Jul 8, 2021

Beat the summer heat when you're pregnant. This is Dr. Kirtly Jones, from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at University of Utah Health, and today on The Scope you'll find out why being pregnant in the summer is miserable and if it can affect your unborn child and what to do to cool down.

Many women actually plan their pregnancies, what a great idea. And they plan their pregnancies not to be pregnant in the summer because they know, from their last August pregnancy that it's miserable to be pregnant in the summer. In the winter when you're pregnant you're warm all the time, it's so great. In the summer you can't cool down.

So what's the problem? You're so big, it's hard to cool down a big thing versus a skinny thing. And the metabolic fires are raging, you are building a baby, you're growing a baby, your cardiac output has increased by almost half, and you are pumping warm blood around your body.

Now when is it dangerous to get overheated? Clearly it's difficult to keep yourself cool when you're so big, have so much blood flow and you're trying to grow a baby. Getting overheated, or hyperthermic can be very dangerous for you and your baby. So sitting like you're a little baby kid who isn't very good at being able to thermoregulate, you don't leave your kid in an overheated car, don't stay in an overheated car, stay in the shade, keep a hat on your head, drink lots and lots of fluids to keep yourself hydrated because your baby, in your tummy, can't control it's temperature. So if your temperature goes up, its temperature goes up and it's not good for you baby.

Now this is what we do to cool down. Try as a fan, now maybe you are lucky and you've got air conditioning in your house, but moving air is one of the best ways to feel cool. Moving air is helpful. I like the personal swamp cooler. So what's the personal swamp cooler? Get a cotton t-shirt, that big baggy one for your pregnancy, get it wet, not soaking wet, but get it wet, squeeze it out so it's kind of damp and then put it on. And in Utah's climate, this won't work for our listeners in Houston, but it will work in Utah, Colorado, Wyoming. That coolness, evaporative coolness, will keep your skin cool and you'll feel so much better.

The other bad thing about being hot when you're pregnant is it makes your feet swell. o already you're all puffed up, you're all puffed out and your feet look like marshmallows, so when it's hot, try to keep your feet up when you're sitting down. Because your feet will just get bigger and bigger and then you're just into your flip flops.

So it's hot in the summer, its bliss in the winter, but if you're pregnant in the summer, here are some tips for you. Keep yourself cool by staying hydrated, drinking cool fluids, staying in front of a fan, keep your feet up so your feet don't puff out, try my own personal swamp cooler, which is a wet cotton t-shirt and sit in front of the fan and you will be cool and the baby is going to come sooner or later. Good luck to you. This is Dr. Kirtly Jones and this is The Scope.


updated: July 8, 2021
originally published: September 24, 2013

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