How I Survived a Hot, Horrible Summer Pregnancy

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Summer is the best. Shorts and sandals, extra excuses for ice cream, swimming, barbecues — what’s not to love? Here’s what: a summer pregnancy. It’s awful. 

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I was due at the end of July during a record-breaking heat wave in Colorado. Weeks of temperatures in the upper 90s. Sixty-five days of unhealthy air quality (We were literally told the air outside was not safe to breathe). This all made for a brutal summer pregnancy. 

If you can somehow plan to not ever be pregnant in the summer, do it. But if you’re like me and 99% of people who can’t perfectly plan when they get pregnant, here is how you can survive the heat with a bump:

Play the summer pregnancy card early and often

Don’t be above asking for help. Take every single advantage that a summer pregnancy offers you. I know, I know, you’re tough and strong and capable — me too! But pregnancy during sweltering temperatures is no joke. You’re growing a human, you’re doing enough.

At an outdoor barbecue in the middle of the day? Sit in the shade. Actually, you should hog the shade; it’s your right. Same goes for pools or parks. The shade is YOURS.

If you’re hanging outside at someone’s house, ask to sit in their freshly air-conditioned house. If they don’t have air conditioning, maybe just leave. 

Is it Braxton’s 2nd birthday bash outside at the water park? Great! Water can be refreshing. Are you tired and hot even in the shade? Leave.

Your friends should be understanding, but if they aren’t, gently and oh-so-obviously place your hand on your bump and say, “Baby doesn’t like the heat,and get your bump out of there. 

Woman fanning herself by pool during her summer pregnancy
Photo credit: Adobe Photo Stock

Put an ice pack in between your legs

No, seriously, do it. Wear a dress and feel the refreshingly cold ice pack (or ice in a baggy) cool you down. It works! This helped me at outdoor events but indoors too.

No matter how low I moved the thermostat, it never felt cool enough unless I had an icepack. An added benefit to this weird tip? It helps with lightning crotch.

Try to manage the bloating

I love burgers and pasta and ice cream on any given day, but I crave them like cocaine when I’m pregnant. But you know what’s worse than being hot and pregnant? Hot, pregnant, AND bloated.

Big meals made everything worse. I chose to live my pregnant life by snacking every two hours. (Bonus: this helped with my nausea and the bloating.)

Also, I turned everything cold. I ate cold pasta salad, created some mega salads with basically everything you’d have in a sandwich but in a bowl-form, and made homemade popsicles with fruit or yogurt. 

Carry around some form of liquid like it’s your job

There were a couple times I got dizzy from dehydration during my summer pregnancy and it sucked. My back already hurt, my boobs already ached, I had enough to deal with. 

We may not be able to control everything in pregnancy or life, but we can control our fluid consumption. Grab a Yeti or Hydroflask or whatever giant liquid jug you love and fill it up. (Preferably with water, but you could use Vitamin water or Gatorade or fruit juice.)

Learn to wear less clothing 

Anyone else remembering jamming out to Nelly’s “It’s gettin’ hot in here” song during the early 2000s? If you do, channel that as you read on. If you don’t, well . . . I’m sad for your generation growing up without such a classic as this.

When your bump is growing bigger by the day and you’re hot and sticky and sweaty, clothes feel like torture. I lived in very thin bras because, as we all know, boob sweat is a real (and very annoying) thing.

Big maxi dresses, flowy tanks, and two sizes too big maternity shorts were my uniform. Were they super cute? Nope. Did I care? Not really. 

I also wore one pair of sandals for 6 months straight because they were the only footwear that could handle the heat and my growing feet. 

Relax indoors with zero guilt

There is nothing wrong with being a couch potato. Pregnant or not, summer or not. For some reason, the nice weather makes us feel like we *should* be outside all the time. And we *should* just be happy in the heat while sweat drips off our face and perspiration pools in between our boobs. 

Let me save you the guilt trip: it’s okay to be inside. It’s okay to soak up the cool air inside a house and put your feet up and binge Netflix or Hulu.

I lived under the blistering sun of Colorado while pregnant, and I had a deep hatred of the sun by the end of that summer. I would even close all the blinds in my apartment during the middle of the day just to keep the sun out. 

And you know what? That’s okay. Pregnancy is so physically and emotionally draining. If we can do anything for ourselves to make it even slightly easier, it’s worth it. 

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