During pregnancy a woman’s body temperature increases, making her much more intolerant of the hot summer weather. And it doesn’t have to be a 90-degree heat wave for a pregnant woman to become uncomfortable.
Particularly during the hot weather – when you lose a lot of fluid while perspiring - expecting moms should be careful about dehydration. Thirst is a basic, early sign of dehydration, while later signs include dizziness, lightheadedness, and possible uterine cramping. Note that dehydration decreases blood volume, which in turn could increase the concentration of oxytocin in the body; this increase can cause uterine cramping.
It’s also important to note that the edema (extra fluid) in your body during pregnancy does not keep you and your baby hydrated. Edema, or swelling, moves fluid out of the cells to the surrounding tissue, where it is needed. This is what causes the swollen, puffy look of pregnancy. Drinking extra fluids will help hydrate cells and flush out this extra fluid.
Here are some ways to beat the heat and stay cool during pregnancy:
And once baby arrives, keep in mind that delivery does not mean that heat intolerance will suddenly go away. Maternal hormones, increased blood volume, and additional body fluids will continue to make you sensitive to the heat for approximately 6 weeks postpartum.
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