Heinous heat waves: Tips for surviving a summer pregnancy.

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I’m 27 weeks pregnant, in the last week of my second trimester and struggling to survive summer. It’s bad enough my body has increased blood volume and raised metabolism, which in turn increases my body’s temperature by almost one extra degree. Then mix in the heinous heat waves we’ve been having and you have the recipe for one huge-hot-mess of a Mumma-to-be. 

I remember it being “hot” when I was pregnant with my son in the middle of summer six years ago, sure there were a couple of days in the high 30s, but I coped. This time around I’m literally dying! Living in Sydney, Australia means we’re currently experiencing (amongst many other places in Oz) a number of intense heat waves. There have been days that have reached highs of up to 38-42 degree celsius! I mean you’re lucky if the temperature drops below 28 degrees at night – where’s the relief?! 

The heat out there can get too much to bear and I have had days where I’ve felt so hot and light-headed, you could knock me over with a feather. The best advice is to stay indoors. Although, we unfortunately don’t have air-conditioning in our house, but I make sure I’m constantly parked in front of the fan. Not to mention, there are a number of other things I do in order to survive the heat and stay alive. Here are my tips on how to stay cool this sweltering summer.

Go to the movies

During the school holidays I loved taking my son to the movies. Nothing beats sitting in a cool, dark, air-conditioned room (choc top in hand) for a couple of hours, whilst my son is entertained by the latest Disney blockbuster.

Make icy drinks to keep hydrated

Obviously keeping hydrated in any heat is imperative, but be sure to make ice to go with it. Lots of it! I’ve swapped my usual morning cuppa with iced tea. Then during the day, as well as the obligatory water, I drink freshly squeezed juices loaded with ice. 

Go for a swim

I live by the beach and it’s a godsend. I try to avoid going during the hottest part of the day, but I alway find it’s cooler by the water. The seawater is refreshing and I love the feeling of weightlessness I get bobbing up and down in the cool water.  

Have a cold shower or bath

If you’re not lucky enough to live by the sea or a swimming pool, this is a good alternative. I often have a cool shower throughout the day when I can, or as soon as I get home, for a quick refresh.

Head to a shopping centre

If you’re like me and don’t have air-conditioning at home, head somewhere that does. Do the groceries, have a wander around and peruse the latest baby fashion, or buy those baby essentials you’ve been meaning to get. A lot of big shopping centres also have indoor playgrounds for your child. 

Keep a stock of ice blocks in the freezer

Splice ice creams were a summer staple in my childhood and now in pregnancy, are my new vice. Since rediscovering them, I keep a box in the freezer. With a creamy ice cream centre covered in a refreshingly fruity pine-lime ice, who can resist. 

Keep your clothing light

When I’m home I’d prefer to just walk around my abode totally nude. However, I can’t and probably shouldn’t because; 

1. I prefer not to scare the complete crap out of anyone. Don’t get me wrong pregnancy is a beautiful thing. We just have a very open plan house with floor to ceiling windows throughout and I’d hate to give any of my poor unsuspecting neighbours a heart attack (I live next door to a retirement village).  

2. I need something to soak up the sweat!

I opt for kaftans or airy tank tops paired with thin, flowy, shorts. Cool, loose-fitting clothing is way more comfortable than having to peel a pair of denim shorts off at the end of the day. 

Avoid cooking

I usually do the household cooking, but at times like these ask your partner to do it. There’s nothing worse than being pregnant and slaving over a hot stove or operating a hot oven, especially when you already feel like you’re in one! 

Go for a drive

If your car has air conditioning, this is a good option to keep cool. The best thing I find, is sometimes my five year old is so exhausted from the heat, he ends up falling asleep. 

If all else fails and the heat really overwhelms you, be sure to seek medical advice. Or if need be, call triple zero!

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