Pregnancy can be uncomfortable enough, but what do you do when
the dog days of summer set in at the peak of your pregnancy? Grab a
virgin pina colada, put your feet up and try these tips.
- Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate! At
the top of your to-do list, strive to stay well hydrated. Aim for
two liters of liquids, preferably water, per day. Avoid soft
drinks, since they work like diuretics, stealing more water from
the body than they provide. Wherever you go, commit to bringing
along a reusable water bottle. Make your own refreshing drink by
adding a few lemon and cucumber slices to a pitcher of cool water.
By keeping your body constantly hydrated, you'll help avoid the
discomfort of pregnancy-related swelling.
- Put your feet up. To prevent
swelling, elevate your feet any chance you get: at home, at the
office, at the pool.
- Comfy footwear only,
please! You might be tempted to opt for flip flops as your
footwear of choice, but did you know that flip flops can be just as
bad for your piggy toes as wearing high heels during pregnancy?
Your feet now need extra support and stability to prevent eventual
back pain and possible spills. Stick with supportive sandals with
- Jump in. Swimming is the
perfect exercise during pregnancy. Hop into the pool and swim or
simply "water jog" around. Not only will you cool off, but, if only
for a moment, you'll experience the bliss of weightlessness. Don't
have a pool nearby? Jump into a backyard sprinkler!
- Crank up the AC. Now is not
the time to save money on your utilities. The next time you're
tempted to turn the air conditioning off, think about Chicagoan
Veronica Arreola, who was pregnant the summer of 2003. "What
finally got me to turn on the AC? When I almost fainted at eight
months pregnant. It wasn't funny at the time, but it makes me laugh
- Step outdoors. Take advantage
of the fresh air, combined with sundown, and make an after-dinner
walk a priority.
- Keep your maternity clothes light
and comfy. Choose light-colored clothes and linen and
cotton fabrics to let your belly breathe. You'll be pretty and
comfortable in a flowy, roomy sundress, a wide-brimmed hat and a
pair of strappy, flat sandals. "I never wore maternity clothes-just
sundresses and tank tops or baby doll tops with draw string
shorts," recalls Kim Rhiannon Nie, mom of Conner, an August
- Protect your skin.
Chloasma, aka "pregnancy mask," is a tan or dark skin discoloration
common in pregnancy, which usually appears on the upper cheek,
nose, lips, upper lip and/or forehead, and is caused by hormonal
changes and sun exposure. Avoid it by always wearing sunscreen, or
even better, a wide-brimmed sun hat. Up your sunscreen to the
maximum protection factor available.
- Easy does it on the ice
cream. For cool treats, focus on fruit-based Popsicles,
sorbets and smoothies, which will also boost your needed liquid and
food-based vitamin intake. Avoid salty snacks, which will only lead
- Treat yourself. Indulge in a
pregnancy massage, invest in a hot pink pedicure or treat yourself
to a movie. Enjoy your pregnancy and remember that it's fleeting.
Next summer you'll have a sweet little baby to keep you
Amy Bizzarri is a freelance writer, featured blogger at
ChicagoParent.com and mom of two. She survived a summer
Amy Bizzarri is a mom of two living in Logan Square. She also blogs at tiramisumom.com.
See more of Amy's stories here.