Does your body feel like you’re in Barbados rather than Britain?
Whether you’re experiencing a steady, radiating heat or more sudden and intense hot flushes that leave you a little dizzy, it’s all a normal part of pregnancy.
‘Pregnant women generally feel hotter,’ says independent midwife Meg Miskin-Garside. ‘Not everyone suffers, but there’s nothing to worry about if you do feel like this: your increased body temperature isn’t damaging to your baby, it’s just uncomfortable for you.’
This temperature rise is partly due to more blood flowing around your body at a faster rate.
‘The blood volume in your body also expands and the effect of this extra blood, travelling at greater speed, will raise your core temperature by around 0.8°C.’
This small rise in temperature can soon leave you feeling uncomfortably sweaty, particularly when you add in the added stress of summer heat.
It’s a sign, however, that your body is busy nurturing your developing baby.
Just be careful that you don’t pass off a fever as a hot flush: ‘Your normal temperature in pregnancy is 37.8°C. If it’s much above that, keep well-hydrated, and see your doctor if there are no signs of it lowering.’
And put these hot flushes to good use as timely reminders to take things easy – if your body is telling you to sit in a shady spot with a good book, it makes sense to listen!
The best cooling-down hacks for pregnant women:
Legs chafing? Can't sleep in the heat? No air con at home? Try out our DIY keeping-cool hacks and you can thank us later...
1. Upgrade your sheets
As if you're not already struggling to sleep with a little one inside your belly, the heat makes it so much more uncomfortable at night. But, have you ever thought that your sheets could be making it worse? You should be sleeping on sheets made of 100% natural fibres, preferably cotton or linen, as these are materials that breath easily and will keep you cool. Silk/satin sheets may seem light and airy, but in fact they drape very close to the body, trapping in heat. Light colours are also important for sheets, so give your bed a make-over and the results may surprise you!
How to prevent dehydration:
Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, more if it’s very hot or you’re sweating a lot.
If you're outside, always sit in shade. Don't forget to apply suncream.
When it comes to working out in the heat, make sure you keep it light. Walking is advised over running.
Red flags to look out for are dizziness, weakness, fatigue, shortness of breath, headache and nausea. If you experience any of these symptoms, rehydrate with water and juices, and if symptoms continue, consult your doctor
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