A heatwave in the city when you’re pregnant is pretty much hell on earth. If you’re stuck in London read our top tips to keeping cool
Words Holly Kirkwood
There are endless debates about whether it’s better to be in your second and third trimesters in winter or summer; having winter or summer babies and so on. Summer is certainly a better time to be getting larger in many ways; for instance you can wear a selection of forgiving, floaty dresses rather than horrible pregnancy jeans and oversized jumpers.
On the downside, however, summer can get hot, and this week’s heatwave in June has proved just how warm it can get these days. If you’re lucky enough to be out in the countryside at least you have cool breezes and plenty of shade, but summer in the city can be a very unforgiving place if you’re getting ready to have a baby.
If you’re commuting to work it’s beyond miserable: your inner heating means you’re already hotter than most even before the mercury begins to climb, and even though people are kind and will give up their seats, there is no avoiding the fact that you’re battling with millions of others to get to your destination.
10 ways to keep cool in the heat if you’re pregnant
1. Drink. Lots. Even if it means you’re heading for the loo more than ever. If you get dehydrated it’s bad news for you and bad news for the baby. Just carry a bottle of water all the time.
2. Swim. If you’re not swimming already, get yourself into the pool. Steer clear of the sauna and steam room, of course, but swimming is great exercise when you’re pregnant, a relief to your body as you get larger, and lowers your temperature.
3. Carry an atomiser. You can spritz your head and neck wherever you are.
4. Invest in decent flat, cool shoes. Many women find their feet expand anyway when they’re pregnant – in the heat this is compounded. So some decent sandals which are easy to walk in are key. You can’t go wrong with a pair of salt water sandals – and they’re also great for holiday.
5. You need serious sun protection especially for your face – pigmentation can get worse when you’re pregnant, so make absolutely sure you have a great SPF on at all time.
6. Just don’t even think about the Tube. Non-pregnant people find it enough of a challenge getting onto the Underground in the hottest heat, and if you get stuck down there you’re asking for trouble. Walk, or get the bus. Bear in mind that the Overground is – miracle of miracles – air conditioned.
7. Wear natural fabrics – make sure your clothes are cotton, and floaty.
8. Check your underwear is as good as it can be. Get fitted for the correct size non-wired bra (if you haven’t been in a while the selection at M&S is vastly improved) – it will help to make you as comfortable as possible.
9. Buy the highest quality cotton bedsheets you can. Sharing a bed in a heatwave, whether with your partner or a toddler or two can make it tough to sleep, as everyone tosses and turns, but it’s even worse if you don’t have completely breathable sheets.
9. Don’t take countless ice baths or cool showers. If you shock your body with cold it will only heat up to compensate. Dammit. Get into a lukewarm shower or bath as often as you can. Dip your feet into a cool foot bath
10. Look after yourself. Don’t rush around, listen to your body. It’s very easy to feel faint when you’re pregnant, so do just take care of yourself. Let’s face it: this is Britain. It can’t last long.
** Read more like this at www.absolutely-mama.co.uk