Midwife tips on staying cool during the summer months and their must-have product developed to beat the pregnancy heat
Living in Ireland, it isn’t too often we get the opportunity to complain about the heat, but when you’re pregnant it can be another story altogether. Even during colder times of year, it’s not uncommon to become hot and bothered under a baby bump.
But with weeks of summer stretching out before us, feeling too warm, suffering in the humidity and becoming overheated is a common complaint and can make being pregnant often feel uncomfortable. However My Expert Midwife, the award-winning skincare brand for pregnancy, birth, new mums and newborns is here to help with some expert tips on keeping cool during the rest of the summer months.
An increase in blood volume during pregnancy means that your blood vessels come closer to the surface, making you and your skin feel warmer. It also means that your whole body, including organs such as the kidneys and the heart, work harder than usual. If we combine this with the extra pregnancy weight you now have to carry and the surplus of pregnancy-related hormones that lead you to sweat more, you can easily see how it all contributes to you feeling much warmer and more uncomfortable than usual.
Here are My Expert Midwife’s top tips to help keep cool during pregnancy:
- Swap synthetics for natural fibres such as cotton, bamboo or silk and favour light, loose fitting clothing. Synthetic materials retain moisture and don’t allow your skin to breathe properly, increasing irritation and encouraging environments in which thrush can thrive.
- Wear light coloured clothing which will reflect heat during warmer days and help you to keep cool. You can save your darker coloured outfits for cooler days or evenings.
- Keep your home cool by only opening the windows in the evening or early morning and you can prevent sunny rooms from getting too hot by only drawing your curtains enough to let some light in.
- Although water is essential and should be drunk throughout the day, optimal hydration requires other elements that are found in foods. You can ensure an adequate intake of these by eating fruits and vegetables such as pineapple, mango, grapes, melon, pears, berries, cucumber, courgette, asparagus and dark leafy greens. Juices, smoothies and salads are some easy ways to include these into your daily diet.
- Avoid caffeinated drinks such as tea, coffee and colas, which may have a mildly diuretic effect, disrupting your fluid balance. Therefore, it’s best to avoid these or look for their decaffeinated version. Dehydration impacts your and your baby’s health, so it is important to keep your drinking bottle topped up. You could try using frozen chopped fruits to cool and flavour your water.
- Replacing heavy meals for lighter foods will help prevent big rises to your body temperature whilst foods with a low glycaemic index (GI) will keep your blood sugars steady. Favour cooling spices such as fennel, mint or coriander and try to minimize heat-inducing foods such as radishes, ginger and hot peppers.
- Dry, itchy skin can also be common during pregnancy. As well as choosing natural fabrics, keeping your skin well moisturised will hopefully provide you with some soothing, cooling relief. My Expert Midwife’s Fantastic Skin Elastic is ideal for soothing and hydrating tight, itchy, and stretching skin during pregnancy.
- When outdoors in the heat, staying in the shade will reduce your risk of overheating as well as help prevent the appearance of darker patches of pigmentation that pregnancy hormones can leave on your skin, often on your face. Because of this and the fact that many skins become more sensitive to the sun during pregnancy, a high protection sunscreen is recommended.
- An effective way to cool down is to aim for your pulse points. You can place ice cubes wrapped in a towel or cool, wet flannels over the back of your neck and forehead, run your wrists under a cold tap and/or place your feet ankle-deep into a basin of cool water. If you are out and about, invest in a handheld fan and/or a cooling spray for your face and body.
- Swelling of feet and ankles can be helped by soaking them in cold water, elevating your feet above the level of your heart, stimulating drainage by repeatedly pointing your toes to and away from you (dorsiflexion exercises), and by gentle massage.
And finally, keep refreshed by trying My Expert Midwife's Keep Your Cool spray, aimed at reviving skin and cooling and soothing swollen ankles and legs. An essential for any expecting mam this summer, My Expert Midwife’s team of experienced midwives have also created Keep Your Cool, a refreshing spray which has been developed by midwives to revive the skin during pregnancy and cool and soothe swollen legs and ankles.
Keep Your Cool is made with a blend of pure essential oils including peppermint and eucalyptus to cool, aloe to soothe, and black pepper and sweet orange oils to ease puffiness. Not only is it perfect for restless, tired and achy legs, the no mess mist can be sprayed directly anywhere on the skin for a soothing sensation. It is also suitable for vegans and is safe to use in pregnancy from the first trimester.
Qualified Midwife and Co-Founder of My Expert Midwife, Lesley Gilchrist, commented:
“Let’s be honest, pregnancy can be tough! At My Expert Midwife, our unique range of skincare products are carefully designed by midwives to ease the physical side effects commonly experienced pregnancy and childbirth.
“Developed with mums-to-be in mind, Keep Your Cool is made with pure essential oils with proven benefits, to revive the skin and give an instant cooling sensation. The refreshing spray helps pregnant women to manage unpleasant and uncomfortable symptoms, including increased body temperature and swelling in the legs and ankles.”