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Surviving the Heat Pregnant

The heat is coming…
In Dubai we have summer all year around. But during the summer months the heat goes to the extreme. For most people it is even too hot to be around a swimming pool or at the beach during midday.

Increased heat production in your body

The intense heat is uncomfortable for most people, and being pregnant it is even worse. It is not just uncomfortable for you, to get overheated or dehydrated is not good for your unborn baby either. Have you ever wondered why?

During pregnancy, you experience an increase in metabolism, which results in increased heat production in your body. The baby also generates additional heat. These factors combined, result in you feeling the heat more than you normally would. Being pregnant you have an increased blood volume and must keep yourself well hydrated in order to maintain this blood volume. This is important as a pregnant woman who gets dehydrated, could fell faint or begin having preterm contractions, and ultimately, preterm labor.

Swelling in feet, legs and hands

The heat can worsen the swelling some pregnant women experience. A pregnant woman’s body retains extra fluid to help support the physical changes happening inside a woman’s body. High summer temperatures, particularly in humid climates, can make an expectant mum retain too much fluid, resulting in more swelling in the hands, legs and feet. The best advice to ease this is to keep legs and feet above heart level for about 20 to 30 minutes to help ease some of the swelling. If you are able to do this several times a day you should see some sign of improvement. It might seem like a contradiction, but drinking a lot, especially water, will help too.

Three important words for pregnant women in Dubai this summer: Relax, Relate and Elevate

It is important to avoid overheating or dehydration during pregnancy. Pregnant in Dubai has listed some easy practices to stay cool in the summer heat:

  • Drink lots and lots of water throughout the day – keep a bottle with you at all times
  • Stay indoors during the hottest part of the day
  • Keep cool with air conditioning or electric fans. But be careful to not catch a cold. In the summer in Dubai the aircon temperature should be between 22-26 degrees, even it can be tempting to have the room cooler
  • Move around slowly and avoid rushing about – take your time and listen to your body
  • Exhausting activities should be kept to a minimum when it is very hot.
  • If feeling faint, sit down with legs raised and get plenty of rest
  • Although extreme heat can trigger appetite loss, it is vital to eat enough food during the day to maintain a healthy pregnancy. Eat little and often. Some foods have a cooling effect and contain plenty of fluid, such as strawberries, celery, watermelon and cucumber. Avoid hot drinks and eat salads and cold meals rather than a hot meal
  • Keep moisturizer, toner and other beauty products in the fridge to cool the skin
  • Run your wrists under a cold tap to cool your pulse points, use a cool wet flannel on your forehead and back of your neck – this should help to cool you down quickly

What to do in Dubai in the hot summer months

  • Even if you are not a keen shopper, the malls give you an chance to get out of the house and walk in an air conditioned environment
  • Try to get some exercise outside in the early morning or late night if you can and when you feel it’s cool enough for you
  • Pools. Remember swimming is a good way to exercise during pregnancy. Just make sure the maintenance of the pool you use is good.
  • Drink drink drink – preferably water or some of the fresh juices offered in most cafes and restaurants.
  • Make yourself comfortable in front of the TV with enough DVD’s. Pregnant in Dubai recommend Mad Men season 1,2 and 3
  • If you have a toddler or elder child at home, try to find him/her a summer school or activity outside home so you get time to rest

We would love to hear your survive-the-heat-in-Dubai secrets. Please send us an e-mail to info[at], and share them with other pregnant women.

Other articles from Pregnant in Dubai

Travel Pregnant – Beach Holiday click here

Teeth and pregnancy click here

Pregnant ladies like to travel too, by Lisa Wielgosz click here

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