No one thrives when they’re flustered and sweaty on a hot day, but imagine how uncomfortable those hot days are when you have a bun in the oven.
Especially in Australia, the summer can be almost unbearable for mums-to-be. We enlisted Kathy Fray, senior midwife and best selling maternity author, to find out what tools expectant mothers can use to keep themselves (and their babies!) comfortable during the warmer months.
Can getting too hot be dangerous?
In short, Kathy says yes, it can be dangerous.
“A high temperature in general is not great for a pregnant mother and her unborn baby, be it from fever or hot weather. Plus expectant mothers commonly describe being pregnant as having their own electric blanket at their core, which can feel knackering. If you’re wondering if your core heat is getting too high, then take your own temperature. So long as you’re in the high 36s or low 37s then that’s all good. But if you’re in the high 37s the down a large glass of iced water, and re-check your temp in 20 minutes.”
What are some tips for getting to sleep on extra hot nights?
Getting to sleep with a little one doing backflips in your uterus is hard enough, but add in some piping hot weather and that combo leads to many a sleepless night.
Kathy’s two main tips for getting to sleep on hot nights are:
- Get yourself a fan: “Owning a really decent electric fan blowing over your body, and buy it now before the shops run out of fans in the peak of the hottest weeks.”
- Satin sheets: “Also satin sheets can feel cooler than cotton.”
What are some activities pregnant women should stay away from on hot days?
Kathy tells us that it depends how far along you are. “Anything that makes them feel hot or makes them start perspiring, especially cardiac exercise that makes the woman’s heart-rate increase to the point of her puffing or panting. Personal Fitness Instructors might believe it’s fine! But most Midwives adamantly disagree in the Third Trimester, especially in the summer heat.”
Should pregnant women be drinking more water on hot days?
Drink up! Kathy says upping your water intake is essential. “Absolutely – just like all people should. Interestingly during Labour, if the woman becomes dehydrated, often another symptom is her unborn babies heart-rate increasing.”
Kathy tells us that babies are more comfortable in the womb when the mother is properly hydrated as, “a dehydrated mother has ‘thicker more viscous’ blood, and unborn babies prefer that not to be the case.”
What are some of your hot weather skincare tips for pregnant women?
“Typically the worst area is the stretching belly which can get so itchy, while your body grows that extra square foot of pregnant skin.
Soaking in a bath with Pinetarsol, and massaging in a moisturising lotion or oil with chamomile and other soothing ingredients, can both feel good.”
bh loves: Pinetarsol solution ($10.99, chemistwarehouse.com.au), QV Bath Oil, SheaMoisture Raw Shea, Chamomile & Argan Oil Baby Lotion, LYCON Hand and Body Lotion – Lavender & Chamomile, and GAIA SKIN + BODY Belly Butter.
What are your top tips for staying comfortable when you’re pregnant on hot days?
- Take it easy – “Intentionally dial it down, especially if you are in your Third Trimester. Fully appreciate, even with you just sitting still, your heart is pumping 1.5 times the blood of the non-pregnant you, and your kidneys are filtrating 1.5 times their normal workload. If you’re feeling knackered, then so is your unborn baby! You are fundamentally one being.”
- Accept help – “Say yes to every single offer of help, especially from other mothers, because they know how you’re likely to be feeling, and know you should be taking it easy.”
What are the essential items a pregnant women should take in her bag on a hot day?
Kathy advises four essential items: “Large filled water-bottle, money to buy a fruit ice-block and a sports rehydration drink (not an ‘energy drink’); and a fan (the old-fashioned variety, or a battery-operated hand-held, or both!)”