During pregnancy there are many warnings as to what to do, eat, and drink. It is a wonderful and exciting time but can also be scary with all the caution that is out there. A lot of soon to be mothers are warned about taking hot baths or entering in a jacuzzi. Reason being, the unborn baby may overheat. Risks of overheating in the first trimester can cause issues with the fetus.
These problems can range from neural tube defects and a miscarriage. Overheating later in the pregnancy can cause the mother to become dehydrated which of course is not at all good for the baby. Overheating can be caused once the mother’s temperature reaches 102 degrees and remains above that for at least 10 minutes.
Some practices we enjoyed before pregnancy are best avoided to not risk overheating.
These include: using heating pads or electric blankets, getting into saunas or hot tubs, taking long hot baths and showers, and overheating when exercising or in hot weather. Getting a fever is also cause for overheating and should be addressed immediately to not cause any harm to the baby.
Here are some warning signs to whether a pregnant woman may be overheating and therefore may affect the baby.
Rashes are not only present on the skin due to allergic reactions but are also signs of overheating. Heat rashes are also called prickly heat or miliaria. This is when the skin feels prickly or stings due to overheating. They resemble tiny bumps on the skin with redness surrounding these bumps. Common places for heat rashes are the back, abdomen, neck, upper chest, or armpits. You will notice relief of the rash if the skin is cooled. These rashes usually occur during warm weather and are caused from sweat glands being blocked in humid environments. Once the sweat leaks to surrounding tissue, the irritation and redness known as a heat rash presents itself. This then causes the prickly and/or stinging feeling.
12The Head Feels Moist
Parts of the body that tend to overheat rather quickly include the neck and head. Long exposure to the sun or even short exposure to strong sun rays can cause your head and neck to overheat. These two body parts are the most exposed therefore the most vulnerable to the sun’s rays. Once either of these body parts begin to sweat they have reached a point of overheating and cooling practices should be taken into play. To prevent overheating of the head it is suggested going out when the sun rays are not as strong which is usually anytime before 1pm or after 3pm. Another way to prevent your head overheating is wearing a sun hat. This will not only protect your head from the sun’s rays but if wide enough will protect the neck as well.
11Everything Starts Coming Up
We all know that nausea is one of the most common pregnancy symptoms. Sometimes this nausea is accompanied with vomiting and sometimes it is not. If all of a sudden you are vomiting and especially have never before then you may be overheating. One of the main reasons you would vomit when your body is overheating is because of dehydration. Try to drink some water, a little at a time, to see if your body can hold it down. As previously mentioned, the water you drink once you are dehydrated will be playing catch up so do not expect instant results. If the vomiting does persist then it may be time to call the doctor as you may need more than water to rehydrate your body.
10The Floppy Body
Do you notice that your body is a bit floppy, as in, you may be having a hard time sitting up straight or walking straight? This along with other signs could mean your body is overheating. If you are far along your pregnancy where you are showing and your belly has some weight to it it is normal for you to do what many call the penguin walk. This is when you wobble like a penguin when walking. This does not count as floppy. Floppy would mean your entire body feeling almost too heavy to carry on your own. A lack of energy could add to your body reacting like this but you should pay close attention to whether you may need to rehydrate your body or cool down.
9Flushed Red Skin
Another sign that you may be overheating is unusually flushed red skin. If you look at yourself in the mirror and notice your skin is a bit more flushed than usual then you may be overheating. This can happen either while exercising or taking a walk under the sun. Both of these activities are culprits causing overheating in a pregnant woman. If you are used to an intense exercise routine it may be time to slow it down especially if you notice your skin turning bright red. The workout can feel good for you but not so much for the baby developing inside you. They may be overheating which would mean a time for mommy to take a workout break.
One of the most common suggestions to pregnant women is to stay hydrated, especially during those hot summer months. Being a soon to be mom can be a pretty hectic moment and drinking water may not be the first thing on our minds. Remember, the water you drink now will not take effect immediately therefore waiting to drink water could have already caused damage. It is important pregnant women stay hydrated so they are able to continue functioning properly as well as their baby will feel nice and cool inside the womb. Signs of it probably being time to up your water intake include dry, chapped lips and/or mouth and lightheadedness. If your body is saying you are thirsty then guess what? You are! Whatever you may be doing can wait a few minutes while you quench your thirst.
