Is it better to be pregnant in the summer or in the winter? It's a toss-up, and it really depends on personal preference. On the one hand, it's easy to think that a winter pregnancy is awesome since we can picture sitting with our feet up by a roaring fire and eating comfort food. On the other hand, being pregnant during the warmer months seems like it would be wonderful since the summer is generally a lower-maintenance time.
Of course, the best time of year to get pregnant is when we feel that we're ready to have a baby and approach the next big phase of our lives. Even if summer is a gal's favorite season and she thinks that carrying a little one during this time should be smooth sailing (since the skies are blue and the weather is lovely), it's not quite as simple as that. Because summer is so much warmer than the rest of the year, it can affect pregnancy, and it brings up a few important things to be aware of.
There are many things that women should know when it comes to having a summer pregnancy. Read on to find out 20 things that pregnant women shouldn't do in the summer.
20 Pregnant Women Shouldn't Head Outside When It's Super Warm And Humid
According to WebMD, if you're pregnant during the summer, you shouldn't go outside when it's super warm and humid outside. The weather will affect you much more than if you were pregnant.
Adelaide Nardone, MD told the publication, "Pregnant women already have some degree of heat intolerance." WebMD explains, "If the heat index (meaning how warm the temperature feels because of the combination of heat and humidity) is in the 90s, that's a good day to be indoors as much as possible with the air conditioning turned on."
Sure, this can feel a bit frustrating if you love getting outside and summer is your favorite, but it's important to be aware of this for your health.
19 Nor Should You Go Outside In The Middle Of The Day (Which Is The Very Warmest Time)
Something else that pregnant women shouldn't do is go outside in the middle of the day. You might have heard before that this is the warmest time of day, and this is especially crucial for pregnant women to be aware of.
USA Today says, "Avoid direct sunlight. Do outside activity early in the morning or after the sun sets."
Again, if you love summer you might not love hearing this... but hey, just use it as an excuse to get some extra work done (or some extra binge-watching or reading in before the baby comes). There's something to be said for the wonders of A/C, right?
18 You Shouldn't Skip The Sunscreen
When you're pregnant in the summertime, you also shouldn't skip the sunscreen. Sure, you know that you should be wearing sunscreen (and you can definitely remember your mom telling you this a million times when you were a kid). It's especially key during pregnancy because the last thing that you want is to get a sunburn which would be really uncomfortable.
As Parents.com explains, "Apply sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher 20 minutes before going into sun. Reapply throughout the day."
Very Well Family also says that there's another reason why you want to avoid too much time in the sun: "While pregnant, the hormones, mainly estrogen, in your body actually can increase the risk of chloasma or mask of pregnancy and other sun exposures when exposed to the sun and its UV rays. These darkened spots, usually on the forehead and across the nose, may or may not retreat after pregnancy."
17 It's Not The Best Idea To Work Out So Much That You Get Too Warm And Sweaty In The Summer
According to WebMD, women who are pregnant during the summer should heed this advice: "Exercise at the cooler times of day and avoid exercising to the point overheating."
It's a shift in terms of how you think about working out. Before you become pregnant, you definitely want to work out until you get really warm and sweaty, particularly if you love taking cardio classes or you love going for a long run. You know that you can cool down in no time, take a shower, and move on with your day.
When you're pregnant, you get warmer much faster, and you want to keep your body temperature low. This is something that comes up a lot when people talk about being pregnant in the summer.
16 They Shouldn't Wear Too-Tight Clothes, As That Could Lead To Heat Rashes
Parents.com says that wearing tight clothes while pregnant in the summer isn't the best idea. The problem with this is that pregnant women could experience heat rashes.
The publication explains, "Miliaria, or prickly heat rash, can be caused by both heat and sweat." They advise that you "wear lighter fabrics, such as cotton that will not cling to your body."
Of course, this is great advice to hear since chances are, if you're carrying your baby during the summertime, the last thing that you want to do is to wear very tight clothing. That would be super uncomfortable, and your main goal is to feel as comfortable as possible during this exciting time.
15 They Shouldn't Eat A Lot Of Salt
Some pregnant women can experience leg swelling in the summer and it can be worse if you eat a lot of salt. As WebMD says, "Reduce, but don't eliminate, salt from your [eating]. Salt contains iodide, an essential element for the health of the fetus."
