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Pregnant during summers? Here are some cool tips for good health.

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Along with the long list of symptoms like nausea, fatigue, breathlessness, anxiety, and aches and pains; pregnant women have to face the intense heat of summer too.

Here is a list of common issues that pregnant women can face during the summer season, few are tiresome, and few are concerning, but there are tips to combat all these conditions says Dr V P Jyotsna, Sr. Consultant Obstetrician Gynecologist & Laparoscopic Surgeon at 9M by Ankura hospitals, Gachibowli.

Heat intolerance

When you are pregnant, your body temperature is already a bit higher than normal, so added heat from outside temperature is bound to make you feel uncomfortable.

Prevention and treatment

·       A cool damp cloth applied on the back of your neck, your forehead, or on the top of your head is a good way to keep your temperature down.

·       Drink plenty of fluids, water, and fresh fruit juices.

Heat rashes

Heat rash is the most common complaint during summer, in this the skin gets red, itchy, and inflamed. Heat rashes mostly develop under the breasts and on the abdomen.

This occurs due to sweating and is more if you wear tight synthetic clothes.

Prevention and treatment

·       Wear loose fitting natural fabrics like cotton and linen

·       Avoid synthetic fabrics and tight clothes.

·       Do not scrub the skin hard, and especially avoid scratching the site of the rash.

·       Gentle skin cleaners are to be used while bathing.

·       Do not use very hot water for baths, lukewarm water is advisable.

·       Following bath, calamine lotion has to be applied.

·       If symptoms persist despite these self-care measures, doctor should be consulted.

Sunburn

Pregnant women are more prone to sunburn than nonpregnant women.

While redness from sunburn becomes apparent within 2 to 6 hours, the full effect of sunburn doesn’t peak till 12-14 hrs after exposure.

In mild sunburn, the skin feels hot due to inflammation, but people don’t get fever. Painless skin peeling is common in mild sunburn.

However, in severe sunburns, skin blisters are formed like burns and they involve a large body surface. They cause fever due to the release of large amounts of inflammatory chemicals into the bloodstream.

Prevention and treatment

·       Sunscreen lotions with high SPF, hats with wide brims, and umbrellas are cornerstones of sunburn prevention.

·       Limit your time outside to early mornings and evenings.

·       For mild sunburn, comfort measures such as the use of cold compresses or cold baths and application of soothing moisturizers can help.

·       For severe sunburns with fever or skin blisters, consult a doctor.

Heat stroke or sunstroke

Sunstroke is a condition where a person has become so hot that their body can’t cool down and their temperature gets dangerously high.

Symptoms of sunstroke include fever >1040F, throbbing headache, feeling sick, dizziness, muscle cramps, intense thirst, rapid heartbeat, confusion, seizures, and unconsciousness.

Pregnancy increases the risk of dehydration and sunstroke.

Sunstroke can affect your baby too.

Prevention and treatment

·       It’s always best to prevent heatstroke by being aware of the heatwave.

·       It is advisable to stay indoors between 11 AM to 3 PM.

·       If you have to go out in high temperatures, take precautions like wearing loose-fitting cool clothes and drinking extra fluids, at least one glass of water every hour during your stay outdoors.

·       Treatment involves getting medical help immediately.

·       Whilst waiting for help, try to lower the temperature by getting them to a cool shady, or air-conditioned area.

·       Wet their skin and fan air over them.

·       Get them to drink water or fruit juice provided they are conscious and able to swallow.

Pedal edema or leg swelling

If the second half of pregnancy occurs during the summer months, the degree of leg swelling can increase dramatically.

Prevention

·       Keep your legs elevated while sleeping

·       Don’t wear constrictive clothing, especially around the waist.

·       Don’t stand for too long.

·       Do not sit while hanging the legs down for larger hours.

To summarize, these are the precautions to be taken during summer added Dr V P Jyotsna, Sr. Consultant Obstetrician Gynecologist & Laparoscopic Surgeon at 9M by Ankura hospitals, Gachibowli.

·       Drink plenty of liquids, preferably water, and fresh fruit juices.

·       Avoid coffee and fizzy drinks.

·       Take a healthy diet, and avoid fried and spicy food.

·       Avoid direct sunlight.

·       Wear light and breathable clothing.

·       Exercise moderately, not during midday.

·       Swimming is the best exercise.

·       Finally, try to stay home if the outside temperature is above 300C

Have a happy and comfortable pregnancy.

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