You guys. I have something to say about summer pregnancies and it's not what you've heard a hundred times over. I know that everyone tells you that having a summer pregnancy is miserable and when they find out that you are due at the end of summer everyone gives you the look of understanding and sympathy. They may even say “oh you poor thing, you have to endure a summer pregnancy”.
Well you know what? I love summer pregnancies! Both of my pregnancies have been through the summer and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Why? Because summer pregnancies have more perks than you might think!
If you don't believe me, and you're convinced that being hot and huge is not your cup of tea, just keep reading and you might start to see my point of view.
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my #1 Tip to rocking your summer pregnancy
I have one, single, very important tip when it comes to making the best out of your summer pregnancy and totally rocking it.
What is it?
Embrace your summer pregnancy and you will be sure to learn to love it instead of just “survive” it.
A summer pregnancy has it's advantages. Actually, after two summer pregnancies, I am convinced that a summer pregnancy is actually better than any other season.
Summer pregnancy clothes
Maternity outfits in the summer are so much simpler than in the colder months. Being pregnant, for me, means that I want to wear as few layers as possible.
The less I have to put on my growing body, the better.
Summer dresses should be a staple for your summer pregnancy wardrobe. A flowy dress with no elastic waistbands or constricting layers is every pregnant woman's best friend.
I mean, being in the third trimester in the coldest months of the year where you have to find layers that fit your bump must be miserable, right? I mean, I certainly don't own a jacket, coat, or even sweatshirt that would fit over this belly right now. No way. Good thing all I have to wear every day is my favorite pair of maternity shorts and a flowy cotton top!
Flip flops and SANDALS for your swollen feet
A pregnancy complaint that is extremely common is that their feet swell or even grow a size during pregnancy. Finding shoes that are comfortable, let alone still fit, can be a challenge in the later months of pregnancy.
In the summer, you can get away with hardly wearing anything on your feet. Flip flops or comfortable sandals are awesome when all you want to do is slip your shoes on and off as easily as possible. Come on. Have you tried to bend over and tie your tennis shoes with a nine month pregnant belly? I have. It's not easy.
Summer Pregnancy Diet
Summer foods are ideal for a pregnant woman.
How do women's appetites change in the third trimester? And how do these changes relate to summer foods? Let's talk about it.
You may need smaller meals
Yep. I said smaller. As your baby grows and takes up more room in your abdomen, the less room you feel like you have in your stomach.
Perfect for summer! Who doesn't love a summer salad or something packed full of nutrients that doesn't feel heavy and take up a bunch of your room in your ever-growing belly?
You may require hydrating foods
Every pregnancy requires adequate hydration. You may even crave foods that have high water content in them.
Hydrating foods such as watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, oranges, cucumber or even grapes are delicious summer foods that you can indulge in with the extra benefit of extra fluid intake that your body desperately needs in the hot summer months.
You'll crave cold foods
I craved cold foods throughout each of my pregnancies. After the first pregnancy, I had no idea why this was. After my second pregnancy, when I had the same cravings, I figured out why.
Cold foods are a common craving for pregnant women because they can actually help combat nausea! Hot foods are actually more likely to have an aroma that triggers your gag reflex! What?! No wonder!
In the summer, those delicious summer indulgences such as lemonade or fruit smoothies will be perfect to satisfy your cravings while hopefully keeping you from feeling so sick.
With these common summer snacks, you're getting healthy, nutrition packed foods into your body to fuel your pregnancy and you're staying cool and hydrated at the same time.
Going to the beach with a bump
What other time in your life do you get to flaunt your over-sized belly proudly at the beach? I mean, you should be doing this all of the time, but as a woman I know that we all have our insecurities at the beach.
Well, when you're pregnant, you have nothing to worry about when it comes to body image at the beach. With a pregnant belly, you're automatically the one person on the beach with the best summer body around.
If you aren't quite comfortable in your usual bikini, there are some super-cute maternity bathing suits that you can get your hands on before your next beach trip.
Flaunt that bump, girl. You look good.
Summer baby moon
You can take a baby moon any time of the year, but many of the best baby moon destinations are ideal in the summer.
Having a summer pregnancy means that you get to go to the best baby moon locations at the best time. Consider yourself lucky!