This could be a challenge or super easy depending on a woman's pregnancy cravings. If you're leaning more toward sweet food like ice cream and fruit, then being careful not to eat a ton of salty foods will be a breeze. But if a woman is really craving potato chips and fries almost every day of her pregnancy, then it will definitely take some willpower to make sure that she's keeping her salt intake down.
14 They Shouldn't Drink An Excess Of Water, Either
You're always hearing that you should drink more water than you already do, and so it would be easy to assume that when you're pregnant you should definitely try to drink more water.
But should a woman drink a ton of water during her summer pregnancy? There can actually be too much water. Pregnant women shouldn't drink an excess of water. According to Adelaide Nardone, MD, who was quoted in WebMD, "Over-hydration with water can dilute your electrolytes even more, and can cause fatigued muscles, cramps, and in severe cases, unconsciousness." This is called "water intoxication." This is definitely something to pay attention to.
13 They Shouldn't Wear Flip-Flops Or Flimsy Sandals
It's July or August and the sun is shining. You're heading out to your backyard to relax with a book, or you're going for a quick walk around the neighborhood before it gets way too warm. What do you slip on your feet?
If your instinct is to wear flip-flops or flimsy sandals, that makes sense since these are supposedly comfortable shoes. But these aren't shoes that pregnant women should wear in the summer. Mom Tricks says, "Get the right shoe. Flip-flops might seem like an obvious go-to, but they have [poor] arch support and I wouldn’t recommend them. Instead, get a good pair of sandals with arch support!"
12 It's Not A Good Idea To Go Outside Without A Hat
According to Very Well Family, it's important for pregnant women to wear a hat during the summer. As the website explains, "When you are out and about outside, consider sporting a nice floppy hat as a cooling addition to your summer wardrobe. Besides keeping the sun out of your eyes and from shining directly in your face, a wide-brimmed hat can help you to feel cooler and prevent the strong summer sun from heating up the top of your head and hair, making you uncomfortably [heated] on those sunny, warm days."
You can probably hear your own mom reminding you to grab a hat... and just think of this as practice for when you can tell your little one the same thing.
11 Pregnant Women Shouldn't Eat Produce That Has Already Been Chopped Up In The Summer
There are two types of people: those who love chopping up vegetables and fruit... and those who would rather do anything else (and who tend to avoid cutting produce at all costs). It's not cheap to buy your produce already chopped up, but hey, you don't have to do it yourself, so sometimes you just splurge.
Pregnant women, however, shouldn't actually buy produce that is already chopped. This is something that pregnant women should definitely remember when they're carrying a baby during the summer months since this is when you really want to eat fruit.
The Bump explains, "Avoid packaged pre-cut fruits and veggies, since they could also be contaminated with listeria."
10 Don't Wear Rings During The Summer
Whether you choose to wear your wedding ring on one finger and your engagement ring on the other, or maybe you only like wearing your gold wedding band, wearing your rings is a really special thing. It just feels good.
When you're pregnant during the summer, however, you don't really want to be wearing your rings. According to Mom Tricks, "Take your rings off. Unfortunately, your fingers are going to be one of the first places that starts to swell, and as soon as you notice it start to happen, remove them. Otherwise, you may need to have them cut off, and that’s a bummer."
9 Pregnant Women Shouldn't Be Too Type A Or Go, Go, Go (And Resting Is Important)
It's crucial that pregnant women stop going so fast all the time and make sure to rest. This is especially true if you're pregnant during the summer.
As ivi-fertility.com explains, "It’s certainly warm at this time of year and temperatures of 30°C or over can be oppressive for anyone, let alone a pregnant woman. The best way of staving off the heat is to lie back in a hammock, out of direct sunlight, with a cool drink. Make the most of it because once the baby is born these spells of rest will be few and far between for both you and your partner."
8 Pregnant Women Shouldn't Travel Too Far Via Car In The Summertime
What's something else that pregnant women shouldn't do in the summer? That would be traveling via car.
The main reason is that it just won't be much fun for you. According to Parents.com, "Long car trips + pregnant belly = unhappy, uncomfortable mama-to-be. This summer, you may want to scale back on your usually frenetic travel schedule (babymoon aside, natch) in favor of activities closer to home."
It will not only be rough to sit in a car for so long while you have a baby belly but you really don't want to get too warm (which is definitely a common theme here).
7 They Should Steer Clear Of Bug Spray, For Sure
When it comes to things that pregnant women shouldn't do in the summer, using bug spray is another important thing to remember.
