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By Kelsey Grindstaff

Beat the heat of summer pregnancy

Pregnancy can be a difficult time. Even in winter months, the extra weight from your baby can be a source of uncomfortable warmth. Summer pregnancies, however, can be hugely uncomfortable because the heat magnifies all the discomfort, so it is imperative to learn how to stay cool.

The most important thing to keep in mind is to stay hydrated. Drink as much water as you can. Other drinks that help are natural juices, iced tea (preferably decaf tea), homemade smoothies or pretty much any drink that has a good water base.

Popsicles. Homemade popsicles are the best; however, otter pops and other kinds also help in that extreme heat. Just remember to not consume too much sugar We don't want to gain unnecessary weight. Along the same line, slurpees and slushies can be great. Just remember the sugar thing.

Work out. If you are like me and love to exercise, walk/work out during the coolest parts of the day or at least be sure to use a place that is cool. When I go for my walks, I go very early in the day so I can get sun but not get the extreme heat. Also, my living room has a great air-conditioning unit, so I work out in my living room.

With that, do not work out to the point of exhaustion, nausea or lightheadedness. If you experience any of these things, stop immediately and get to a cooler place. Lie down. This is not a time to push our bodies to the max.

Take a moment to sit and relax. I know, there is so much to do. Dishes need washing, laundry needs folding and floors could use a good sweeping. If we start to feel tired or hot, our body is telling to rest and cool down. As before, sit in a cool place. Find a fan or an air-conditioned room and sit for a moment.

Remember to cool your house in the morning BEFORE it gets hot. When I was growing up, my mom would turn on all the fans and open all the windows when it was still 40 degrees outside! We hated it, but when the sun came out, that house never got hot. And we didn't even have an air-conditioner! If you start early, you do not have to fight with the heat that has already built up in your home. So open those windows and get some air flowing.

Remember that this is not forever. Though I can relate to how long pregnancy can sometimes feel, it is not forever. Remembering this makes it just a little bit easier to chill out when we need to. Growing a human is hard work. Our bodies need a break sometimes. When your baby is born, you can start to pick it back up. Until then, let's not overwork ourselves. Let's keep cool.

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