So, summer is well and truly here and It. Is. HOT. Fantastic! Or not.. if you are heavily pregnant, this heat is no joke at all and can be really really awful. Unless of course you are able to spend all of your time in an air conditioned room, with a lovely big pool and cold drinks on demand. No? In that case, I have put together some (hopefully) helpful tips to keep you cool this summer:
1) Sleeping. Or lack thereof. This is a big problem when it's hot and can leave you feeling exhausted. Try having a cold shower (as cold as you can stand it) as the last thing you do before going to bed, just lightly dry your body leaving it slightly damp and get yourself in front of a fan/ air-con unit/ window to dry off. It will drop your body temperature down nicely before getting in to bed.
Sleep with a cool flannel on your forehead, and just under a single sheet. Another trick whilst lying in bed is to visualise being somewhere reaaaaallly cold, and fool your body into thinking it's not hot - you have to really use your imagination but it can work! (Those of you who are HypnoBirthers will appreciate the strength of mind over matter)
2) Water spray - these are amazing, just a small bottle like this one from Boots for only £1.55 kept in your handbag during the day and by your bedside at night can offer wonderful instant relief.
3) Peppermint foot cooling gel - I found this one from Body Shop but they are sold in lots of places. I was gifted some by a friend when pregnant with my first, and it was hands down the best thing I was bought! Getting to sleep when pregnant can be tricky even when it's not hot, and lots of people suffer with restless leg syndrome - I found this stuff worked wonders.
4) Water, water and more water. Sorry, I know it's a boring one but the importance can't really be stressed enough. You need to have a good water intake when pregnant normally, and if you're losing moisture through perspiration in the sun then you and baby need even more. The trick to know whether you're getting enough is your pee - if it is clear and odourless then that's perfect, keep up the good work. If your pee is a bit on the yellow side and has an odour, then try drinking a bit more (spread the increase throughout the day, don't go and down a litre of water).
5) Cankles anyone? Have your feet / ankles / calves all merged into one attractive lump in the heat? Upping your fluid intake actually helps with this too, as it works through your lymphatic system and helps to flush it all out. Keep your feet elevated whenever you can too, whilst watching TV or even at your desk, have your feet as raised as you can.
Failing all that, fill a bath with iced water and settle in for the day!