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Sunday, August 14, 2016

more summer pregnancy survival tips

This whole pregnant in the summer thing is a whole new ball game, I tell people. It's nothing like when I had the first trimester in the summer with my first February due date baby or when I got pregnant in August so went right into the fall with morning sickness. No, this third trimester starting in June all the way through September is a crazy freaking ride, that's for sure. It's HOT. I mean HOT. I'm serious, I've never sweat so much in my life. It's nuts.

And yet I tell people I can't complain much since I've spent most of my summer near cool water and with ocean breezes, working only once a week typically in the summer since I work in a school. To the third trimester summer mommas who work every day out of the house, man, I am sending you popsicles or something.

Regardless of what you do or where you are in the summer during the third trimester, it's hot and it's difficult, more difficult than the winter pregnancies, I'd say. In the winter, I was nervous about falling on ice and snow. The large sweaters and pants were hard to put on and off daily, as were shoes with swollen feet. But other than that, winter pregnancy was far easier than this summer thing.

Here are some real tips to help you survive and keep your cool during the last trimester in the heat: 

  • SWIM SUIT - Get a comfortable and cute bathing suit because you will live in it. Not kidding. Something that doesn't bug you or feel uncomfortable. Something that holds the top in and grows with you as you grow. In fact, get a few different size tops if you must, so you're ready for whatever size you become. Get something that makes you feel good about yourself, too, because we know that as we grow sometimes we are uncomfortable with our body image.... and in the summer it's ALL out there and not covered by big sweaters. So enjoy it with a cute suit. 
  • GO FOR COMFORT - When shopping for summer clothing, look for comfort versus just style. Granted, we're lucky these days, the comfy things are also super adorable to wear now, thankfully! I got some awesome tank tops at Old Navy that I've lived in this summer. I found some regular Nike shorts and just bought them in a larger size, sports shorts have been my lifesaver this summer, they're so comfortable, especially when heading out with the kids. Big flowing dresses are great and keep you cool, too. It's all about staying cooler.
  • RESTROOMS ONLY - This is something I've realized is super important - only go places where there are bathrooms. You remember the third trimester right? When it's all pushing on your bladder? Yeah, not fun. Now times that by 100 in the summer, because that's how much MORE water you're drinking in the summer to stay hydrated so you're peeing even more... so, you need to stick by lakes and oceans with bathrooms. It makes life easier.
  • HYDRATE - It's so important in pregnancy to drink enough water, but in the summer time t's even more of a necessity. I made sure I had plenty of larger water bottles with me. It's important to take one or two with you everywhere you go. For me, when I knew I was going to the beach or outside all day I'd make sure I drank at least 3 huge glasses of water before I even left the house, enough time to use the bathroom and feel like I started the day hydrated. On really hot days, it was helpful to drink some Vitamin Waters to nourish myself with vitamins that were needed when we were dehydrating. Hydration is important for keeping the swelling down, which happens more in the summer time, too, as well as avoiding contractions and early labor issues. Go buy yourself a fancy new water bottle to help yourself feel cool.
  • EAT LIGHT - Regardless of pregnancy, in the summer there are hot days where we don't feel quite like eating our normal meals. It's too hot to cook! I don't think I've made more than like 5 meals all summer. I'm not kidding (thank you husband and take out restaurants!). So eat lighter items like salads, sandwiches, fruit, smoothies, watermelon, popsicles, and even cereal. I've had tons of cereal for dinner this summer because it was all I wanted. Pasta salad is a great alternative too. It's OK to avoid cooking, too. Go out to eat more, it's all good, just make healthy choices while there. Snack frequently so you don't have to sit for a big meal that makes you hotter.
  • INDULGE - Ice cream is your friend, and it's OK to indulge this summer while pregnant. I've had a fair amount of ice cream this summer. At night I crave something icy cold so I've tried some fruity organic popsicle things that are actually ok for you instead of more sugary ice cream. But when I'm out and about and sweating, yes, ice cream is a great thing! When else can you really indulge like this? Baby likes it. 
  • REST - In the summer we swell normally, even when not pregnant. So while pregnant on hot days, it's important to get your rest. Take naps if you can. Definitely put your feet up more to decrease natural heat swelling. I do this each night, take a cool shower and then lotion up my belly and feet and lay down with feet raised. It's a good time to just take a load off. 
  • SUNBLOCK - You are susceptible to different burns and the sun affecting you in different ways when pregnant, so make sure you always have sunblock on and with you to reapply. Especially if you already have kids, this is really important to make sure you remember. Put it on BEFORE you leave the house, otherwise you'll forget, busy watching the kiddos. 
  • HIT THE SHADE - Because we overheat while pregnant (I heard that pregnant women feel things 10 degrees HOTTER than what the temperature is for everyone else, yikes!) it's important to stay more in the shade in the summer than in the sunshine. Bring a big sun hat, sit under a tree for shade, and get some umbrellas to keep you a little cooler. Also, I've noticed some skin pigmentation on my face this summer from the sun and being pregnant, it doesn't mix well for skin sometimes I guess and it makes these weird blotches on your face. A hat and more sunscreen helps this.
  • SLOW DOWN - You already know that while in the third trimester you aren't running any marathons. You have to slow down physically without it even being a choice since you're carrying more weight, feeling lightheaded sometimes, perhaps blood pressure concerns, etc. In the summer, I feel like you need to slow down even more because of all the heat around you and in your body. So just walk a little slower. Get comfy shoes and try your best to do what you want to do, but with taking smaller steps and giving yourself more time to get there.
  • GET OUT EARLY - Back in June when I was only like 6 months pregnant I knew I wanted to do all the fun outdoor amusement park type activities with my kids early on in the summer before I got too tired, big and hot to do them later in the summer. Man, am I glad we did that! We went to a water park and to Story Land and all kinds of activities earlier in the summer. By the end of July I could feel myself needing to slow down physically, being way too hot and getting crabby and having stomach issues if I were out in the sun too long. So my advice is to get outside early in the morning for fun activities. Try to avoid being at the beach past noon, morning is much cooler and the sun is less dangerous then and you can head home for an afternoon rest perhaps. Also, earlier in the season is best. It's less hot in June than it is in August typically, so if you're planning a trip or camping or an amusement park day head out in early July versus late August if you can. 
  • SWEATY- Yup, it's just a fact of life for all of us in the summer, but specifically us who are large and pregnant. Just pack deodorant with you in the summer. I never need to take it with me otherwise, but this summer I notice I'm sweating more and so it is a must-have in my purse. It's all good.
  • STAY INSIDE - On those really hot days, it's OK to take a day off and stay indoors. Indulge in TV and AC, or get some nesting done around the house in the cool air instead of heading outside. 
  • AC- Mine have been turned on and full blast since like May, I swear. And you know what, that's OK. I've never and never will again run the ACs like I have this summer. I know it's not great for the world and electricity or my bill... but this summer, it's all good and we are needing to do this, keep the momma bear cool. My poor husband has a cold and sleeps with a winter blanket on his side of the bed... but I'm all nice and cool with the air conditioner!

