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High Temps Make for Hot Mamas

(FeatureSource) Summertime and the livin' is easy--and in most places, it can be pretty darned hot, too. More often than not, the season's soaring temperatures and high humidity can be especially difficult if you're a mother-to-be.

How does a pregnant woman stay cool?

"A good start is to drink plenty of cool liquids," says Seattle physical therapist Penny Simkin, a childbirth educator, doula and co-author of The Simple Guide to Having a Baby (Meadowbrook Press. $12, www.meadowbrookpress.com). "Keep a drink near you at all times and sip on it frequently. And of course, try to spend as much time as you can in air-conditioned rooms or rooms with an electric fan."

And don't be afraid to take that fan with you, Simkin advises. There are many small and inexpensive versions on the market - even small desk fans that run on batteries can be helpful.

Simkin and her co-authors of The Simple Guide to Having a Baby provide these other keep-cool tips for pregnant women:

  • Bathe or shower in tepid water, and dust your body with talcum powder after drying off.

  • Spend time at the beach or at a pool (stay in the shade, though), and take a dip every time you begin to feel too warm.

  • Wear a wide-brimmed sunhat whenever you are in the sun. Avoid letting your head become hot.

  • Do outdoor exercise (i.e., walking, bike riding) early in the morning before the temperature rises.

  • Try not to exert yourself excessively during the heat of the day.

  • Avoid turning on your oven during the hottest times of day. Try to think ahead and plan to do baking or cooking when it is cooler.

  • Keep a bowl of icy water and a couple of washcloths nearby. Dip the cloth in the water, wring it out, and place it on your forehead, back of your neck or your chest to cool yourself down.

  • Soak your feet in cool water.

  • Keep drapes or shades closed during the day to keep sunlight out.

What you wear can also make a difference on the summer-comfort scale. For instance, dark colored fabrics absorb the heat and will only make you warmer. Light-colored materials reflect the heat and light away from the body and will keep you cooler.

Choose natural, light-weight fabrics that breathe like linen and cotton to keep your skin cooler. There are even special fabrics that "wick away" moisture from the skin to keep your drier and cooler. You'll find them in athletic and summer casual wear, as well as in nightgowns.

The Simple Guide to Having a Baby, which contains many other helpful ideas for caring for yourself and your newborn, is available where you buy books, or visit www.MeadowbrookPress.com.

Author: E'Louise Ondash

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