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Pros and Cons of Being Pregnant in the Summer

Pros and Cons of Being Pregnant in the Summer; Young, pregnant woman, lying on the beach, relaxing and enjoying the sun

When planning your family, you probably won’t have a lot of control over the time of year you will be pregnant. With pregnancies lasting about 40 weeks, you’ll be pregnant for the better part of a year. The summer poses a special set of pros and cons to pregnant women at all stages, but especially for those nearing the finish line of their due date. 

From factors that cause mere discomfort to things that pose legitimate health hazards, the cons are usually heat-related. On the flip side, there are some seasonal advantages. As always, consult your doctor before making any big changes to your routine such as exercise or diet.

Pros of Being Pregnant in the Summer

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables are in season and readily available

Nutrition is paramount when you’re pregnant. Based on the diet guidelines you and your doctor have discussed, fresh produce might be a great upside of summertime pregnancy.

Since it is bound to be warm out, if you’re looking for a way to cool down, using fresh fruit to make a smoothie could be a good idea. Just be sure to watch out for the sugar content. Avoid any sugar other than the natural sugar in the fruit; for instance, steer clear of flavored yogurt with added sweeteners or juices.

  •  Vitamin D

It goes without saying that too much sun can be harmful to your health, but this is especially true when you are pregnant. You might be more susceptible to sun sensitivity during pregnancy and safe sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 is always recommended. This doesn’t mean you should avoid the sun altogether. A few minutes of sun each day can help you produce more vitamin D and avoid vitamin D deficiency, a common during pregnancy. Vitamin D deficiency has possible links to gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and other conditions. Talk to your doctor about sun exposure before setting any kind of routine.

  • Wardrobe

This one might seem trivial, but when you’re pregnant, sometimes feeling good in what you’re wearing is a little something that feels like everything. Summer is the season to wear flowy and breezy pieces. From maxi dresses and skirts to wide-leg palazzo pants and jumpsuits, anything goes in summer. And a lot of fashionable summer outfits that look put together in both social and professional settings feature elastic, which is never a bad thing for an expanding belly. Also, looser sandals or flip flops can be great for feet that might swell when constrained in other shoes. Just make sure you have proper foot support and always monitor your swelling and act if it becomes concerning.

  • Swimming

Summer means pools, beaches, lakes and other bodies of water are open for use. In addition to being a good way to cool down, swimming can also soothe pregnancy-related aches and pains. Swimming and floating reduce weight on your joints and your sciatic nerve as well as potentially reducing swelling. When swimming while pregnant, just follow basic rules of water safety. For example, keep an eye on the tide and waves in the ocean.

 Cons of Summer Pregnancies

  • Dehydration

This is simple and applies to everyone, not just pregnant women. But pregnant women should pay special attention because it can have an even more serious effect on them. When it’s hot, we sweat more and lose both water and electrolytes from our body.  It is of paramount importance to drink plenty of water with the recommended amount being 2.3-2.5 liters a day. Do not wait until you feel thirsty as dehydration can increase your risk of preterm labor.

  • Hyperthermia

In early pregnancy, an abnormally high body temperature, or hyperthermia, can increase the risk of birth defects. Women can develop hyperthermia from a fever, sitting in a hot tub, or excessively hot temperatures outside so therefore when possible, you should avoid these risks.  If the heat index gets into the 90s, stay inside in air-conditioned spaces as much as possible, particularly during the peak hours of the day.

  • Heat Intolerance

The body temperature of a pregnant woman is already a bit higher than normal, so higher outside temperatures will make you feel even more uncomfortable. All pregnant women have a bit of heat intolerance and should pay extra attention to forecasts and heat advisories.  

  • Swelling

Swelling, or edema, can be a problem in pregnancy no matter the time of year. However, the American Pregnancy Association lists summertime heat as one of the leading factors that can affect swelling. To avoid further swelling you can also avoid caffeine, make sure you get enough water and potassium, avoid standing for long periods of time, and decrease sodium intake. Here is some additional information from the APA on how to manage swelling.  

Tips to Help You Stay Healthy This Summer

There are steps you can take to minimize the unpleasant effects of summer and mitigate the risks. You can try the following:

  • Hydrate well. Higher temps mean you need to take in more fluids. Water is great, but other drinks are good too. As long as you aren’t on a restrictive diet (for example, due to gestational diabetes), orange juice, milk, and sports drinks specifically for rehydration can be helpful to replace the electrolytes you sweat out. Coconut water is another popular way to rehydrate.
    • Hydration is so important, but you can overhydrate. Too much water can lead to what’s called “water intoxication” and will dilute your electrolytes and cause cramps and fatigued muscles. To avoid this, rather than drink a lot at once, drink throughout the day, even before you think you need to. Because if you’re thirsty, you’re already at least a little dehydrated.
    • It is recommended that you drink 2.3-2.5 liters of water per day.
  • Wear breathable fabrics to minimize sweating and prevent heat rash. Heat rash typically develops under the breasts and abdomens of pregnant women.
  • Carry a spray bottle filled with water to mist yourself.
  • If you exercise outside, do it at the coolest times of the day and listen to your body. Never exercise to the point of overheating.

