Topic: BCM provides safety tips for pregnancy amid summer heat
Staying out of the heat can be difficult in summer months, but it is crucial to stay safe and cool while spending time outdoors, especially for pregnant women, according to the Baylor College of Medicine.
“The summer is tough on pregnant women because the body struggles to cool down when humidity and temperatures are high,” said Dr. Matthew Carroll, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital.
Avoiding sunburn and heat exhaustion requires forethought and planning in warm climates. Carroll suggests different methods to prevent discomfort and overheating for pregnant women:
- Stay hydrated: Pregnant women should drink more than the recommended eight to 12 cups of water per day to prevent dehydration.
- Don’t be afraid of the shade: If you spend time outside, try to find cooler areas in the shade.
- Cover up with clothing: Wear light clothing to protect yourself from the sun. While a lot of fitness clothes are moisture-wicking, they may be tight-fitting and uncomfortable. Wear clothing that is more comfortable for you.
- Wear sunscreen: Continue reapplying sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection of at least 30 SPF. Pregnant women with fair skin may benefit from using a higher SPF. If you sweat frequently, use sunscreen with water protection.
The first signs of heat exhaustion are dizziness, fatigue and nausea. When pregnant women feel these symptoms, they should move to a shaded or cool area to rest. Elevating the feet may also help. Hydrate with cool liquids, especially water with a sodium-containing solution, such as an electrolyte fluid.
When the body’s temperature rises, serious side effects can include vomiting and loss of consciousness. Symptoms should subside once you remove yourself from the heat and rest, so if nausea, vomiting, fatigue and dizziness persist for more than an hour, reach out to your doctor and consider going in for an evaluation.
Topic Discussed: BCM provides safety tips for pregnancy amid summer heat