Are you feeling irritated by the summer heat? Plagued by a hot sweaty mess?
Though summer has a lot of greatness to offer at the same time it can be very tiring, especially during pregnancy. Here’s how to stay cool and hydrated during the hot summer months:
1. Just BREATHE
Yes, your breath is very powerful and can cool you down in no time. Centuries ago yogis discovered this cooling pranayama practice, called Sitali Pranayama. This pranayama is done while seated, with your tongue curled into a round shape, as if you’re making a straw with your tongue. You then inhale through your curled tongue and exhale through the nose. The inhalation is moistened as it passes through the tongue as if “drinking water-saturated air.
Sitali Pranayama cools the body, adds moisture to the system, and soothes a pitta imbalance.
In addition to cooling the body, this practice is also very useful to lessen heartburn and aiding in digestion two common complaints during pregnancy. It also reduces fatigue, bad breath, fevers and high blood pressure.
How To Practice Sitali Pranayama
2. Stay hydrated
Water, water and more water! Being hydrated helps your body release heat easier, heat is released through sweat which cools the body down. Water helps regulate your body temperature as well. The American Pregnancy Association recommends pregnant women to drink between 8- 12 glasses of water daily and even more when doing exercise or other strenuous activities.
Due to the loss of electrolytes through sweat, make sure you’re replacing your electrolytes by eating foods like pickles, spinach, sweet potatoes, olives, and bananas. Well, that explains my craving for pickles during my summer pregnancy…phew.
3. Freshen up with water
If you live near the beach, take advantage now and go for a swim. Water is a great way to take that extra pregnancy weight of your back and to move your body and get your blood circulation going. Do make sure you protect yourself from the sun, during pregnancy hormones you are more prone to melasma, so make sure you’re using 30 SPF or higher.
If you don’t have the beach nearby try to find a public pool, take a cold shower, wash your face in ice water, place your feet in an ice bucket, wet a flannel place it in the freezer for putting behind your neck as and when needed, or take a cold bath. When getting into a cold shower always start by massaging your body beforehand to heat your body up, then slowly start pouring the water on your feet, then legs, arms, back, abdomen, and very last your chest/heart area. This way it’s not a big shock to your body.
Showering/bathing in cold water has many wonderful benefits such as reducing stress levels, increased alertness and a more robust immune response to disease as cold showers increase your white blood cells in your body.
Find out more about the benefits of taking cold showers here.
*Avoid too cold showers/baths after 7 months as the cold water is a shock to your system and it could cause your heart rate and blood pressure to potentially go up and be a stressor on the heart. If over 7 months try lukewarm water or just cold enough to make it refreshing.
4. Homemade popsicles or Frozen fruit
During my first pregnancy, we lived in Bangkok, that huge city right next to the sun. I was constantly chewing away on ice cubes, cold fruit and if I could I would have probably made avocado ice lollies. If you love avocado as much as me, why don’t you give it a try and let me know how it goes?
You can freeze just about any of your favorite fruit but my ultimate favorite is mixed red berries. Here’s a quick and super easy berry, almond ice cream recipe:
1 cup of frozen berries, 15g of roasted almonds (or any other roasted nuts). Place ingredients in the blender until still a little chunky. Enjoy!
For more interesting ice lolly recipes, take a look here.
5. Create a cooling sleep sanctuary
Sleep is one of the most important activities a pregnant woman engages in. Wear loose and light pajamas for sleeping, preferably 100% cotton. Dress your bed in bamboo or moisture-wicking sheets. Make sure you always have some air moving through the room, either a ceiling or standing fan will do great. Early morning make sure to open all the windows in your home to let the cool, fresh morning air seep through but be sure to close everything again early afternoon just before the sun peaks. This way your home will stay nice and fresh.
- Conscious pregnancy yoga manual, compiled by Tarn Taran K.Khalsa
- Nightlight by Nanit blog: https://www.nanit.com/blog/staying-cool-in-the-summer-when-pregnant/
- Wim Hoff Method: https://www.wimhofmethod.com/
- Yoga International: https://yogainternational.com/