You’re due in August? Oh, I’m sorry.”
Late pregnancy can be physically difficult under any circumstances, but being hugely pregnant during the hottest months of the year has its own challenges. First, there’s the heat– not just outside but how hot temperatures feel to you. Pregnancy raises your body temperature ever-so-slightly, and if it’s already really hot and humid a few tenths of a degree can feel like five.
The good news is that being exposed to hot weather during the second and third trimesters is safe for the baby. An elevated body temperature can pose a threat to the fetus in the first trimester, which is why you’re supposed to avoid saunas, hot tubs and untreated fevers. But heat that’s tolerable for you is okay for the baby. Wetting a washcloth or paper towel with cool water and applying it to your neck and backs of your knees can help cool you down, or even use a wet towel as a blanket. Also try freezing water bottles and putting them behind your lower back while you work.
Heat can also make it harder to sleep in the third trimester than it already is. It’s normal to start sleeping in shorter stints in the third trimester and get woken up a lot by baby kicks. If you wake up hot, sweaty and uncomfortable don’t be afraid to try sleeping in new places like the living room couch or even the floor with a pillow and a fan. If your schedule allows it have a nap after lunch during the heat of the day.
Another summer-pregnancy annoyance is itchiness. There’s a host of itchy conditions specific to pregnancy. Then you may have itching from stretching skin, chafing clothes or sweating. Your naturally hotter body temperature increases your risk of yeast infections and also increases your attractiveness to biting insects like mosquitoes. It’s hard to resist scratching, but scratching can make itching worse! Use talcum powder on clothes to prevent chafing, avoid sun exposure (you can get skin damage from the sun even if you use sunscreen) and use fans and citronella-scented plants and candles to drive mosquitoes away. Talk to your health care provider ASAP if you get an itchy rash or think you have a yeast infection.
There are great things about hot-weather pregnancy, though:
- swimming, sprinklers and soaking in cool water
- not having to squeeze your pregnant feet into socks and boots
- you can have a water birth in a tub on your lawn if you want to
- and your baby will have a warm-weather first birthday!
Want more? Check out the brand-new Great Expectations Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth.