Ah, summertime—who doesn’t love this time of year? Yet, these warmer months can also be a little more challenging for the expectant mom when carrying around those extra 25 plus pregnancy pounds.
So, how can the mama-to-be keep cool? It’s simple—just head to the pool! While you may not feel sleek and graceful, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself. Whether you want to get some exercise or just cool off and relax, consider the following tips.
Choosing Maternity Swimwear
Bathing suit season is hard enough without being pregnant. But sporting a big belly can make finding the perfect bathing suit even more difficult. According to Brette Sember, author of Your Plus-Size Pregnancy comfort is the key.
Make sure your suit fits well and has enough room to accommodate your expanding frame. Otherwise you’ll constantly be tugging and picking at the fabric and you’ll never feel comfortable. Racer back suits are especially easy to wear, and suits with built-in bra support are essential, says Sember.
The pool provides the perfect opportunity for prenatal exercise. According to the American Pregnancy Association, swimming is the safest form of exercise for pregnant women because it keeps muscles toned without stressing the joints, while at the same time getting the blood pumping. Water gives you buoyancy, helping to support your body—and keeps you cool at the same time! Try swimming laps at a medium pace, treading water, or walking laps around the shallow end.
Limit your sun exposure and always wear sunscreen. According to the American Pregnancy Association, your skin may be more sensitive to the sun’s UV rays while you’re pregnant, and you may develop hives or a heat rash. Plus, getting a tan might also make you more susceptible to melasma, the dark patches that often appear on the face and around the eyes during pregnancy. Wear at least an SPF 15 sunscreen when you’re out in the sun.
Beware of becoming dehydrated while hanging out in the heat by the pool, or while exercising. Dizziness, headaches, and muscle cramps are all signs of dehydration, which can cause severe problems such as preterm labor.
“Not drinking enough can have serious consequences,” says Dr. Aneema Van Groenou, author of The Active Woman’s Guide to Pregnancy. “If you are dehydrated, you are more susceptible to heat exhaustion. Dehydration is also the most preventable cause of preterm labor. If you are dehydrated, you are also more likely to suffer from headaches, urinary infections, constipation, dry skin, hemorrhoids, and fatigue. So you should take drinking seriously, especially during pregnancy.”
According to Dr. Van Groenou, “the best way to keep track of your hydration is to watch your urine: If it is dark yellow or if you urinate less than once every four hours, you need to drink more water.”
The summer sun is hot, your belly is getting bigger and bigger every day, yet there’s no reason why you shouldn’t spend the afternoon relaxing at the pool. When you use these tips for finding the right bathing suit, getting some exercise, and staying hydrated, every day can be a pool party.