Pregnancy can still be a precious time for the mom-to-be as she gets to be pampered and is able to eat all those yummy healthy dishes. But there are few comforts that pregnant women are deprived of. When you are pregnant, you are handed a number of rules and warnings about what you should and should not do. This includes a list of what you can/cannot eat and drink. They are also advised against hot saunas since it can result in overheating the body.
Even when a pregnant mother’s body overheats, the body will try to protect the baby from this rise in temperature by regulating the temperature of the placenta. But when the body temperature rises above 100oF, it becomes difficult to maintain the temperature of the baby. This can affect the baby and in severe cases, cause overheating of the baby. Overheating of the baby can result in a miscarriage especially in the first trimester. It can also cause birth defects.
To prevent overheating, it is advised to stay cool by sipping water throughout the day while pregnant. During summers, it is advisable to drink more water than usual. Relax in a tub with normal temperature water to keep yourself cool. Avoid venturing out in the sun as much as possible. Stay indoors and open the windows if there is any wind outside. If not, you could simply run the AC. If it is cool outside, then you could head out for a leisurely stroll or just sit in the park.
Here are few of the signs that could indicate that you are overheated:
1. Feeling tired all the time
The most obvious sign is when you feel tired all the time. You will feel like sleeping a lot, taking frequent naps throughout the day and sleeping for 7 + hours in the night.
2. Regurgitating more than usual
If you have always been nauseous during your pregnancy, it may not be anything to worry about. But you would be able to notice when you vomit more than usual. This could mean that you are overheating due to being dehydrated. Consult your doctor if sipping water doesn’t solve this.
3. Feeling the weight and not being able to walk
When you are in your second or third trimester, it is natural to not be able to walk normally. This is because of the weight in your belly causing you to walk like a penguin. But if you feel like walking feels like a chore and that you are not able to walk due to being tired, it could indicate that you are overheating.
4. Reddened skin and/or rashes
If your face appears red or if there are rashes on your skin, this could again be a sign of overheating. This could be caused by either exercising excessively or due to being in the sun for too long, either of which is bad for your baby. Take a break from exercise/being out in the sun and relax at home with an ice pack to massage the affected areas.
5. Scalp and neck turns moist in the sun
Stepping out in the sun can overheat your head. Touch the top of your scalp and the back of your neck when you step out. If the skin feels moist, then it means that your body is starting to get overheated. Avoid stepping outside during the sun’s harshest hours (11 AM - 3 PM). When you do step outside, carry an umbrella with you to protect your head. Also, carry a rose water spray and a soft wiping cloth so you can keep your face feeling cool and fresh.
6. Temperature rises but no sweating
You may notice that your body temperature rises even without sweating. This is another indication that you could be overheating. Sip water, sit under a fan and use an ice pack to cool yourself down.
7. Not feeling as efficient as you were before
Do you feel like you are not able to get things done like before? Do you feel sluggish and lethargic? This would be easily noticeable if you are usually very energetic. If increasing your water intake doesn’t solve this, then you should consult your doctor about it.
8. Heart rate faster than usual
It is normal for the heart rate to increase during pregnancy. This is because the heart is working twice as hard to provide your little one with all the nutrients and comfort it needs. But if you notice that your heart is beating faster than usual without doing any physical activity and if it doesn’t slow down even with breathing exercises, then you could be overheating.
9. Feeling dizzy or seeing double
This is similar to how you can get dizzy after being in the sun for too long. It is a result of overheating due to dehydration so start sipping on water. Getting enough sleep could also help because your body needs to rest after all the extra work it needs to do.
10. Sense of breathlessness due to breathing fast
This is linked to your increased heart rate. The heart is pumping blood at twice the usual speed and this will increase your breathing speed as well. Inhale deeply for 4 seconds and exhale completely through the mouth. Taking a few deep breaths should help slow it down.