Some expectant mums can find hot weather challenging, and during a heatwave, there’s a greater risk of issues such as dehydration, heatstroke, and exhaustion. There are many risks when it comes to high body temperature during pregnancy, which is why we’re offering advice on how to stay cool in the sun.

Does Body Temperature Rise In Warmer Weather?

There is limited evidence to suggest that the core body temperature of pregnant women is higher than usual during warmer weather as a result of their pregnancy. However, many women often feel hotter and more uncomfortable during periods of hot weather.

It is important to keep cool during warm weather due to the increased chances of issues such as fatigue, heat exhaustion, fainting, dehydration and heatstroke.

If a pregnant woman’s body temperature reaches over 39.2°C during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, there is a slight increased risk of the baby having a birth defect. However, a woman’s body temperature will rarely be this high unless she is not yet acclimatised to very hot weather, is exercising in it, or she has a fever.

How To Cool Down During Hot Weather

Using water is an easy way to cool down during hot weather. This can include:

  • Having a cool bath (water temperature should be below 32°C)
  • Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water and uncaffeinated fluids. This is important as dehydration can impact both yours and your baby’s health.
  • Carry a water spray with you to cool off quickly with a little spritz
  • Put your wrists under cold running water

Investing in a handheld fan or staying indoors where there is air conditioning can also help you to stay cool during hot weather.

Should I Avoid The Sun While Pregnant?

Hot weather and pregnancy doesn’t always go hand in hand, and for some mums-to-be, you may feel more comfortable avoiding the sun altogether, especially if it is cooler indoors.

Avoiding the sun can also help you to combat a condition known as melasma, sometimes referred to as pregnancy mask. This is a common skin condition which impacts up to 50% of pregnant women and can cause brown or grayish pigmentation to develop, usually on the face. You don’t have to avoid the sun completely to prevent this issue, but you should wear a wide-brimmed hat and wear a high UVA sun cream lotion.

How To Stop Swelling In Hot Weather

Excess water retention can lead to swelling in different parts of the body such as the ankles, fingers and legs, during pregnancy. This is because, during the day, extra water can gather in the lower parts of the body and the pressure of your baby in the womb can sometimes affect the blood flow in your legs, further increasing the swelling. Hot weather is also a key contributor to swelling in hot weather.

There are some things that you can do, however, which are a solution in how to stop swelling in hot weather. These include:

  • Reducing your salt intake as this can worsen water retention.
  • Wear comfortable shoes – if your feet are swollen, then you may want to wear shoes which are bigger than your usual shoe size
  • Alleviate leg swelling by lying down with your feet propped up on a pillow or towel when sleeping or resting.
  • Try to avoid standing up for long periods of time.
  • Drink lots of water to help your body get rid of excess water retention
  • Take regular walks to help improve blood circulation and reduce swelling in the ankles.

Swelling which is sudden, coupled with a severe headache or pain in your right side, or does not resolve after a rest, could be a sign of a serious complication such as pre-eclampsia. If you experience this, you should consult your doctor, midwife, or call NHS 111 straight away.

For more information on hot weather and pregnancy, get in touch with one of our experts at The Birth Collective today!