Pregnant this summer? Here are 10 tips to stay hydrated

Women's Care
Jul 25, 2023

Savannah OB/GYN Dr. Ashley Hunsuck discusses how to keep your body temperature regulated and stay hydrated

Ah the South in July – the sweltering heat and nearly 100 percent humidity leave most of us feeling like we’re walking on the sun. Now imagine you’re eight months pregnant.

Staying cool and hydrated is important for everyone during summer months and that goes double for expecting moms.

When a pregnant woman’s body temperature gets too hot, she may feel dizzy and woozy, even nauseous sometimes, and it could get to the point where she passes out, says Dr. Ashley Hunsuck, an OB/GYN at Savannah OB/GYN.

“When you are pregnant, everything becomes more vascular and sensitive in general,” Dr. Hunsuck says. “I recommend trying to stay as cool as you can and use fans and keep cool towels nearby.”

During pregnancy, you ideally do not want your body temperature to exceed 100 degrees, Dr. Hunsuck says. That’s when those dizzy feelings could start to creep in.

Dr. Hunsuck tells her pregnant patients to avoid hot tubs and saunas. Baths are fine, but she says most women will not be able to tolerate a really hot bath that could raise their body temperature too high.

She does recommend swimming as an excellent way to cool off. It benefits baby too. “Babies usually love it. It takes some gravity off the pelvis. They get a lot more comfortable.”

But if you are outside, it’s important to remember lots of water and sun block. Women’s skin is a lot more sensitive during pregnancy, Dr. Hunsuck says. Even if you don’t typically get sun burnt, you are more likely to while pregnant. She recommends an SPF of at least 50 and to apply everywhere and keep reapplying.

It’s also really important to stay hydrated. Dehydration is common in pregnancy, especially early on, because it can be difficult to drink enough water if you are experiencing nausea, Dr. Hunsuck says. Dehydration can cause dizziness, cramping and even contractions.

If you do start to feel dehydration, the good news is many times these symptoms can be reversed with rehydration, cooling off and rest. Dr. Hunsuck recommends taking sips of ice-cold water throughout the day and again staying as cool as possible.

So if you are pregnant this summer – or really for anyone trying to stay hydrated and cool – remember these 10 tips:

  1. Try to drink as much water as you can, even if you take small sips throughout the day.
  2. To help with that, carry a water bottle with you all day, every day.
  3. Exercise is great during pregnancy, Dr. Hunsuck says, but avoid exercise during the midday and focus on exercising indoors or in the early morning or evening hours.
  4. Avoid direct sunlight.
  5. If you are going to the pool or beach, find shade and bring an umbrella to create your own shade.
  6. Swimming is safe in most pregnancies and a great way to cool off, so take a dip when you can.
  7. Listen to your body and slow down and rest as needed.
  8. Choose foods that are cool and have water in them such as fruits and vegetables.
  9. Wear breathable and light fabrics.
  10. Don’t forget the sunblock and apply frequently and all over. 

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