Here’s what you need to know about dealing with everything from poison ivy to sunburn while you’re expecting.
There are plenty of bright sides when it comes to being pregnant during the summer. First of all, pregnancy can get you out of most of your least favorite chores (it’s totally okay to pass on mowing the lawn or weeding the garden when the heat and humidity kick up). Secondly, summer maternity gear is always super cute – we love a good belly baring bikini. That being said, there are some common seasonable problems that can be a little trickier to deal with while pregnant.
You’ll need to be extra cautious about sunning your bump this summer because hormones make some women extra susceptible to the sun’s UV rays, which can cause dark spots (AKA: the mask of pregnancy) to appear on your face.
If you’ve spent too much time catching rays and find yourself with a sunburn, you’ll want to immediately start hydrating and treating any discomfort you may be feeling. Aloe (both in the form of a gel and directly from the plant) is a pregnancy friendly treatment that can help with soothing the burn, as can cool compresses. If you notice any blistering, oozing, or puss you should contact your doctor.
While getting outside to get some fresh air after a long winter cooped up indoors, pregnant women are a little more prone to overheating. Watch out for signs that you’ve had too much fun in the sun and get somewhere cool and shady stat if you start experiencing headache, dizziness, nausea (other than what has been typical for you in pregnancy), and muscle cramps. If symptoms persist, you’ll want to check in with your OB.
Overheating can also cause other issues, like dehydration, which famously brings on Braxton Hicks contracts. Make sure you’re beating the heat and staying cool and hydrated when the mercury climbs.
The itchy rash caused by poison ivy is a summer bummer even when you’re not expecting, but in pregnancy the additional itchy spots can be a real vibe killer. You should avoid taking any OTC steroids until you talk to your doctor, and opt for some homeopathic cures first. Cold compresses and calamine lotions are go-to itch relievers that are safe to use when you’re scratching for two.
Just like with poison ivy, you should always try to treat your itchy bee stings with homeopathic options before reaching for any medications. Again, cold compresses and calamine lotion work great at relieving stings. However, just because you’re expecting doesn’t mean you have to suffer – OTC antihistamines are generally okay (after you’ve had a chat with your OB, of course).
The dog days of summer can get your dogs barking! Swollen feet is fairly common in pregnancy regardless of the season, but expectant moms should be especially mindful of it as the weather turns warmer. If you notice your feet or ankles are swelling you should find yourself a shady spot and prop your feet up.
If you don’t notice any improvement, you may want to up your water intake (and give your doc a call).
Summertime means grilling season, which can be great for those who enjoy dining alfresco. However, eating food that has been left out in the heat or hot sun for too long can expose you to foodborne illnesses. If you think you have food poisoning you should load up on fluids and immediately give your doctor a ring. Dehydration can happen quickly, so they’ll likely want to monitor you and your little one to make sure you’re both okay!
While we stand by our advice here it is in no way meant to replace the recommendations made by your medical provider. You should always carefully read any medications or medicinal lotions before applying them and carefully follow the instructions as they refer to pregnancy and breastfeeding.