If you have questions or concerns about navigating your summer pregnancy, or pregnancy in any season, the physicians and staff at Triangle Physicians for Women are here to help you. Call us at (919) 678-6900 to schedule an appointment at one of our two locations in Cary and Holly Springs, North Carolina.

 

Dr V and the office staff were all very professional, understanding, caring and very efficient. I would be happy to recommend this practice to friends, family and associates. – Barbara M. Lucas

My visit was great! & my past visit have all been great.Kristy helped me even with me being a bit stressed & in a hurry because I had to be seen & my job is super strict. Her urgency to get me seen was phenomenal. I even got to see Heather, she’s awesome & amazing. She helped deliver my baby girl a year ago. My whole family loves her and Dr Sheshadri. We actually can’t wait to get pregnant again hahaha. Everyone treats you with respect and always makes sure your okay & answers whatever questions you have before you leave. Even leaving a message for the nurses,they get back to you so quickly.  This practice really makes you feel taken care of.  We appreciate you all!  – Erika Hooks

My experience with the TP4W staff has been top of the line.  They helped me through three pregnancies and coached me through every step of the way.  Eternally thankful I chose TP4W.  – Britney

TP4W have such amazing doctors, midwives and nurses.  I cannot say enough about Dr. Grana and the rest of the staff for all the help, advice, guidance and medical care they provided me with all of my kids.  She made me feel safe and calm through both c-sections.  My routine care and pregnancy care have always been top notch and I would recommend them to anyone looking for an OBGYN.  – Brooke

We were honored to receive a hand written note..

Dr. Grana, Angie, Jessica, Heather, April, Sarah and the rest of the staff –

Thank you all so much for taking such good care of me through both of my pregnancies and births, especially my latest one on 10/29! most of yall know how nervous I was from having gone through a lot (to say the least) with my first in 2016. You all made me feel so comfortable and at ease before, during and after. And going through a touch year with my dad, you guys always asked how he was doing at every appointment, which was so thoughtful and beyond your job description. I know that you all see many women go through what i did each and every day and deliver many babies and perform many c-sections. But I hope you know how special Ruby’s delivery was to me. You all have amazing jobs! I cannot thank you all enough. Merry Christmas!

Love, Lucy

I have been going to TP4W since 2010/11 and could not be happier.

The staff, nurses, midwives, and doctors are all amazing. I have 2 sons, both delivered via cesarean by Dr. V. Every visit and every provider did everything in their power to give me the birth experience I wanted, and also ensure that myself and my babies were safe and healthy. Dr. V even did everything in his power to help me avoid my first c-section and VBAC with the second, but that turned out to be out of his hands and he was the absolute best surgeon. With my two pregnancies, I experienced a few scares and some unusual circumstances that would be too long and too private to write in a review, but every single hurdle was handled with grace, honesty, and professionalism. I am so thankful for the recommendation from a friend to come to this office. I can’t imagine ever going to another practice.

TP4W is amazing and I am so very thankful I found them 9 years ago!! Amazing partnership between midwives and doctors, sweet nurses and front end staff, and relaxing environment. I literally recommend them to all my friends! I look forward to my appointments and feel like I’m going to catch up with old friends.

I’ve always had wonderful experiences at TP4W. Everyone is friendly, knowledgeable, and thorough in their care. April delivered my son and I can’t say enough wonderful things about her. She is patient and compassionate. I had the best labor and delivery experience thanks to her. I do and will continue to recommend them to my friends and family!

TP4W is amazing and I am so very thankful I found them 9 years ago!! Amazing partnership between midwives and doctors, sweet nurses and front end staff, and relaxing environment. I literally recommend them to all my friends! I look forward to my appointments and feel like I’m going to catch up with old friends.

I have been seeing Dr. Grana for just about 4 years now and I must admit that she has been the very best OB I have ever had! She is so personable, friendly, and all around caring about her patients. I’ve never had any issues with the staff, the office is very clean, and if Dr. Grana is running behind, they let me know ahead of time. I highly recommend Dr. Grana and this office to anyone!