When you’re pregnant, the rate at which your body burns up energy when not active is 20 percent higher than it normally is. This measurement is known as your basal metabolic rate and especially in summer, this change in your body’s functioning can really heat things up.
The knock-on effect from a rise in basal metabolic rate is that your body feels hotter. Even if you don’t normally, you’ll likely perspire and suffer from the occasional red face when pregnant. In winter, you become your own little satisfying radiator, but on a hot summer’s day, you become your own worst nightmare. Summertime heat + pregnancy hormones + a bunch of extra baby kilos = one hot mumma-to-be!
Dressing for a summer pregnancy
No matter what time of year you’re at your biggest during your pregnancy, it’s important to dress in layers. This is especially important if you work in an office or plan to visit somewhere indoors, as artificial heating and cooling can make you feel quite uncomfortable.
We’ve put together some options for clothes that will keep your cool in summer during your pregnancy.
Lightweight, flowing maternity dresses in natural fabrics and neutral colours
Likely to be your warm weather favourites, look for styles that can be dressed up with a chunky necklace and wedges or dressed down with a sunhat and sandals. A good example is Trimester’s Dante Stripe Maxi Dress, which offers a relaxed fit, V-neckline and sleeveless design. 95% cotton and 5% spandex, it grows as you grow and looks great with tie-up leather sandals and a matching choker. To layer, simply add a dark hued cotton shirt with cap sleeves.
Dresses that cinch above your bump
Having a seam or any tightness on your bump will make you feel hotter, so if you’re wanting shape, look for clothing that cinches above your bump. For casual wear, try something like Noppies’ Noelle Lace Sleeve Dress in Coral with its body-lined detachable tie sash. A great evening dress is their Celia Lace Dress in Fuchsia, which offers a scoop neckline, short cap sleeves and elasticised empire line. For extra cuteness, add a thin belt where your dress cinches.
Dresses that aren’t nipped in give you more room for expansion and the free-flowing style might allow some cooling air to travel through to your midsection. Trimester’s Alijah Open Shoulder Dress is a good example, or if you prefer to show a little curve, bring it in at the bottom with Imanimo’s Marianne Dress in Chambray.
Airy boho tunics
A flowing viscose fabric, such as Esprit’s Airy Boho Tunic in Off-White is sure to keep you cool paired with some loose-fitting shorts or a pair of cropped pants. Its crochet-effect trim adds some pretty detail that also serves to allow air to your bust, making it a go-to top on extra hot days.
For hot days, it’s best to avoid bold colours and look-at-me patterns, and instead stick to clothing that’s a little more relaxed and neutral. Imanino’s Sue Chino Shorts in Sage will keep you cool and look great paired with Noppies’ Iry Embroidered Blouse.
Floral print tank dresses are great for showing off a growing bump and are simple to wear and easy to layer using a plain navy blazer. Floressa’s Leanora Nursing Tank Dress is a great example and can be worn post-pregnancy for easy feeding.
Tips for staying cool
Because it takes twice the energy for your body to cool off when pregnant, it’s important you do everything you can to stay comfortable on hot days. Getting too hot can cause heat exhaustion, which is detrimental to both you and your baby’s health. Signs of heat exhaustion include muscle cramps, excessive sweating, weakness, dizziness, thirstiness and headaches. Should you notice any of these signs, follow these tips to get cool.
Drink plenty of water
Important whatever kind of day it is, drinking lots of water is crucial on a hot summer day when you’re perspiring and losing electrolytes. Drink water at a steady pace throughout the day, because if you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.
Take a dip
If you have access to the beach or a swimming pool, make the most of it and go for a refreshing dip. Just make sure to smother yourself in sunscreen, as pregnant women are more susceptible to sunburn.
Have a shower
If you don’t have access to a pool or beach, try taking a cool shower. Taking regular showers throughout the day is a great way to manage your temperature on a hot day.
Carry a spray bottle
Misting yourself with cool water can be instantly cooling, even better if you have a spray bottle with a fan on the spout.
Avoid large or hot meals
When you gorge on a big meal, your metabolism has to work harder to burn the food off. This of course generates more heat in your body, subsequently raising your temperatures. Eat small, light meals like salads and avoid meals that are hot or use heavy sauces.
Nothing helps you stay cool like staying indoors in air conditioning. It’s not practical to do this every day, but on those super hot days during January and February, it’s your safest bet for not overheating. If you must go out, try to avoid the hottest part of the day between 10am and 2pm.
Get some rest
Pop a fan by your bed and lay your head down to get some rest. Rest is important when you’re pregnant and if you’re hot and bothered, there’s no better time to lie down.