Swimming while pregnant
Swimming in a pool can be one of the best ways to relieve pressure and some of the discomforts of pregnancy. Being weightless in the water is an amazing feeling when your largely pregnant. That's something that might not be an option for you in other seasons of the year.
Not only can swimming feel like a huge relief to your body, it can also assist in a more optimal fetal position fo your baby! Helping your baby get into the best possible position for birth is important when you're hoping for a shorter or less painful birth experience.
- Related Read: The Best Way To Make Your Birth Plan Your Reality
Summer Maternity Photoshoot
We've all seen the gorgeous mothers-to-be on Pinterest, flaunting their bellies in a field of wildflowers. Well, it's easier to replicate those beautiful maternity photos in the summer when you are able to wear the flowy gowns that show off your bump.
You'll be able to wear what you want comfortably without worrying about freezing your buns off or avoiding the rain during your shoot. Winning!
Smoothies and popsicles
You have every excuse to drink all of the refreshing fruit smoothies your pregnant heart desires. They are hydrating, they keep you cool, and they give you the sugar and sustinents to keep you going through the hot days of summer.
When you're tired of drinking smoothies (I don't know how that would happen, but it might), then you can move on to home-made popsicles and call it a day. No guilt in that when you're doing your best to stay hydrated and get your fruit servings in during your summer pregnancy.
Tips to manage a summer pregnancy
Alright, so now you know why summer pregnancies are great. We've gone over all of the wonderful parts of a summer pregnancy and why you should love and embrace it. Now we should probably mention how to get through the tough parts.
I'm not saying that summer pregnancies are all fun and games all of the time. I can admit that there are definitely hard parts! But I suppose that that's the case any time of year. Being pregnant isn't ever a walk in the park for the whole nine months, right?
So here's what you need to do to “survive a summer pregnancy”.
Drink water throughout the day. It's important to continue to get your water intake, even when you don't necessarily feel thirsty.
Pregnant women need more water than non-pregnant women for obvious reasons. If you have been maintaining your water intake and you feel that you've had enough based on what you usually drink, think again. You should be drinking at least 80-100 ounces of water a day and even more if you are exercising or spending time in the sun.
Even if you are drinking the recommended amount of water, if your pee is dark yellow, that is a sign that your body needs more water. Continue to drink water until your urine is such a light yellow that you can hardly see it in the toilet water.
Not only is hydration important for your and your baby's overall health, but it also helps keep you cool, combats constipation, and can decrease swelling. Win-win all around!
So, you know that hydration is so important during pregnancy… but it doesn't end there. Labor and breastfeeding will be easier if you are sufficiently hydrated. Make it a habit to drink water throughout the day and you'll be thankful you did later when you feel great throughout your summer pregnancy while everyone else is complaining that they are barely surviving it.
Dress for the heat
It's important to allow your body to breathe and get air-flow in high temperature weather. Wear loose-fitting, breathable clothing that doesn't restrict you.
Cotton is the way to go when staying cool. Also, wearing a dress is probably the least restrictive way to dress and stay cool this summer.
Kick your feet up
As with any season, swelling is a common ailment of pregnancy. The difference is, in the summer, swelling can creep up on you faster and become more serious than during other times of the year.
Keep swelling at a minimum by elevating your feet at every chance you get.
Be Careful when exercising
Exercise is so important for a healthy pregnancy. I only ask that you be smart about it. Hot summer weather can make certain exercise routines more dangerous. You'll want to make sure that you know what to avoid and how to modify your routine for the weather.
Instead of taking a walk or jog around the neighborhood, find a pool to do some laps in or walk around an indoor mall to get your steps in instead. Another great idea for exercise during a summer pregnancy is prenatal yoga in a air-conditioned space.
If you insist on your morning jog or a light hike, make sure you go early in the morning or in the evening when the sun is going down.
Avoid exercising outside when the temperatures are at their highest.
- Related Read: The Insider's Guide to Pregnancy Fitness Goals
Don't get sunburned
During pregnancy, your skin is more sensitive to the sun. If you plan on spending time outdoors during your summer pregnancy, make sure you make smart decisions about your skin care.
