As I write this, it’s 38 degrees outside and a sweltering summer awaits!
It’s ironic that whenever anyone asks “how long have you got to go?” and I tell them I’m due in March the response is, “oh no, you have to get through the hot summer!”.
(In case you missed my announcement, we’re having a little girl and I look forward to sharing my fit pregnancy journey with you!)
So with a change of season on our doorstep, here are my ultimate summer pregnancy tips for taking care of yourself and your baby…
Exercise in the morning
They say that the early bird catches the worm, and I’ve always been one to live by an early start to get a workout done and start my day when no one is awake yet!
However, since becoming pregnant I am so exhausted that the 5am wake up is simply not possible. So, I do the next best thing – a 9.30am workout on the days I drop off my son to childcare, which even if only 2-3 days a week, is a win.
You see, with pregnancy fitness, a small amount of strength training can go a long way and it is consistency (even a few days a week) that will make all the difference. I’m currently doing 3 weights sessions and 1 pilates session weekly.
Find your summer uniform
It sounds boring to wear the same thing every day, but I find that during pregnancy, having a similar structure to your outfit saves time and stress… especially when nothing in your wardrobe fits anymore!
I was so disappointed when my son got out a beautiful red dress from my wardrobe and said, “Mummy can you wear this dress to my Christmas party?” and I had to explain that it won’t fit the baby inside!
So instead of worrying about what to wear, have a “look” or “uniform” that is fast, easy and accessible even on the most frantic morning.
For workouts I’m wearing Lululemon tights with a high waist (the new naked fabric is super light) and their Align bra has no underwire, is seamless and has the best support.
For a party I’m wearing Kookai stretchy dresses with flats, as it’s simply impossible to wear heels from the second trimester onwards. Kookai dresses are lined, have great colours and the cotton blend fabrics feel great in the hot weather.
Drink water even when you don’t feel like it
I always feel full when pregnant and eat for energy, not for actual physical emptiness in my stomach (like I felt pre-pregnancy!).
Let me explain further…
When you’re pregnant your digestion slows, so I never feel like drinking water, or eating a meal. Instead, I have low energy and sometimes nausea or a low blood sugar level which make me feel faint or dizzy.
So, unlike my days as an athlete where I eat or drink in response to an empty stomach, hunger and thirst, with pregnancy I nourish and hydrate for the baby’s wellbeing, even if I don’t “feel” like it.
Drinking lots of water is also important for flushing out fluid retention which is so common in pregnancy.
Elevate your feet
Speaking of fluid retention, you might be lucky, but for me the second and third trimester mean swollen, legs, ankles and feet by about 3pm every day! This is a wonderful side effect of pregnancy (ha!) and is normal according to the American Pregnancy Association who report:
“During pregnancy, the body produces approximately 50% more blood and body fluids to meet the needs of the developing baby. Swelling is a normal part of pregnancy that is caused by this additional blood and fluid. Normal swelling, which is also called edema, is experienced in the hands, face, legs, ankles, and feet. This extra retention of fluid is needed to soften the body, which enables it to expand as the baby develops.”
So, my fix for this is (even if I am sitting at my desk all day) is to elevate my feet on a chair or a foot stool and it makes all the difference!
Shelter from the hottest part of the day
We’ve all heard the slogan “seek shade from a tree between 11 and 3”.
The Slip! Slop! Slap! campaign is well known in Australia, and there is a lot of truth to staying indoors in air conditioning during these hottest hours of the day.
It actually pains me to say this because I am a summer baby – I absolutely love the heat, the sun and going to the beach on a 40 degree day – normally the heat doesn’t phase me, except when I am pregnant!
When I’m pregnant I stay indoors for the hottest part of the day when possible. Let’s face it this is not easy because I have a 3 year old who is extremely active and wants nothing more than to stay at the park or go swimming, however I simply cannot stand the heat and feel so drained and exhausted from the hot temperature and air.
No, I’m not a wimp! This instinct is there for an important reason and another lesson as a pregnant woman, to drop your preconceptions about being tough and carrying on and actually listen to the messages your body is giving you.
According to kidshealth.org: “If your body temperature goes above 102°F (38.9°C) for more than 10 minutes, the elevated heat can cause problems with the fetus. Overheating in the first trimester can lead to neural tube defects and miscarriage. Later in the pregnancy, it can lead to dehydration in the mother.”
So try to be kind to yourself this summer, if something feels instinctively wrong, or uncomfortable it is your body’s way of telling that it is not right!
Fit pregnancy tips