A pregnant belly makes life a lot more challenging as it is, but throw in a summer heatwave and getting comfortable becomes almost impossible.
I can remember during my second pregnancy there being a period of around two weeks where the temperature regularly hit 30C.
By the third day of this I was going completely out of my mind.
I was still only around five months pregnant, but my belly had swollen to a gargantuan size already. Seriously, it was huge. I remember being desperate to get that pregnant belly when I was expecting my first baby but it took forever to pop out.
In my second pregnancy I was wearing maternity jeans by six weeks. Towards the end of the pregnancy my bump was so huge I started to worry I was going to be bringing an 11lb tot into the world, leaving me worried about how on earth my lady parts would survive when they took such a beating bringing a 7lb child into this world.
However, I digress. There I was at five months pregnant, feeling big and running very low on good humour.
The heat was driving me crazy. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I took cold showers that relieved the discomfort for 10 minutes before I then started feeling like I had been transported to the surface of the sun once again.
The nights were the worst. Not only was I struggling to find a comfy spot in bed, but now I was baking hot as well. I slept totally naked, letting it all hang out (I believe me, there was a LOT hanging out), but could find no relief.
Of course I also had my 18-month-old toddler to take care of at this time. She was not only cranky from the heat, but believed that sitting on my lap was the best remedy for this. Her cuddles, normally so welcome, became like hugging a hot water bottle while sitting in a sauna.
By the end of week one I was utterly miserable. Whenever people commented about how lovely the weather was, I wanted to punch them in the face. Maybe that’s a little extreme, but I certainly wanted to growl menacingly.
It makes no financial sense to make air conditioning as standard in the UK, a place where heatwaves such as we are experiencing right now are very rare, and generally short lived. However for pregnant women, I think we need to make an exception.
Perhaps facilities could be opened for their comfort? A place where they can sit drinking cold smoothies while in the glorious path of a air conditioning unit that’s been switched on at full blast. There should be soft play there, for pregnant mums with toddlers. People who love the sun should be banned.
I realise I am coming across as thoroughly miserable here, but I swear I’m not intending to. I don’t love rain or the cold. I just want a nice, even 23C. That’s warm enough.
After spending that summer heatwave complaining about how I wanted to tear off my skin because the temperature was making it feel claustrophobic, I thought I would share with you a few tips that I found helped me to stay cool:
1. Get a fan
If you are flitting between rooms, or have an office without air conditioning, then get more than one. This is one investment that you will be thoroughly glad about.
If you have to commute on a train or bus, then buy a handheld fan that you can fit in your handbag.
2. Drink a lot of water
This is a pregnancy tip that goes without saying, but during heatwaves it is particularly important. Try to stock up on ice in the freezer so that you can make your drinks extra chilled.
3. Wear light clothes
Go for thin layers and avoid wearing things that are too tight.
4. Use water
If you have a paddling pool in the garden then dip your toes into it whenever possible.
At night you may find it handy to have a wet flannel or bowl of water by the bed. Dab yourself with water whenever you’re feeling especially uncomfortable. If you’re in the pathway of a fan, this will instantly cool you down.
Doing too much and running around is a surefire way to get yourself hot and bothered. Take it easy and remember that in this country, heatwaves do not last that long. Although this summer does seem to be a bit of a record-breaker!
6. Air the house in the mornings
Open all of the windows and doors in the mornings to let the cooler, early air into the house. Close the windows after 11am as you want to try to keep the hot air out of the house.
7. Get some ice lollies
This is the perfect excuse to enjoy a summer treat. You could even make your own if you fancy giving it a go!
Are you pregnant and struggling in the heat? How are you coping?