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Ensuring a Safe Summer Pregnancy

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This summer has been one of the warmest that Colorado has experienced in years. It can certainly be extra uncomfortable and challenging if you’re expecting a little one and have been trying to beat the heat. AdventHealth Avista Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM), Meagann Little has some great advice on how to stay safe and cool while we are in the dog days of summer!

Taking a trip to your local pool is the perfect way to stay cool during a heat wave. “Being in the water is the best way to be comfortable in the heat this summer (besides being inside in the AC),” said CNM, Meagann Little. “It’s a great place to exercise when pregnant and relieves pressure on the joints and pelvis.”

Another safe and comfortable way you can stay active this summer is by walking in the early morning or late evening when the temperatures are a bit lower and more bearable. “A walk after dinner is very healthy and can help with digestion while decreasing symptoms like heartburn,” said Meagann.

A few common complaints that Meagann often hears from moms-to-be during the summertime is around swelling and Braxton Hicks contractions. “Both of these are common symptoms of pregnancy in the heat and can be related to dehydration,” said Meagann. “Dehydration is one of biggest risks of being pregnant in the heat. Ideally, pregnant women should shoot for 64 to 96 ounces of water a day and leaning toward the higher end when experiencing heat and or sweating. Use your urine as a guide of your hydration status. The darker the amber color, the less hydrated you are likely to be.”

A great beverage option to ensure optimal hydration is coconut water, as it is a natural electrolyte-rich drink that can help replenish fluids and minerals lost through sweating.

Swelling during pregnancy is common any time of year but can be made even worse by the hot temperatures. “Compression stocking are a great way to decrease inflammation and pain with swelling in the lower extremities,” said Meagann. “Drinking enough and eating hydrating foods is another way you can reduce swelling.” Some great fruits and veggies that can help you hydrate naturally are watermelon, cucumber, pineapple, peaches, and tomatoes!

Dressing for the heat during pregnancy can be challenging. Try and choose loose fitting and breathable fabrics like cotton, linen, or bamboo fabric to help keep cool. Light colors are better than dark colors at reflecting sunlight. Don’t forget accessories such as wide-brimmed hats or baseball caps which can help to keep your face shaded from the sun. Comfortable shoes such as supportive flats or low-heeled sandals are great options to avoid exacerbating swelling and discomfort for your feet.

“Listen to your body. If you feel overheated get into the closest cool environment either inside or in the shade,” said Meagann. “Using a cold cloth or peppermint oil to the back of the neck can help you feel cooler faster. Braxton Hicks are common in the heat but if you are experiencing painful contractions, feel decreased fetal movement, start leaking fluid or have bleeding, don’t hesitate to contact your OB provider.”

Whether you’re going to enjoy a local farmers market, spend time gardening in your backyard, or going to an outdoor sporting event like a Colorado Rockies game, we hope this advice helps you enjoy all the best parts of summertime while helping keep you and your baby comfortable and safe.

If you’re looking for a women’s health provider, we had an incredible group of providers at AdventHealth Medical Group OB/GYN and Midwifery at Avista, including CNM, Meagann Little.

CNM, Meagann Little

Meagann Little, CNM, is a certified nurse midwife serving patients nine years old and above in Boulder, Jefferson, Broomfield, Adams and St. Vrain counties. She specializes in obstetrics and gynecology, including pregnancy care, well-women exams, breast health, contraception, menopause, sexually transmitted infections, vaginal infections and mental health. 

Meagann earned a Master of Science in Nursing degree from Vanderbilt University. She believes in providing whole-person care to every patient that focuses on the health of the body, mind and spirit. In her free time, Meagann enjoys spending time with his family, yoga and Pilates.

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