Feeling the heat? How to cool down when pregnant

Summer is finally here and it’s boiling, but how do you stay cool when you're expecting? Here's some tips on how to cool down when pregnant

We know, we know – it’s so British to complain about the heat, especially when it was raining last week. But spare a thought for everyone who’s currently pregnant.

Pregnancy in the heat can be hard, even if you’re still in the early stages – when the hot weather doesn’t do you any favours when dealing with morning sickness and nausea – or later on, when you have a bigger bump and are really uncomfortable at the best of times.

The summer heat can also make everything smell terrible, from fridges to bins, which isn’t brilliant when you have a super-sensitive pregnancy nose.

Most women don't have the luxury of timing pregnancies, and it is highly likely that pregnancy will fall over some of the warmer months. And a summer pregnancy can mean getting hot and bothered when everyone else is loving the sunny weather.

So here’s some top tips on how to cool down when the temperature is rising, and our advice on how to cool down when pregnant

Drink lots…and lots: We know Pimms is off the menu, sadly, but make sure you drink lots and lots of water to keep yourself hydrated. It’s especially important if you’re sweating lots (which, let's face it, you probably are!). Squash, fruit juice or even coconut water are great alternatives if you’re not keen on plain water. Keep a bottle with you and top yourself up throughout the day. You can even buy fruit infusion bottles to give your water a delicious zingy flavour.

Ice it up, cool it down: Short of getting in the freezer yourself, ice lollies are a great way of keeping yourself hydrated (and will also help with any first trimester nausea). Why not cool it with a homemade ice lolly made with fruit and yoghurt? You can also freeze fruit; grapes work really well.

Get in the paddling pool: If you already have toddlers it’s likely they’ll be keen to get out the paddling pool in this weather. So why not join them? Stick your feet it or throw on your pre-pregnancy bikini and jump in. Read up on more summer activities for toddlers.

Go swimming: Not only will swimming keep you cool and get blood flowing around your body, it will take pressure off your sciatic nerve. It also takes all the weight and pressure off your bones and muscles and is wonderfully relaxing.

Do as little as possible: Minimise any activity. Can you arrange to work from home? Can you call in any favours and get someone else to do the nursery run? And put your feet up! Swollen ankles are an unwelcome side effect of pregnancy - the extra weight on blood vessels can restrict the blood flow to the lower limbs, leading to swelling. Sit with your feet elevated on a foot stool and munch on watercress, celery, citrus fruits, or small bits of parsley can help too as they can act as natural diuretics.

Dress cool: In times like these, loose cotton is your friend. Avoid man-made fabrics like polyester and go for cotton (with a bit of Lycra for a nice stretch). It'll keep you much cooler on hot days. Dress in thin layers you can strip off when necessary.

What are your tips for how to cool down when pregnant? We'd love to hear them! Make sure you also read our posts on keeping children safe in the sun and preparing for labour

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