If you're going to be hanging out in the sun, make sure to choose a sunscreen that is as chemical free as possible. Your typical drug store sunscreen may not be the safest choice for you during this time while you're the home to a developing baby.
If sunscreen isn't your jam, make sure you invest in hats, bathing suit covers, and a large unbrella so that you can hang out in the shade.
Whatever method you choose to protect yourself, just make sure you're careful not to get burned. Sunburns during pregnancy are extra-miserable.
Don't get over-exposed to chlorine
When you choose to go swimming for exercise or to cool off during your summer pregnancy, choosing a salt water pool is the way to go. If you don't have a choice, and chlorine is your only option, go for short dips instead of long swims. Try not to bathe for hours in a chlorinated pool.
Must-haves to survive a summer pregnancy
Ok, so now you know what's great about a summer pregnancy AND how to manage the not-so-great parts.
These are the essential summer pregnancy must have items that you need to enjoy the good parts and manage the bad parts of a summer pregnancy.
Honestly, it totally doesn't have to be maternity. It just has to be a suit that you are comfortable in with your new shape.
During my first pregnancy, I didn't buy any new or special bathing suit because I was 100% comfortable flaunting my bump at the beach in my bikini.
My second pregnancy was different. I felt like my breasts grew 5x their normal size and I wanted a little more support than my typical bikini.
Whether you opt for the one-piece maternity suit or a more supportive two pice bikini in a larger size, if you're comfortable, then you're golden.
The last thing you want to do is end up by the pool or at the beach and have to constantly adjust yourself because you didn't invest in a swimsuit that fits.
A large Insulated Water bottle
My large, insulated water bottle is one of my best friends during my summer pregnancy. Fill that sucker half way with ice and then top it off with water and you're good-to-go for hours.
Make sure you buy a large one but not so large that you don't want to carry it around all day. The 32 ounce bottle was perfect for me. Large enough that I don't have to refill it 100 times but small enough to tag along with me wherever I go.
If you buy a high quality insulated water bottle like this one, your water will stay cold for 24 hours…even in your hot car! Every time I grab my water bottle and find that there is still ice in it hours later, I'm amazed.
Maternity clothes for summer
I've said it before – you don't have to buy a whole new wardrobe for pregnancy. Many items in your closet probably still fit just fine as your bump grows. BUT when you are pregnant in the summer, sometimes you need a little extra flow or wiggle room in your clothing to keep you cool.
Some of my favorite summer maternity staples are:
Did you know that anything you put on your skin is absorbed into your blood stream? It will typically only take about 30 seconds for your sunscreen to be absorbed into your skin and end up in your blood that is being delivered to your baby.
Because of this, you'll want to use a sunscreen that is as gentle as possible. In our family, we like to use this one for myself and my son. It does the job and is safe to use while growing a baby.
Handheld is good. Clipable is better. If you can clip your fan onto your stroller (if you have other kids that you're strolling around), your bed, or anywhere else that you're hanging out, you are set for a cool summer pregnancy.
You might even want one that has a mister attached to it for a little extra help staying cool on these hot summer days.
*Labor hack! Keep this fan handy during your summer pregnancy and then pack it in your hospital bag to take with you in labor! I've seen women clip a mini fan like this one to their hospital bed to keep cool during labor and pushing. You think you're hot now? Imagine how you'll feel when you're doing the hardest work you've ever done – childbirth!
You can be on trend and also keep your sensitive skin out of the sun. I'm loving wearing summer hats right now.
Fun ways to embrace your summer pregnancy
Getting through a summer pregnancy is not enough. Have fun! Enjoy yourself!
Don't just try to survive. Aim to THRIVE this summer.
If you need some ideas for the perfect Summer Pregnancy Bucket List, try to mark off all of these fun summer experiences before the baby comes.
Get a pedicure
It's summer! Those toes deserve to be pampered not only because they are going to be exposed pretty much all of the time, but because you deserve to be pampered in the air-conditioned salon, kick your feet up, and have your feet rubbed.
Get it, girl.
Get a massage
A prenatal massage can help ease swelling and soothe tense muscles that are bound to cause some discomfort in pregnancy. If you fall asleep on the table, no one will blame you.
Go on a summer baby-moon
My favorite way to baby-moon is at the beach.
