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Pregnancy & Surviving the Heat of Summer

The following is a post from LifeasMOM contributor Lauren:

I’ve been pregnant several times throughout the hot summer months. With morning sickness. In North Carolina.

Heat + all-day morning sickness = a hot, irritable mama

So what do you do if you are pregnant during those 95+ degree days and you have children who need to go outside and run off some energy?

This was my exact scenario last summer. I was expecting our 4th baby and I never wanted to go outside. The ice cold air conditioning just begged me to stay in so I wouldn’t be miserable. At the time, my children were 5, 3 and 15 months, so they definitely couldn’t be outside alone. But I just knew I was going to feel all kinds of awful if I stepped foot outside.

So I had to muster up the strength to get myself and my house-bound children into some fresh air.

Here are a few tips I learned during that hot, nausea-filled summer:

Drink plenty of water and eat tons of protein before going outside.

Dehydration can make nausea unbelievably worse, so make sure your water bottle stays full. Before going outside, make sure you’ve eaten a protein-rich snack: peanut butter crackers, a few ounces of cheese, a handful of nuts, a cup of milk. Don’t set yourself up for disaster by battling the heat with an empty pregnant stomach.

Plan outside time just prior to nap time.

It’s well known among parents that children sleep extra well when they’ve worn themselves out from all of that running outside. Plan accordingly and you can lie down for a nap also.

Don’t go far from home.

When you’re pregnant with constant morning sickness, there’s no need to go across town to the park. If things go south quickly, you need to be close to your own home.

Make sure you stay in the shade.

The heat from the sun is unbearable when you are pregnant and sick! Find a chair and sit in the shade while the children play. Sit on the porch while they draw with sidewalk chalk. Blow bubbles from the shady steps on the back deck. Whatever you do, stay out of the direct heat of the sun. It’s better for your skin, and better for that unrelenting nausea.

Wear sunscreen.

I have ridiculously fair skin. I’m one of those people that can burn in just a few minutes outside. But the worst? Being sunburned when you’re pregnant. It’s miserable! Diligently put on sunscreen so you save yourself from the discomfort of sunburn.

Keep your feet wet.

Your feet being wet can be unbelievably refreshing! Keep them in the edge of the plastic kiddie pool while the little ones splash. Let the kiddos run in the sprinkler and make sure you’re in its path of water. Get out the watering can and let your little one ‘water your feet’ over and over again.

Set a timer.

If you truly just don’t want to be outside, set a timer for 10 minutes. Let your little one swing, play in the sand box or ride her tricycle for 10 minutes and then head back indoors. She will have had some fresh air and a few minutes to use up some of that never-ending energy. Sometimes it’s easier to do something when there is a definite end in site.

I’ll readily admit: I had to give myself a pep talk before I could even consider going outside last summer. And it’s a serious understatement to say I didn’t always have the best attitude. But I did find that I was so proud of myself for making the effort once the kids played and we were back inside.

What are your tricks for surviving the outdoors when you’re pregnant and chronically feel sick?

Lauren Hill is the ‘Mama’ behind Mama’s Laundry Talk and loves all things laundry.

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Comments

  1. With my second I was in my last month of pregnancy during the hottest most humid time in Buffalo and that is July. Pure misery I tell ya and at the time we did not have central air conditioning. Well I could not take it anymore so I told my husband we are getting air so I called the place only to find out they had a 3 month waiting list!! I said “listen I am 7 1/2 months pregnant and I cannot take this anymore” the man on the other line said “Oh my! My wife is also pregnant and due soon. Ok we will be there tomorrow!” I swear it was amazing!!! ANd they were there the next day to install our central air!

  2. I found that frozen fruit was a real treat during hot, pregnant summers! Specifically, frozen mango. I’m not sure why, but it hit the spot for me.

  3. I was just a few months pregnant both pregnancies, so the summer wasn’t so bad, BUT it was still uncomfortable. I can only imagine how awful it was for women who were later into their pregnancies. UGH! But both of my girls were bon in January, and I lived in Cleveland, so toting kids in the slippery, icy snow was awful too.