7Sleep Is Never Enough
It is common to be tired or not as energetic during pregnancy but if you are starting to notice that you are a bit more tired than usual while pregnant then you may be overheating. Getting naps here and there, attempting to sleep 7 hours straight and still feeling exhausted? It may be time to look into whether you are overheating. Sure, you will not sleep as soundly as you did before but if you notice a big difference from one moment to the next while pregnant then there might be an underlying concern. You can try catching up on sleep but then you should also look at other overheating symptoms to either rule it out or take care of the situation.
6Beats Faster Than Usual
When you are pregnant your heart tends to beat a little faster than when you are not. Your heart is working twice as hard to be able to pump more blood through your system. This will sometimes make it seem as if your heart is going to jump out of your chest. Your pulse will be faster and breathing exercises should help slow things down. The good thing is that this is or should not be an all day event. If you notice that your pulse is faster than usual this may be a time to consider whether you may be overheating. If you have just been sitting down with little to no physical movement then there really is no reason for your pulse to spontaneously speed up and maintain this way even after trying some breathing exercises.
5Temperature Keeps Raising
If you notice that your body temperature has increased yet you are not sweating then you may be overheating. The high temperature could be due to a fever and should be looked into as soon as possible. You can use a thermometer to take your temperature and if you find it is above 102 degrees it may be time to call the doctor for advice or further instructions. Having a high temperature could be a sign of a fever or a sign of other things you may not be aware of. It can also be a condition called hyperthermia. Hyperthermia can be caused during extreme activities or when exposed to high temperatures. It is still important to keep in mind that though you may not be sweating you could still be overheating and should take your temperature to confirm whether you are or are not.
4Is The Skin Cold?
If your skin seems to be warmer than usual than you may be overheating and therefore overheating the baby. Some people’s skin tends to be warmer than others therefore comparing to others is not recommended here. Whether your skin is usually cold or hot, you would know. Use your judgment. Once you notice your skin is particularly warm think about what could be causing it. Are you under the sun? Is there anything that could be causing your skin to be warm? Regardless, you would still like to practice caution and find a way to cool your body down and in turn you would be cooling your baby down. Remember, you do not want to risk any chance of overheating your baby in the womb.
3Everything's In Slow Motion
Feeling like you are getting things done at a slower pace than usual? If you feel lethargic and sluggish then you may be overheating. Your body definitely lets you know when it needs something through the amount of energy you have or lack there of. If you are normally more energetic this should be pretty obvious. Pregnancy will make you more lethargic but you will get used to the time of day it happens and to what extreme. Once you notice you are more sluggish than you have been your entire pregnancy then it may be time to cool down. Try drinking a cold glass of water or turning on the air conditioner. If after you attempt cooling down you still feel a little sluggish, you should definitely contact your doctor.
2Can't Catch A Breathe
As previously mentioned, your heart will beat a little faster than usual during pregnancy as your heart starts pumping more blood for the baby. This may cause your breathing to speed up a little as you try to catch up. You may also feel out of breath. This is all normal and can be alleviated through some breathing exercises. For example, breathing in through your nose for 4 seconds and slowly out through your mouth. This should help slow your breathing down. If after doing this your breathing is still fast then the problem may be overheating. Practice some cooling down methods. Open some windows if there is a cool breeze outside or turn on the air conditioner. Take a cool shower or place a cool wet cloth over your neck.
Feeling dizzy could be one of the first signs that you may be pregnant but should not persist throughout the pregnancy. If from one moment to the next you get a dizzy spell then your body may be overheating. It may be time to check whether the conditions you are in could be a culprit. Is the room you are in well ventilated? ff you are outside, are you under a shade? Are you drinking enough water and staying hydrated? You should also look as to whether your dizziness is accompanied by sweating and anxiety. These symptoms all together show signs of overheating. This is when you should immediately remove yourself from any situation that may be causing these symptoms.
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