It seems like it has taken me months to actually feel pregnant. Sure, I had nausea through the first trimester, but once that passed, I didn’t have any major pregnancy symptoms.
Add that to the fact that pretty much anyone I’d see would tell me how “not-pregnant” I looked (I know it was meant as a compliment, but I’ve always wanted to be one of those “cute” pregnant ladies with a noticeable bump)…
Anyway, suffice it to say at 6+ months pregnant in the heat of the summer, I’m finally feeling it – the heaviness of Baby Girl in my abdomen, more swelling in my fingers and toes when I’m out in the heat, and exaggerated tiredness when I’ve overexerted myself.
However, I’ll be the first to admit that I am still handling the pregnancy pretty well, and I have these tips and tricks for surviving summer to thank for it. If you or someone you know is pregnant through the summer, mention a couple of these ideas to help her enjoy, well at least survive, the summer.
1. Drink Lots of Water
Okay, I get it. If you’ve ever been pregnant, you know the struggle is real. You drink a glass of water, and you’re running to the bathroom to tinkle for the next hour and a half. But, staying hydrated is the only way you are going to stay comfortable this summer. So, drink water and lots of it. I keep my water bottle handy at all times and try to refill it no less than once every hour and a half to two hours.
2. Eat Small But Frequent Meals
When it’s hot out, I tend to not want to eat anyway, but add a baby in my belly to the mix, and feeling bloated is a real thing. To help me avoid the bloat, stay energized, and feed my growing baby well, I’ve taken to eating more frequent smaller meals. Because I’m not eating huge meals that really fill me up, I feel better and still stay satisfied.
3. Elevate Those Feet
Every time my doctor has asked, “Are you experiencing any swelling in your hands, legs, feet, face, or neck?” I’ve been able to say, “No.” I think that is a combination of two things. One thing that has helped is drinking water (see #1), but the second is elevating my feet. At the first sign of feeling a little more “swollen” than usual, I hike up my feet and break for a little bit. This pregnancy has been all about getting to know my body better, and swelling has been a signal to me that I’m overdoing it a bit and need a little break. Allow yourself that break, too, and elevate those feet when you sense some swelling.
4. Wear Loose Layers
Ladies, I know that remaining comfortable in maternity clothes (or any clothes for that matter) is a tough thing during pregnancy, but it only compounds itself during summer months. I mean, really who wants to be lugging around an extra 15 to 20 pounds during the summer on top of it being 90+ degrees outside…My solution to this has been to find loose, comfortable layers to wear, particularly when I have to be outside for very long. Layers allow you the ease of shedding one or two items if you really get heated up, and the looseness makes it easy to stay cool and comfortable.
5. Use Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint has a bit of an effervescent effect in that it is a “hot” oil but it has an intense cooling effect. I find this perfect during the summer months as I can apply a drop to the back of my neck or even on my tongue when I am feeling especially hot or worn down. The cooling sensation helps lower my body temperature, and the mint oil has an energizing effect. (Just be careful when using oils during pregnancy and consult your medical care professional if you have any questions before use.)
Everyone’s body reacts differently to pregnancy, and I’m thankful to say even through these summer months, I’ve had a relatively easy pregnancy. Nonetheless, these tips have definitely helped me survive the heat of the summer, and I know they can help you, too.