Summer Heat and Pregnancy

Summer heat and pregnancy can make you feel more uncomfortable. Taking good care of yourself in the heat can prevent loss of body fluid (dehydration). Loss of body fluid may increase your risk for premature labor and delivery. Try these suggestions to keep cool this summer:

  • Drink a lot of water and juice, at least 6 to 8 glasses a day. Limit soda and ice tea that has caffeine to 2 glasses a day.
  • Eat light, non-spicy foods like salads and fruit. Do not eat large amounts of foods that have high salt content, like potato chips and fast food.
  • Limit outside activity between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. This is usually the hottest time of day. Do outdoor activities in the early morning, late afternoon, or early evening.
  • Use fans, air conditioning, or both if you have them.
  • Put cool compresses on your face, back of the neck, and wrists.
  • Wear cotton and light-colored clothing when you are inside. Outside, wear light clothes that cover your skin and head to protect you from the sun.
  • Use sunblock on your skin when you are outside.
  • Take frequent rest periods, lying on your side with your feet up.
  • If the heat is too much for you, try to get other people to help with household chores, activities, and child care.
  • Try not to use the oven or cook after 11 a.m., especially if you do not have air conditioning. Use a microwave if you have one.
  • Take cool baths or showers as needed, or go to a pool if possible.
  • Soak your feet in cool water and keep your feet up if swelling occurs.
  • Wear sturdy shoes like tennis shoes. Do not walk in flat sandals, “flip flops,” or slippers. These do not support your feet.
  • Try to spend time in places where it may be cooler than in your own home, like the movies, the library, or the mall.
  • Keep windows closed and blinds or curtains drawn during the day. Open them at night.

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