Tips for Weathering Your Third Trimester in Late Summer

Pregnancy is an amazing and magical time of life, but it’s not without its challenges and apprehensions. If you’re in the final trimester and stuck in the hot summer months, the usual discomforts may seem magnified by the heat. It’s not your imagination. The demands that pregnancy places on your body does make navigating summer activities more challenging.

However, with some thought, planning, and adaptation, you can still enjoy summer living in the last few weeks before your baby arrives. If you have questions or concerns about any aspect of your pregnancy or coping with the heat, your doctors at OBGYN Care are standing by to help. In the meantime, here are some things to keep in mind to stay cool and on track in your last trimester.

Down that water

Yes, your bladder may seem like it’s the size of an eyedropper with your baby pressing down on it, but the two of you need plenty of water, even before you venture out into perspiration-inspiring heat. There’s no way to over-emphasize the importance of water while you’re pregnant. 

When you add outdoor activities in hot weather, the demand grows to compensate for perspiration, the normal temperature-regulating reaction of your body. It doesn’t take much to feel overheated, since your body temperature is already higher during pregnancy, so you can start sweating with surprisingly little effort. Do what you need to do to keep water intake happening.

Watch the sun

Your skin changes during pregnancy, along with virtually everything else, it seems. The hormonal changes in your body make your skin more susceptible to ultraviolet (UV) damage and sunburn. You can use sunscreens while pregnant but stick with those with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as active ingredients, since they sit on your skin rather than being absorbed by it, and they’re also hypoallergenic. 

The other common strategies for reducing sun exposure apply, including floppy, wide-rimmed sun hats and loose fitting, light fabric clothes with an SPF value. Avoid the sun between 10am and 2pm when its rays are strongest. You’ll also miss the worst of the heat.

Keep an eye on swelling

You’ll likely have foot and ankle swelling in the third trimester anyway, but the summer heat could make it worse. It’s perhaps counterintuitive, but increasing your water intake typically helps reduce swelling. 

Light exercise helps stimulate blood and fluid flow out of your legs and so does relaxing with your feet up. Massage and epsom salt soaks also help. If swelling appears in your hands or face, it may be a symptom of preeclampsia, a potentially serious complication requiring urgent medical attention.

Air conditioning and swimming pools may be your best friends through your last months of a summer pregnancy. Remember that you’ve got less energy to spend on things you’ll take in stride after the baby arrives, and adjust your summer plans accordingly.

From the first stages of family planning to the birth of your child and the years beyond as a woman, OBGYN Care is your wellness partner. Contact our most convenient office by phone or online to schedule your next appointment. 

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