Beating the heat in your third trimester: Reduce swelling, staying hydrated and more

Being pregnant in the summer in the  UK is generally pretty manageable. We don’t get the sweltering temperatures of Spain or Italy and can usually make it through with little to no sweat – literally.

But this also means that when a heatwave hits, we are totally unprepared.

pregnant woman standing on sand

Being in the late stages of pregnancy when that intense heat hits the country for a couple of weeks, is absolutely brutal. We’re carrying around a heavy bump, our ankles are swollen, we’re finding it difficult to get around at this point anyway without the added heat of temperatures above 25 C and all we want is for someone to dip us in an ice bath.

Unfortunately, even in the third trimester, there are still lots of jobs and errands to run, meaning life can’t just stop because we’re boiling. So we have to be prepared to get through the heat as best we can with these tips and tricks to survive a summer pregnancy.

Keep hydrated

Woman Holding Glass of Water

Even if you think you’re drinking plenty, you’re probably not. When we’re pregnant, we need to be consuming more water than usual anyway and, in a heatwave, we definitely need to amp up our intake. Setting a large jug aside in the fridge – with a little water and lemon – can help you keep track of how much you’re drinking to ensure you’re keeping you and baby hydrated in the sweaty high temperatures.

You can also get plenty of water from ice lollies and salads, all nice, cold, light foods to help keep you cool!

Keep cool

Black Amazon Kindle Tablet Near Brown Drawstring Sun Hat

If you’re having a beach day or hanging out on the patio, be sure to find yourself a nice shady spot to keep out of direct sunlight. Bring along a little tub or paddling pool to put cold water and even a few ice cube sin to keep your legs and feet cool, as well as an iced water bottle to cool down other parts of your body.

Try to keep your feet elevated when sitting out somewhere in the heat, as it can make the swelling around your ankles worse.

Let yourself rest

High angle of pregnant woman reading interesting book while spending time with man on picnic on green grass in sunny day

Right now, it may feel like there’s a million things to tick off your to-do list – the nursery, the hospital bag, the housework – but it’s important that you don’t overdo it in your condition in the heat. Enlist help, or work smart, getting up early when the house is cooler to do these kinds of jobs. You will get there and it doesn’t all have to be done in a day. Let yourself take time out because the heat is going to exhaust you otherwise.

Dress smart

woman in white spaghetti strap dress wearing brown sun hat standing on green grass field during

Being heavily pregnant in summer means you need to rethink your wardrobe. Anything tight, restrictive or airless is going to have to be packed away. What you want is light, flowy, breathable fabrics that will help keep you cool and won’t irritate you be confining you and making you hotter. Lightweight maternity dresses, cotton shorts and flowy tops are the perfect combos for this weather.

Pick your times wisely

silhouette of woman standing on beach during sunset

Going out to do errands in the heat of the afternoon is never a great idea, but particularly bad when you’re heavily pregnant. Avid being outdoors if you can between 12 and 3pm, as that’s when the heat has been building up and is at its strongest. Early morning and later in the evening when the shadows are still stretching out is a good time to tick a few bits off your list.

Tackling swelling

Woman Sitting on Brown Wooden Chair Beside Coconut

This is one of the more irritating things about late pregnancy and it’s made all the worse by the heat. There are steps you can take to relieve it, but unfortunately, this is generally just a side effect of the third trimester. Try wearing flat shoes tat don’t put your feet under pressure and again, don’t use the hottest parts of the day to do your jobs or go for a walk. Try to rest at different points throughout the day, keeping your legs elevated and your clothing loose. Another good tip is to reduce your sodium intake if you can – excess salt can dry you out and increase signs of swelling.

Fiona Murphy is a freelance writer, specialising in book-related content, fiction and poetry. She can be found drinking tea, craving tapas or attempting to finish her never-ending-novel.

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