It can be tempting to throw on a sundress and get out there whether you manage to catch one of the few days the UK actually gets good weather or if you're on holiday abroad. But beware, pregnancy puts a real strain on the body and you may not find the experience as enjoyable as expected! This is especially true during the third trimester as the growing baby is rapidly increasing in size and hence zapping us of all energy and omitting a vast amount of heat in doing so. Being heavily pregnant also means that our movement is slower and more cumbersome. This in turn also contributes to the risk of over-heating. If you can imagine walking around with a hot water bottle up your top then you are on the right lines!
avoid overheating during pregnancy
It is really important to avoid overheating in pregnancy as this can cause negative health effects for both you and your unborn child. Many studies have shown a link between overheating in the first trimester and an increased risk of neural tube defects. This is the group of conditions that we take folic acid to prevent in early pregnancy. Overheating is a real risk for pregnant women of all stages of pregnancy though and worst case can result in heat stroke. This is the most extreme form of heat exhaustion and can potentially be very dangerous.
the symptoms of heat stroke
• muscle cramps
The best way to avoid heat stroke and over exposure is to avoid being out in the direct sunlight.
what to do if you're pregnant and out in the sun
If you are out in the sunshine please take the following precautions:
• avoid the midday sun 11-3
• always carry water with you at all times especially when travelling on public transport
• don’t exercise in the heat and if you do watch out for frequent braxton-hicks
• drink plenty of fluids
• apply lots of high factor suncream and stay in the shade as much as possible
If you start to feel dizzy or sick then please stop what you are doing and rest. If you are travelling then please disembark the train or bus and take some deep breaths in the fresh air. Make sure you carry water with you at all times and ensure you take frequent sips.
best ways to get some sleep in the heat
Sleeping in the heat can be especially troublesome during pregnancy and it is a good idea to invest in a fan, especially if you are in your third trimester. Keep the windows open with the curtains or blinds closed during the day to ensure as much fresh, cool air can enter the room as possible. Sleep with doors open to keep the circulation of fresh, cooler air going throughout the night. However, despite employing all of these tactics, it is likely you will find that overall your sleep will suffer during the heat, unfortunately. Maybe this is mother nature trying to prepare us for the unpredictable newborn sleep patterns approaching!