Foods to Keep You Cool During Pregnancy

Maternity Care

Tammy George

picnic whilst pregnant

Once you find out you’re pregnant, you count eight months ahead to find out your due date. You want to know if your baby might share a birthday with a family member or friend but you also want to know what month it will be when you’re full-term. You might cringe at the thought of being heavily pregnant during the height of summer, but there are some things you can do to keep you cool.  

Why You Feel Hot

Many pregnant women feel hot during their pregnancy without even taking into account the weather. Blood supply can increase by as much as 50% so blood vessels dilate and the blood comes closer to the skin’s surface making you feel uncomfortable. The extra weight you are carrying and increased metabolic rate in the third trimester adds to the feeling of being hot.

Dehydration

Pregnant women are at risk of heat-related dizziness, weakness and fainting so it’s important to find relief from the heat whenever you can. These symptoms can be caused by dehydration, so the most important thing to do during summer is to keep up the fluids. Dehydration can lead to pre-term labour so if you feel light-headed or fatigued, start with a large glass of cool water. Keep an eye on the colour of your urine. If it is dark in colour later in the day, drink more water until it is almost clear to ensure you are well hydrated.

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Best Summer Foods

Forget the comfort foods you enjoyed all winter; you want to stay away from the oven as much as possible in summer. Look for nutritious salads that are packed with vegetables, nuts and proteins. Remember to wash all vegetables thoroughly to remove any bacteria still on them from being grown in the ground.

Summer is an ideal time to eat outdoors and enjoy plenty of barbeques. Vary the meats and the way they are served by trying skewers, marinades, crumbs, spices and sauces. If your barbeque has a hood, cook a roast or a homemade pizza outside and keep the house cool.    

Indulge in cooling summer stone fruits and yoghurt for snacks. You might have indulged in more fattening foods like chocolate and cakes during the colder months, so now is the perfect opportunity to enjoy some healthier options.  

If you don’t feel like cereal or toast for breakfast, try a healthy juice or smoothie. Use plenty of ice and whiz up your favourite fruits and vegetables or milk-based drink. The extra vitamins and minerals will give you a boost for the day.     

Deli meat is a popular lunch option but pregnant women should avoid them. Prepare your own lunch meats by cooking a chicken breast or slicing roast meat.

Eating ice cream every night can lead to consuming too many empty calories. Try making yourself a fruit sorbet with limited sugar as a healthier alternative. Remember to stay away from soft serve ice cream when you are out as it can cause listeria.

As well as eating a diet of cool refreshing foods and drinks, wear light-coloured loose-fitting clothes made of natural fibres. If you are going out in the sun protect yourself with a hat and sunscreen then seek out some shade once the temperature starts to rise.

Best of all, being pregnant in summer gives you a good excuse not to over exert yourself with too much housework. Put your feet up during the heat of the day and enjoy a good book.

HIF Maternity Cover

The years spent creating your family are when you rely most on quality hospital cover. Take a look at the benefits included in HIF Maternity Cover and enjoy peace of mind knowing you have the right health cover when you need it most.  

Tammy George

Please note: Tammy's blog is general advice only. For further information on this topic please consult your healthcare professional.

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