Our country is known for its vibrant culture and diversity. However, managing a summer pregnancy in the rainbow nation comes with its own set of challenges. Our sun can be harsh and unforgiving, but you can enjoy a healthy and memorable summer pregnancy with some effort and self-care.
Hydration in the Heat
The combination of rising temperatures and pregnancy can lead to increased sweating and fluid loss, which may exacerbate the risk of dehydration. Always carry a refillable water bottle, and aim to drink at least eight glasses daily. You can also hydrate with rooibos iced tea or homemade citrus-infused water.
Sun Protection and Maternity Wear
Invest in sun-protective maternity wear and accessories like wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses. Apply sunscreen with a high SPF rating regularly, especially if you plan to spend time outdoors. Choose loose-fitting, breathable fabrics like cotton or linen for your clothing to stay cool and comfortable.
Embrace the Beach and Pools
While spending time in Woolies is a great way to keep cool, spending time outdoors and off your feet might be better for you. Spend time at the beach or by the pool to enjoy the cooling effect of the water. Swimming is an excellent low-impact exercise option that provides relief from the heat and supports your physical well-being.
Beat the Swelling
Swelling during pregnancy, particularly in the feet and legs, can be exacerbated by the heat. To combat this, elevate your legs whenever possible and wear supportive compression stockings or socks. Avoid prolonged periods of standing or sitting.
Savour Local Delicacies
Tourists always comment about our rich and diverse culinary culture. This is the ideal time to indulge in local fruits like juicy watermelons, litchis, and pawpaws that provide a refreshing and nutritious treat. Incorporate fresh salads and, yes, a lekker braai with that salad for delicious summertime meals.
Seek Shade and Stay Cool
Ensure you have access to shelter or rest areas when shopping or outdoors. Carry a handheld fan or misting spray to cool down when you’re on the move. Carry a small sun umbrella with you and wear loose-fitting, breathable fabrics (kaftans are fab for summertime pregnancies).
Prenatal Care Tailored to South Africa
Your healthcare provider can offer tailored advice on managing your pregnancy during the heat of summer. Pay attention to any changes in your skin, like the development of moles or unusual pigmentation. If you notice any concerning skin changes, consult your healthcare provider promptly. Some medications and skin care products may make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Consult your healthcare provider to ensure that your products are safe during pregnancy.
Cherish the warmth, culture, and natural beauty of South Africa as you prepare to welcome your little one into the world while looking after yourself as the summer months roll in.