The heat and humidity on these endless summer days can be hard to beat, and believe us when we say it’s even harder when you’re pregnant. Not only is your body temperature already slightly elevated, you may be dealing with fun pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness, swollen hands and feet, itchy, irritated skin, and general grumpiness. Add scorching temps to the mix, and well, you can see the issue. The good news—you can do this! And we can help with these four not-so-obvious tips to beat the summer heat during pregnancy.
Cool Down Your Hands & Feet
If you’re wondering whether you can physically climb into the freezer, here’s a better idea. Wrap cold packs in dishcloths and press them to the bottoms of your feet. Your aching tootsies will thank you, and research (1) shows that this type of targeted application to areas with small blood vessels is an effective way to decrease your body temperature. Other options? Just soak your hands and feet in cool water or get crazy with an ice bucket or some cooling towels.
Whip Up Some Collagen Protein Popsicles
Drink All the Water
This may be mildly obvious, but it’s absolutely critical. During pregnancy, you need to be guzzling between 64 and 96 ounces of water every day (4)—that’s 8 to 12 8-ounce servings. The likelihood of dehydration goes up when you’re sweating buckets, and that’s a problem during pregnancy. Dehydration is associated with all sorts of serious pregnancy complications (5), including neural tube and birth defects, low amniotic fluid and premature labor. Skip the sugary sports drinks and opt for plain water. A low-sugar hydration pack is also a good option once a day—it will help replace electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium and other essential minerals, that you lose when you sweat.
Water is key, but if you're finding it a little tiresome, jazz it up with our favorite beat-the-heat summer mocktail:
- 2 fresh mint leaves
- ¾ cup watermelon juice
- ½ cup club soda
- Small slice of watermelon for garnish
Mash the mint leaves in the bottom of a glass. Fill the glass up one third of the way with ice. Pour in the watermelon juice, and top off with club soda. Garnish with mint, watermelon and enjoy!
Portable misters are convenient and work wonders for keeping you cooler and more comfortable. Plus, they’re easy to tote around for a quick cool-down wherever you go. There are hands-free, wearable versions and modern takes on the old-school, hand-held variety, so take your pick! Pro tip: fill the container with ice water for an even cooler mist.
The Bottom Line
Cut yourself some slack this summer! It’s hot, you're pregnant, and you deserve a little air conditioning at the very least. There are all sorts of ways to stay cool—breathable, loose clothing, pool time, bare feet, shady spots—and our tips will definitely help you stay more comfortable. Remember, this too shall end, and you’re doing great.
- Lissoway, J et al. (2015). Novel Application of Chemical Cold Packs for Treatment of Exercise-Induced Hyperthermia: A Randomized Controlled Trial. https://www.wemjournal.org/article/S1080-6032(14)00405-0/fulltext
- Swollen ankles, feet and fingers in pregnancy. (2021). https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/related-conditions/common-symptoms/swollen-ankles-feet-and-fingers/
- Edema. (2022). https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/edema-a-to-z
- How much water should I drink during pregnancy? (2020). https://www.acog.org/womens-health/experts-and-stories/ask-acog/how-much-water-should-i-drink-during-pregnancy
- Timmons, J. (2016). Symptoms of Severe Dehydration During Pregnancy. https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/dehydration#What-causes-dehydration?-