My first baby-moon was an Alaskan cruise and I absolutely loved the cold weather during pregnancy. BUT once I took my baby moon with my second son, everything changed. We went on a spur-of-the-moment Hawaiian vacation this time around and I had a blast.
Hanging out in my bathing suit all day long, sipping on virgin piña coladas by the pool, and dipping my feet in the ocean at every chance I got was the absolute best baby-moon I could have asked for.
- Related Read: Your Second Trimester To-Do List: What to Get Done Between 14 and 27 Weeks of Pregnancy
Take evening walks
Taking evening walks is always a go-to during my summer pregnancies. In the summer, the days are longer, the sun sets later, and the weather becomes cool enough to walk around the neighborhood or a nearby park sometime after dinner.
Early on in pregnancy, these walks can just be a bit of a bonding experience between you and baby daddy but once you're term and desperate for this baby to drop, walks will help do the trick. It may even help induce your labor at home if you're past (or at least near) your due date.
Take a mid-day nap
To get away from the hottest part of the day, it's never a bad idea to crank the AC and take a nap in the afternoon when you're pregnant.
I wish I could take my own advice on this one but I have a toddler running around my house during the day. But you better bet that I took plenty of mid-day naps with my first summer pregnancy. It was glorious.
Naps are essential in any pregnancy. Growing a human is exhausting. In the summer, they're even better.
Whether you have other children or not, make this a priority at least a few times this summer before the baby comes. Not only is it important for you and your hubby to get close and remember who you are aside from parents, it's also one of the best ways to take advantage of a summer pregnancy.
Summer nights are always the most romantic, in my opinion. Whatever you and your other half love to do, whether it be going to the theater for a movie, mini golf, or heading to a romantic dinner alone, make sure you do it while you still can!
- Related Read: Qualities of A Good Father Before the Baby is Even Born
Complications to watch out for during a summer pregnancy
While you enjoy the best parts of a summer pregnancy, manage the worst parts, and take advantage of all of the fun you can have during a summer pregnancy, you also need to keep any eye out for some of the complications that can happen while pregnant in the summer.
These are a few common problems that pregnant women face during a hot summer pregnancy.
Some signs of dehydration can be fatigue, nausea, dizziness, or headaches. A late sign of dehydration is decreased urine output.
It's a lot easier to become dehydrated during pregnancy than it is at any other time. Your body needs significantly more fluid to sustain a pregnancy than it does in normal body functioning.
All the time, I see women come in to labor and delivery complaining for uterine contractions or cramping, worrying about preterm labor or convinced that they are in active labor when reality is that they were just dehydrated.
Dehydration during pregnancy can result in muscle spasms including the muscle that is your uterus. Those spasms feel like contractions and can be very uncomfortable for you. Your best bet is to drink lots of water, kick your feet up, and see if your symptoms get any better.
If not, you'll end up in the hospital with an IV in your arm to replace your fluids and hopefully help those cramps subside.
Over-Heating while pregnant
According to the CDC, pregnant women are more susceptible to heat exhaustion. When you're pregnant, your body has to work twice as hard to cool your body and the baby's body down at the same time. This is no joke!
If your body temperature reaches or exceeds 102 degrees Fahrenheit and stays that way for 10 minutes or more, your baby can start to experience overheating too. Depending on what trimester you are in, overheating to this extent can lead to birth defects or even preterm labor.
So, there are some hard parts of a summer pregnancy. But there is so many more positives than negatives!
I hope you enjoy your summer pregnancy, stay safe, and have fun. Just remember, I'm right there with you!
What do you love or hate about being pregnant in the summer? Let me know in the comments!
What to Read Next:
- How To Plan A Baby Shower For A Modern Mom
- How and Why To Start Counting Baby Kicks in the Third Trimester
- Qualities of A Good Father Before the Baby is Even Born
- Your Second Trimester To-Do List: What to Get Done Between 14 and 27 Weeks of Pregnancy
- 17 Natural Ways To Induce Labor Yourself
- 16 Indispensable Pregnancy and Labor Tips from a Labor & Delivery Nurse
- The Best Way To Make Your Birth Plan Your Reality
- Important Pregnancy Must Haves To Help You Survive The First Trimester