June 10, 2019 1:02 pm
Summer is the hardest time of the year to be pregnant and in your last trimester. It’s hard enough trying to stay cool but when you’re carrying around another person with a high level of hormones it sometimes can become unbearable.
Swelling is always worse in the summer. When your body perceives that it is low on fluid it actually holds onto it. If you feel that your rings are getting too tight and the only shoes you can fit are your flip flops…drink more water. I ask my patients to drink a minimum of 2 liters of water every day and more when they’re outside in the heat.
If you’ve done that here are some other tips to decrease water retention:
- Squeeze some lemon in your water, lemon is a natural diuretic
- Eat fruit with high water content like watermelon
- Hit the pool. There have been studies that report a decrease in swelling when you submerge yourself in water
- Avoid caffeine like iced tea or soda which can contribute to dehydration
- You don’t need to restrict salt but avoid foods that are obviously high in sodium
- Putting your feet up is a good thing but if you lay down on your side while you’re watching TV or reading at night it helps the blood flow from your legs carrying the extra fluid with it
Sudden swelling of the hands, feet, and face can also be a sign of preeclampsia, a serious complication of pregnancy. If you have tried these tips and you haven’t seen us at Mid City OBGYN, or if you have a severe headache or visual changes, contact us.
Contractions are common in the summer too. I’m talking about false labor sometimes referred to as Braxton Hicks contractions.
When your body is hot it does the best it can do to help you stay cool. This is done by dilating your blood vessels keeping them closer to the skin so you can cool down.
The down side to this mechanism is that this means there is less blood going to your uterus. Your uterus is a muscle that gets easily irritated if it doesn’t get enough blood flow. This can cause it to become irritable and contract. You can tell this is happening if you feel it getting hard and tight.
If you notice they become frequent, more than 5 or 6 in an hour, that’s when you need to start paying attention.
If there are no other symptoms like bleeding or cramping you can usually resolve false labor by hydration. That’s right, drink more water. Drink a liter of water and if this doesn’t slow down your contractions call your provider.
Pregnancy in summer is not for wimps. Stay cool, drink LOTS of water, and maybe think about a winter baby the next time around. You will at least save on your heating and cooling bills! As always, if you have any further questions, contact us here.