Pregnancy presents a few issues and obstacles during the summer months. Learn how to avoid or curb the problems.
Most people look forward to the sun and heat of summer. Unless you're pregnant. The summer months bring challenges and changes for pregnant women. Luckily, we can provide you with the tips and solutions to make summer a little more comfortable.
Heat exhaustion and dehydration
Dehydration is a major concern during pregnancy because it can cause your baby's heart beat to increase or induce pre-term labor. With the heat of summer, you may not realize how much fluid your are losing through sweating. If you are experiencing fatigue, thirst, nausea or constipation, increase your water intake and avoid the heat.
More swelling and puffiness
The summer heat can cause a pregnant women to retain more water leading to swelling and puffiness. If the heat is causing your feet and legs to swell more than usual, try resting with your feet raised. Also, try to:
- Drink more fluids
- Avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time
- Eat more potassium-rich foods
While swelling is common for pregnancy, if you swell up more than usual and it doesn't subside with the fore mentioned tips, call your physician to make sure the cause is not preeclampsia.
Hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause skin discolorations including darken of the facial skin often referred to the "mask of pregnancy." Exposure to sunlight may make the "mask" even darker. To prevent skin darkening, consider these tips:
- Wear sunscreen every day.
- Wear a hat that shades your face and neck.
- Avoid being out in the sun for long periods of time during the peak hours of 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Getting through the summer and reaching the end of your pregnancy will be made easier with the expertise of the Women's Services medical staff at St. Petersburg General Hospital. We also offer a comprehensive prenatal education class to meet your busy lifestyle. Please call (888) 741-5122 to learn more or to register.