Just like that, summer is here once again. Now let’s talk about summer pregnancies.
It’s a funny term because you’re pregnant 9 months out of the year – so you’re going to experience at least 3 of the seasons while expecting. But if your third trimester coincides with the hottest months of the year, we’d call that a ‘summer pregnancy’.
Being pregnant in the summer definitely isn’t a bad thing — you get to wear flowing, flattering, comfy maxi dresses, the sun emphasizes your glow, and a refreshing dip in the pool is right at your fingertips. Sounds blissful, right? It is… for the most part.
In the heat, however, things can get a little more uncomfortable when you’re expecting, especially if you’re in the home stretch. Your body will already feel a bit warmer during pregnancy because of the increased amount of blood in circulation. Also, you’re more prone to excess sweat during pregnancy, so things can get a bit sticky, and let’s be honest: slightly stinky. You also want to make sure that you’re staying hydrated and not overheating – so safety comes into play as well, especially when it’s seriously hot outside.
We want you to enjoy your summer as much as possible, so, to help you survive a summer pregnancy, we’re going to share some of our best hot-weather hacks to keep you cool, comfortable, and happy straight through September. Read on for our 6 top tips!
6 Tips for Surviving a Summer Pregnancy
1. Invest In a Pair of Supportive Sandals
No one wants to put on socks and sneakers in the summer, and while we love a cute pair of sandals, it is a shoe that tends to be lacking on the support side. But if you’re nearing (or in) your third trimester, comfort and support are above all else. In the later stages of pregnancy, the arches of your feet actually flatten out and roll inward – which is what causes some women’s shoe sizes to change during pregnancy. Sandals with good arch support do exist, you just have to do a little digging to find them.
We know you know about swelling too – and that extra fluid that makes your feet puffy, combined with the summer heat is not a combination anyone looks forward to. So, when you do find a pair of sandals you’re ready to buy, make sure to but at least a half size bigger to give yourself some extra room, and extra comfort. So, look for sandals and slides with arch support, padded soles, and soft straps – and you’ll be good to go.
We actually just picked up a pair of these Ortho-Bounce Woven flip flops from Reef – and they are seriously comfortable and still fashionable.
2. Make Safe Sunscreen Your New Best Friend
It’s always important to protect your skin from damaging UV rays, but during pregnancy, your skin is even more sensitive, so it’s a product you don’t want to go anywhere without. While pregnant you are more likely to experience melasma, a type of hyperpigmentation that appears on the skin and face, which affects up to 50% of pregnant women, according to the British Skin Foundation. But don’t worry, there are things you can easily do to prevent this: staying out of direct sunlight at peak hours (10-2) and wearing sunscreen daily will reduce your risk of sun damage. Since your face is most likely to be affected by hyperpigmentation, a straw floppy hat is always a good accessory to have on hand – on trend and practical!
It’s wise to be picky when it comes to choosing your sunscreen. A minimum of SPF 30 and a physical sunblock (instead of a chemical one) are two good starting points. Unlike chemical sunscreens that can be absorbed into your bloodstream, a physical (also called mineral) sunscreen, acts as a barrier by using titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide to deflect damaging UV rays away from your skin. At the moment, these compounds are the only two ingredients categorized as Generally Recognised as Safe and Effective (GRASE) by the FDA.
Luckily, physical sunscreens aren’t hard to find, and you can pick up one that you like in your local pharmacy (Hint: Most products marketed as safe for babies are safe for pregnant moms, too! You can check out some of our favorites here).
This Coola sunblock is enriched with antioxidant-rich oils that make it smooth and moisturizing.
3. Opt for Loose, Breathable Clothing
One of the best parts of being pregnant in the summer is the ease of dressing your growing bump: no tight, uncomfortable jeans, bulky sweaters, and restrictive jackets that pull on your belly. Instead, embrace the ultimate wardrobe staple in comfortable and fashionable maternity clothing: dresses.
Maxi and midi cut dresses are comfortable by nature, and their stretchy and light material won’t put unwanted pressure on your abdomen. In the hot weather opt for dresses (or any clothes) made of breathable fabrics such as linen, cotton, and rayon. Also, be on the lookout for supportive straps that won’t rub or dig in as the day goes on and grab empire waists that cinch above your belly for a naturally flattering look.
Wrap dresses flatter everyone, and we love the fun colors and breezy silhouette of this dress from Wild Honey. This dress from Seraphine doubles as a nursing dress, so it’ll be a valuable part of your wardrobe even after you give birth (and it’s on a great sale!)
4. Hydrate, Hydrate & Hydrate Some More
It’s easy to get dehydrated in the summer heat, and when you’re pregnant you want to be especially mindful of this. We talked about swelling earlier, which can feel extra uncomfortable in the heat, but staying ahead on your water intake will actually help flush excess fluids from your system and decrease swelling.
If you struggle to remember to drink enough water throughout the day, one of the things we’ve found to be the easiest way to remember is to pick up a reusable water bottle that has time marks on, indicating how much water you should have consumed by that time of day. If you find it hard (or boring) to drink plain water, try adding frozen berries (which will help keep things cooler too)! They’ll add a bit of sweetness and flavor to your water as they melt, and the antioxidants in the berries are an added bonus.
The Cactaki water bottle has time markings if you need that extra encouragement to keep going on your water. Hint: while pregnant you’d need more water than this bottle recommends, so use this as a baseline!
5. Don’t Be Too Cool for Cold Packs
There’s not much science to back this one up—it just comes down to good old-fashioned ice packs providing instant cooling relief. They’re a savior for pregnant moms in the heat of summer and a great way to reduce swelling at the end of a hot day. Place a cold pack on the back of your neck or between your chin and neck to quickly cool off, or pop some on your ankles or wrists if your feet or hands feel swollen and puffy. We’ve heard of some women freezing a pair of wet socks and putting them on at the end of the day – and to that, we say: whatever works.
Another way to get full body relief is to cool down the girls… seriously. Keep a head of cabbage in the fridge (or freezer) and when you need some quick relief, pop a cabbage leaf on each breast. The best part is: no one will know. You can also pick up a pair of bra coolers (yes, ice packs for your bra do exist), and we’ve linked one of our favorites below.
These bra coolers are so discreet and freeze to a comfortable 58 degrees (so they’ll never feel too cold). The best part is, if you don’t have access to a freezer, you can reactivate them in cold water.
6. Let Water Work Its Wonders
We’ve talked about hydration, but this is all about getting quality time in the pool, the lake, the ocean, whatever body of water you can get easy access to. In your third trimester, time in the water will be one of the best ways to give your body needed relief – by alleviating the pressure on your joints.
Swimming also works as a natural lymphatic massage, helping to move toxins out of your body, and a dip in a cool pool is really the only way to find relief from the heat in the dead of summer (pregnant or not)!
Off of that, we highly recommend investing in a maternity swimsuit that makes you feel so good and sexy when you wear it. We’re working on pulling together some of our favorite suits for summer, so be sure to check back soon for our top recommendations!