Granted it's not all that bad when you're pregnant and near the end of the process in the summer. It's good to remember some of the good things, too.

Here are my FAVORITE parts about being pregnant in the summer:

  • FLIP FLOPS- OH MY WORD amazing! I cannot imagine being pregnant again and having to wear real shoes, especially near the end. Wearing flip flops since like 5 months pregnant until the end... that's a DREAM COME TRUE. No tying shoes. No buying another size bigger shoe because you're stretching out your typical shoes. No squeezing into boots. It's amazing. I LOVE flip flops. 
  • CUTE CLOTHES- I am loving the flowy dresses and simple outfits of summer. Tank top and shorts, voila, and I'm ready. Versus in the winter, it's like a tank top or t-shirt underneath a big sweater and larger pants with the huge belly covering thing, and socks and shoes and ... it's just easier to get dressed in the summer. Also, the skirts and dresses are SO cute these days. 
  • SHORT-LIVED - Remember that if you're pregnant in the summer, it's only a few months, promise. It'll be over before you know it, whereas winter is a bit longer and if you don't like winter that can be hard. 
  • WATER - I can live in water if I want to this summer. I put my beach chair in the ocean sometimes! I love that I can get out somewhere to get cool if I want to. It's perfect. 
The very best thing about being pregnant in the summer is realizing other women get it, they will support and encourage you and empathize with what you're going through. I've had SO many women this summer look at me with a smile, while I'm HOT and large and outdoors with my kids at the park or playground or store or beach and they stop me and smile and say "I get it, I was there, too, I'm with you, sister, hang in there, it's almost over, you can do this" or "How are you holding up in this heat? I'm thinking of you." It's incredible. Like countless women have said this to me, at least 10 strangers have stopped me to say this. It's wonderful. It's like this camaraderie that I didn't know existed among moms. I love being a part of that. They are saying to me: "You have every right to complain if you want about this heat, cause it sucks and you're big and tired and it's OK to complain. You can do it though, we did it, I've been there, and I know. But I also know it ends and you won't be hot forever and big forever. Keep up the good work, Momma." I loooove this. Women are super kind and supportive. So when you get these looks from moms in the summer, know they mean well and are supporting you and rooting you on. Say thanks and smile and appreciate their encouragement. 

Stay cool, moms! You CAN do this :)

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