as salt encourages water retention in your body.
3. Wear natural fabrics.
Chose clothing made from natural fabrics, especially at night time when you may experience night sweats. Breathable cotton or linen is ideal. Cool cotton underwear is a total must!
4. Eat cooling foods.
In Chinese medicine, foods are classified by their properties & their effects on the body, including whether they are ‘cooling’ or ‘warming’. Aim to eat lots of ‘cooling’ salads which include vegetables grown above the ground (peas, beans etc) & soft fruits. Foods with a high water content such as watermelon or cucumber also have cooling properties. Tuck in!
5. Seek out the shade.
Your skin can be more sensitive during pregnancy so you need to be more careful than usual. Some women develop a condition called ‘Chloasma’ which causes changes in skin pigmentation and brown patches to appear on the skin. These appear even darker after exposure to the sun. So stay in the shade where possible & wear a heavy duty sunscreen.
Enjoy the sunshine (while it lasts!) and use it as a very good excuse to have some well deserved relaxation in the shade with your feet up!