It’s a cool, cool sum­mer

Liv­ing un­der African skies means it’s hot this time of year! Here’s how to keep cool, writes Tina Otte

Your Pregnancy - - Pregnancy Files -

BE­CAUSE OF THE phys­i­o­log­i­cal changes and all the ex­tra work your body has to do dur­ing preg­nancy, your thy­roid gland be­comes more ac­tive so that you per­spire more read­ily to help your body reg­u­late its tem­per­a­ture. In the third trimester, your ex­tra weight and cum­ber­some body can make you feel even more hot and both­ered.


Nat­u­ral fi­bres such as cot­ton, silk and linen al­low air to cir­cu­late, so they tend to be cooler than syn­thetic fab­rics. Wear loose cloth­ing that moves with you, cre­at­ing its own cool­ing sys­tem. Wear­ing a light hat with a large brim will keep the sun off your face (and pre­vent your chloasma from get­ting worse). Wear sun­glasses with a de­cent UV pro­tec­tion that ward off the glare. Noth­ing is worse than hav­ing hot, sweaty and sore feet! Com­fort­able shoes, prefer­ably san­dals, are vi­tal in warm weather, as your feet are more likely to swell. You may even go up a shoe size. If you’re wear­ing closed shoes such as loafers or takkies, wear se­cret socks also made of a nat­u­ral fi­bre. Re­mem­ber, any sud­den swelling that doesn’t go away must be re­ported to your care­giver.


Work­ing in the heat can re­ally sap your en­ergy. Most of­fices to­day have the lux­ury of air con­di­tion­ing, but if yours doesn’t, ask your em­ployer to or­gan­ise a stand­ing elec­tric fan. This will help im­prove your work per­for­mance, as be­ing hot can make you feel very sleepy. If you don’t have air con­di­tion­ing in your car, you may want to in­vest in a small bat­tery­op­er­ated travel fan. When buy­ing a fan, ask to see it work, make sure it’s not too noisy, and check that it works on dif­fer­ent speeds. Keep a bot­tle of rose­wa­ter spray in your of­fice and spray it over your face and neck when the heat is get­ting to you. This is a won­der­ful way to cool down and the smell of rose is very re­lax­ing.


Fans work won­der­fully at home as well. You may wish to in­stall a ceil­ing fan for those hot and muggy nights when you just can’t get to sleep. Lis­ten to the weather fore­cast and try and plan to do the bulk of your er­rands early in the day be­fore the tem­per­a­tures re­ally soar. Late af­ter­noon may also be an op­tion, but if that is your nap time, that takes pref­er­ence! If you have a pool at home take full ad­van­tage of it. There are some won­der­ful ex­er­cises you can do while cool­ing off. Spend­ing at least 30 min­utes in the wa­ter will help de­crease swelling and pro­mote well-be­ing. Gen­tle swim­ming will also im­prove your strength as well as en­er­gise you. If you don’t have a pool, try out your lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal pool. Many of the large gyms have swim­ming fa­cil­i­ties, so make use of your mem­ber­ship dur­ing your preg­nancy. It’s easy to be­come de­hy­drated in hot weather and even more so when you’re preg­nant. Drink plenty of wa­ter, even if it means you’ll need the loo more of­ten. Keep cof­fee and tea to a min­i­mum, and try herbal and flavoured teas in­stead. If you love ice cream, eat sor­bet in­stead, as this is kinder to your weight gain. If you travel a lot, be sure to take plenty of ice wa­ter with you. A good idea is to freeze wa­ter in a plas­tic bot­tle, and take it with you. It will slowly melt and you’ll have cold wa­ter to drink for most of the day. A ther­mos flask is also an op­tion.


If you’re go­ing to be at the sea­side, be aware of the fact that sun­light re­flects off the wa­ter and the sand, so you need to make sure you have ex­tra pro­tec­tion. Re­mem­ber to bring some­thing to pro­vide shade. Re­lax and spend time with your feet up un­der a tree with a cool bev­er­age and lots of ice. While it’s im­por­tant to wear cool cloth­ing, be sure to wear ap­pro­pri­ate cloth­ing that pro­vides ex­tra pro­tec­tion against the sun. Re­mem­ber, your skin is more sen­si­tive dur­ing preg­nancy. En­joy the cool­ness of the evening by ap­ply­ing in­sect re­pel­lent and sleep­ing with your win­dows open. YP

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