Here in Boston, we had a heatwave in the last days of May – 90+ degrees for several days! I could just hear the hundreds of pregnant women in the city who aren’t due until August or later breaking out in a sweat not just because of the heat, but because they were wondering how to make it through THE ENTIRE SUMMER while pregnant.
In case you haven’t been pregnant before in the summer, let me tell you – it ain’t pretty! That little baby inside is like an inferno, and raises your body temperature so that hot weather is a lot more uncomfortable. Red face, itchy skin, swollen legs and fingers, sweat pooling in places you can’t even reach anymore…
So here’s some tips to stay cool this summer!
1. Water is your friend.
Not only do you need to drink lots of water, but getting in the water will take care of so many of the discomforts of pregnancy. From relief for tired legs, to cooling your overall body temperature down, it’s great to float in a pool or lake in the summertime. Throw in some laps and get your exercise in too, without the aches and pains that come with being upright late in pregnancy.
2. Eat watermelon and cucumber.
You can eat your water too, not just drink it. Any fruits and vegetables are great, and full of water, but watermelon and cucumber are my two magic foods to reduce swelling and keep a pregnant body in balance.
3. Cool your legs.
Most mamas get puffy at the end of pregnancy, and in the heat waves, that’s what I hear most in class. There are some great leg gels out there, made for tired pregnant feet and legs. I used a Burt’s Bees leg lotion during my pregnancy. After a long day standing (or sitting), relieve swelling and soreness with a gentle foot bath. Just put a few drops of lavender, or anything else that smells relaxing and soothing, and let your feet soak in whatever temperature is ideal for you.
Put your legs up the wall! Or on a chair. If you haven’t been practicing yoga, and you’re in your 3rd trimester, now is not the time to start with legs up the wall. That’s where elevating your legs on a chair will be great.
5. Sitali breathing.
We have a cooling breath in the yoga tradition that really works! Yoga came from India, where it can get HOT, so I think the yogis knew what they were talking about. Here’s a brief description of Sitali.
Of course, come to yoga when it’s hot outside. All the studios I teach at are air-conditioned, and I love to watch pregnant students take a deep sigh as they settle onto their mats and literally *chill out* :)