North West Private Hospital

Beat the heat

Surviving a scorching Queensland summer is tough – doing it while pregnant is even tougher. Not only does hot weather make you become uncomfortable, especially in the later stages of your pregnancy, it also becomes a serious health risk as the mercury climbs higher.

It’s essential to give your body regular breaks from the heat to avoid heat related illnesses such as dehydration and heat exhaustion. The team at North West Private maternity have some top tips for keeping your cool over the summer months.

Dive in – if the mercury is set to rise to high levels dive into a pool if you can. If you’re not lucky enough to have a pool at home call on family, friends or neighbours to let you have a dip to keep your cool. There are some great public pools available too and if you’ve got older children it makes for a great day out for the family.

Go natural – when the weather heats up avoid synthetic fibres and tight fitting clothes. Soft, breathable cotton and other natural fibres are your best bet for beating the heat.

Ice, ice baby – eat it, suck on it, add it to your water – you can even put it in a basin of water and soak your feet! Ice is a cheap and easy way to cool down.

Stay hydrated – we all know we need to drink more over summer but this is especially relevant for pregnant women and young children. Regular drinks of cold water is the best way to quench your thirst while soft drinks, caffeine and other sugary drinks should be avoided.

Chill out – If you have air-conditioning don’t be afraid to use it! Setting the temperature at around 23 degrees and closing up the house early will have you sitting pretty when the hottest part of the day hits.

Fan zone - If you don’t have air conditioning open up all your doors and windows to catch any breezes and use ceiling fans or desk fans to cool you down. Use spray bottles or wet washers to get even more benefit from a cool breeze.

Work it out – If you work in a warm environment see if you can make some changes to ensure you are more comfortable. If your job is flexible and you have air conditioning at home but not at work, try working remotely on very hot days. Ask if you can avoid being rostered on over the hottest part of the day, or work in an area that is cooler and better ventilated.

Share the air - If you don’t have air conditioning at home, head for a shopping mall, library or cinema to take a break from the heat, especially during the hottest part of the day.

Sunday drive – Get your partner, friend or family member to take a short road trip in the comfort of your air conditioned car. You can see some sites, grab a cool drink and, if you’re lucky, even steal some shut eye.

Heat related illness can be serious and can range from dehydration to heat stroke which requires emergency medical attention. Queensland Health has some great information on how to spot symptoms of heat related illness and what you should do about it, click here to find out more.