Surviving summer with your baby bump(written with the help of my lovely wife!)

Ah, carefree summer days! Balmy evenings in the beer garden, lazing or on a balcony or terrace, taking dip in an outdoor swimming pool ... what could be better? Of course, for many the reality is often not quite so idyllic - hot offices, broken air conditioning and sweaty train carriages kind of take the appeal out of a summer’s day! Well, whichever version of summer sounds more familiar to you, the heat can be a real challenge if you’re pregnant, particularly if you’re in the final trimester. Your body is already burdened by the strain of carrying a growing baby, and as the temperature rises, you might experience such delights are swollen feet, legs and hands, circulatory problems, or heat exhaustion. Lovely! But your summer pregnancy has to be a trial! Just follow our tips below, and you can enjoy the summer along with everyone else – well, apart from the unfortunate occupants of those sweaty train carriages, of course!

·         Drink, drink, drink! Water, not alcohol! Generally, women should drink 2 litres a day, and this is especially true for pregnant women. But don’t limit yourself to water. Try refreshing alternatives such as herbal teas and fruit punches, and try to avoid anything with too much sugar.

·         Dress cool. No, not that cool, the other one – the one that means the opposite of warm! Since you can barely tie your shoes by the sixth or seventh month, you’ll be more comfortable in sandals or other open shoes that you can just slip on. It’s important that you avoid heels though, because it’s a lot easier to trip over whilst wearing them. Remember that your feet might swell, so choose a shoe that is a half size larger than normal. Hey, nobody said this was going to be glamorous! For your body, choose materials that are light and breathable, such as cotton, silk or linen. Loose-fitting T-shirts, skirts or dresses are ideal.

·         Seek the shade. It’s obvious, but avoiding direct sunlight, especially around midday and early afternoon, will help to keep your body temperature down.  If you do have to go outside at these times, try to sit in the shade, avoid sunbathing, and wear a hat or bonnet to keep your head cool. Also, when you’re pregnant, your skin tends to form pigmentation spots more easily, so you should use sunscreen with a high protection factor to avoid damaging your skin.

·         Don’t just sit there! Tempting as it might be to just take it easy and relax, you should try to take a little moderate exercise every day. Simple, activities such as walking, cycling or swimming (always during the cooler morning and evening hours, of course) can do you the world of good, and they help to keep your circulation going, which can minimize swelling.

·         Take to the water. Swimming is a great exercise for pregnant women because the buoyancy of the water supports your body, making it much easier for you to move. Not only that, but it can be lovely and cooling on a hot day. Water temperatures between 20 and 35 degrees are ideal for both comfort and safety, and if you plan on doing a spot of wild swimming, try to find out about the water quality of the lake or river before you jump in! The risk of picking up an infection through fungal and bacterial contamination in the water is minimal, but if you still feel a strong burning or itching sensation after bathing, consult your doctor as a precaution.

·         Get your beauty sleep. It’s never easy to sleep in a hot room, but being pregnant can make it very uncomfortable. There are many tricks that people use to help them sleep, so it’s worth testing a few to see what works best for you. Help are some you can try:

o   If it’s not too humid, hanging a wet towel outside the window can cool the air entering the room.

o   If you have a fan, place a bowl of ice in front of the fan (between the fan and your body) to cool the air that the fan blows on to you.

o   Take a cool shower before you go to bed to reduce your body temperature, or just pour cool water over your arms and legs if you do not want to have a full shower.

o   Sleep in damp socks! OK, so this sounds a bit uncomfortable, but the water in the socks will conduct heat away from your body, helping to cool you down. I’ve even heard of people sleeping in damp T-shirts for the same reason!

o   Use thin sheets made of breathable materials so that the sweat will not stay on your body.

A summer pregnancy doesn’t need to be stressful and uncomfortable, and if you follow some of our advice, you can just get on with enjoying the summer sun! One other tip. If you are approaching the end of your pregnancy and thinking about last-minute shopping for when baby arrives, take advantage of technology and shop online so that you avoid the heat of the car and the stress of wandering around shops. Slumbersac’s online store has a range of fantastic baby sleeping bags, including summer bags, made from top-quality materials and at low prices! We also have special offers, which you can take advantage of by checking our Facebook page or signing up to our newsletter. Enjoy your summer!

Do you have any tips for surviving the summer with a baby bump? Share it with us and our readers by adding a comment below!