  4. Thanks for these tips! I’m about ten weeks pregnant, and I just don’t want to take my children outside. But I will try some of these suggestions (maybe even this afternoon!) because I know that my kiddos need the time to play outside.

    Another tip, at least for those of us who live where the summer temperatures are routinely about 95, is to go outside first thing in the morning. After that, it’s just too hot and muggy.

  5. I’m due in August…in Houston! Last time I was due in November, but it really doesn’t cool down here until October, so I was pregnant that summer too. And the one before that was also due in August.

    Thanks for the article and tips. I know I can survive (I’ll live in my moms pool!) but I also know it won’t be super fun this summer if I’m complaining about the heat. At least I can send the kids in the backyard unsupervised, but unfortunately they complain about the heat too!

  6. I was pregnant two years ago in the summer (son born in July) and also this summer (baby due in August). I have a fairly small, completely fenced backyard, so I let the kids go out there while I sit just inside near the door. I can see them out the window and hear them and they can’t get out or go anywhere.

    I have to disagree about the sunscreen/sun thing. Sun on your skin will produce vitamin D, and you need this to be healthy. Even if you are fair and need to limit your time in the sun, it’s incredibly important to get some sun on your skin. And you may feel less nauseous if you can get a little sun. Sunburns are often caused by drinking too little water and consuming too little saturated fat (yes really). Since we’ve changed our diet towards traditional foods we don’t burn at all. I’m very fair, grew up burning easily, but I can sit in direct sunlight for an hour or two now without any problems. Also, if you MUST use sunscreen, be very careful to choose one that uses zinc oxide as its active ingredient and is safe according to EWG database. Many are not.

  7. Christine says:

    I started chasing my son through the water at the splash pad. I looked ridiculous, but 9 months pregnant in 100 degree heat, I finally decided that either I was going to cook or we were going to play in the water together.

    Besides, the dad’s were doing it. Why are us mom’s always so grownup?

  8. I’m due with my 2nd August baby. For me, a spray bottle set on mist is a must have! I’ve also thought about getting one of those hand-held fans that have a built in spray bottle. Another thing that works well is to have a nice hat and a bandana. Soak the bandana and put it around your neck and use the hat to keep the sun off your face.

  9. I’m glad I’m due in a few weeks cuz I do NOT want to be preggo in the SC heat again. My daughter was born at the very end of august and it was my first summer here in the super humid heat YUCK!!

    Remember to prop your feet up whenever possible too… I got SO swollen and the heat made it a lot worse, my feet/ankles were so big it was extremely painful to walk!

  10. I set up a paddling pool for the kids and a comfortable deck chair with an umbrella for myself. With my feet in the water, I could supervise in style.

    When things got really hot, I would keep a cup of ice nearby. Putting an ice cube on your wrist or temple really helps to calm you down.

    A misting bottle of ice water was a must-have too!

  11. Danielle B says:

    I’ve been in the beginning months of pregnancy through the summer twice now (born in Jan and Feb). With my second child I was actually big pregnant through the summer and gave birth in September. My personal opinion is, I would much rather be big pregnant through the summer than just sick pregnant through the summer! I personally have a much harder time with the first four months then I do the last 5.

    You can do anything for 15 minutes, including getting your nauseated self and two littles outside, and you’ll feel so much better about yourself as a mom once you do! Then you can spend the rest of your day not beating yourself up b/c you didn’t take the kids outside!

    Also too, b/c my husband works so late into the evening, usually not getting home until after 8, we made it a habit to go outside and catch lightening bugs every night. Not only was it so much cooler, but with my husband’s extra set of hands to help, I could sit back and watch my family run around, having fun, burning off their final energy before bed, and feel even less guilty about being so sick all day long. You will need plenty of bug spray though! :-D

  12. Shannon says:

    This will be my third pregnancy in the summer. The worst was the second who was born in August and I stood up in a wedding and had her 5 days later.

    I will just take my beach ball belly to the pool and let the kids splash around. Good times!

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