It would be easy to just spray it on and not think about it since you figure that you're doing the right thing by using this product. Who wants super red and itchy skin because of an annoying bug bite (especially while pregnant)? But it's not a good idea to use bug spray and it's key to be aware of this.
Kidshealth.org says about bug sprays, "They're considered poisons, and pregnant women should stay away from them as much as possible."
6 They Might Not Want To Use Self-Tanner Either
Kidshealth.org says, "Although there's no proof that self-tanners are harmful to an unborn baby, there haven't been many studies done on their effects to a fetus."
It sounds like it's a good idea to avoid using self-tanner. Even if this is something that you used during past summers, you can definitely avoid it this summer if you're pregnant with your little boy or girl. Since you know that there are certain things that you have to be aware of now that you're expecting, this is simply something else to add to the list. It's definitely going to be worth it, right?
5 They Shouldn't Eat Meat That Isn't Perfectly Cooked (Particularly Important At Summer Gatherings)
Many people consider summer barbeques to be the best social plans of the whole year. Just think about all your favorite friends and family members gathering to eat burgers, sausages, fruit salad, coleslaw, and anything else that you love. You can actually spend time outdoors and you just feel grateful for the weather and for the people in your life.
Barbeques, however, are something that pregnant women need to be a bit more aware of. When you're pregnant in the summer, you want to make sure that you're not eating meat that isn't properly cooked.
As Healthcare.utah.edu advises, pregnant women shouldn't eat deli meat or sausages thanks to listeria. Pregnant women should also keep in mind that "undercooked meat may cause foodborne illnesses."
4 They Shouldn't Constantly Go Inside And Then Outside
Even though everyone loves A/C, it can be tough to step inside a freezing cold building or house after being in the heat for a while. It just feels weird and it's such a big change.
When you're pregnant during the summer, you want to avoid constantly going inside and then outside and back again. As Karen Robock wrote for Today's Parent, "Too many trips between the A/C and outdoors on a really [warm] day forces your body to work extra hard to continually adjust to the spikes and falls in temperature. When I know I’m going to be outside for an afternoon I’ll be making doubly sure that I’m wearing light, breathable clothing and a hat to make sure I’m comfy."
3 They Should Also Avoid Eating Really Warm Food, As It Could Lead To A Rise In Body Temp (And Cold Food Is Recommended)
According to Made For Mums, pregnant women should avoid eating really high-temp food in the summer because it can raise body temperature. If you've ever started sweating while eating a steaming bowl of chili or pasta then you totally know the feeling.
Instead, if you're pregnant during the summer months, it's a good idea to eat cold food. As the website explains, "So, in summer it is recommended that lots of ‘cooling’ salads, vegetables grown above ground – such as peas and beans – and soft fruits are eaten (the fact that there is little cooking with these no doubt helps). And of course, foods with a higher water content will have a more cooling effect."
2 They Should Avoid Tennis And Soccer (Just In Case They Fall)
Fit Pregnancy says that pregnant women shouldn't play tennis or soccer. It's a good idea to avoid these summer sports just in case you fall.
If you're an active person and you love working out, there are other things that you can do during the warm months in order to get moving. Many pregnant women love going for walks or going to yoga classes. And of course, it's always smart to talk to your doctor about what workouts are good for you during your pregnancy.
Since you want to stay out of the intense heat and rest a lot during your summer pregnancy, you probably won't mind not playing soccer or tennis.
1 Pregnant Women Should Skip Cold Showers
The final thing that pregnant women shouldn't do during the summer? Take cold showers.
Urmc.rochester.edu says, "Take a lukewarm shower—not a cool one, because cold water can overchill your body and prompt it to generate more heat."
This is definitely good to know. At first, you might think that it's a good idea to take cold showers so you can, well, get cooler... but it makes sense that this could be a problem.
Being pregnant during the summer is just as much of a happy blessing as any other time of the year, and as long as you keep in mind these things that pregnant women shouldn't do during these warmer months, you're going to have a nice relaxing pregnancy.
Sources: Webmd.com, Usatoday.com, Parents.com, Momtricks.com, Verywellfamily.com, Verywellfamily.com, Fitpregnancy.com, Urmc.rochester.edu, Thebump.com, Madeformums.com, Todaysparents.com, Parents.com, Healthcare.utah.edu, Ivi-fertility.com, Kidshealth.org