Acıbadem Dr. Sinasi Can (Kadıköy) Hospital Gynecology and Obstetrics Specialist Assoc. Dr. Şafak Yılmaz Baran talked about 10 suggestions that expectant mothers should pay attention to in the summer heat, and made important warnings.
Gynecology and Obstetrics Specialist Assoc. Dr. Şafak Yılmaz Baran made the following warnings:
“Especially doing light exercises such as walking, swimming and yoga in the open are healthy for both the expectant mother and the baby. However, exercise should be done in the early morning or evening hours when the air temperature is less in summer. If you feel tired during the exercise, it is necessary to take a break from the exercise and rest. It is appropriate to do physical activities without putting the expectant mother under excessive stress.
For the health of both you and your baby, be careful to drink an average of 8-10 glasses of water daily during pregnancy and not to consume caffeinated beverages that can cause fluid loss in the body. Dizziness, weakness, nausea, overheating of the body, low blood pressure, less urine and dark colored urine indicate that you are dehydrated. Many conditions such as more frequent urinary tract infections, constipation and hemorrhoids may develop due to the mother-to-be drinking less water. Again, not drinking enough water can lead to a slowdown in the growth of the baby due to the decrease in the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby in the womb.
Since food can be difficult to preserve in summer heat, infections such as food poisoning and diarrhea are more common. For this reason, when you eat out, choose well-washed, well-cooked, less likely to spoil foods and places that comply with hygienic rules. Avoid foods that are excessively salty as they will cause you to lose water quickly. In the summer, be careful not to eat a lot of spicy, oily or caloric diet. Eat little and often. During the summer, consume mainly fresh vegetables and fruits.”
Gynecology and Obstetrics Specialist Assoc. Dr. Şafak Yılmaz Baran warned that morning hours should be preferred in order to benefit from the sun, and the sun should be avoided as much as possible between 11:00 and 16:00. Dr. Baran said, “Since dark clothes increase heat absorption in summer, it causes the expectant mother to feel warmer; Prefer thin and cotton clothes in colors such as white and beige, which will provide protection from the sun by reflecting the sun's rays. As the skin is more sensitive to sunlight during pregnancy, spots and freckles may develop. Therefore, use sunglasses, a hat and a sunscreen with a high protection factor when going out. Against the risk of infection, stay away from extreme cold in the air conditioner and pay attention to the maintenance of the air conditioners.
Especially in the first 3 months of pregnancy, birth defects have been detected in the babies of expectant mothers who stayed in hot water for a long time. It is also known that the relaxation of the uterine muscles under the influence of hot water can trigger miscarriage or premature birth. For this reason, hot water environments such as spas, Turkish baths, saunas, and thermal holidays are not recommended during pregnancy. Avoid very hot water while bathing at home. Especially mothers who have additional diseases such as hypertension and heart disease should pay more attention. Taking frequent showers or a cool water bath on very hot days can relax pregnant women.
Stating that expectant mothers who do not carry any risk can swim until the last month, Assoc. Dr. Şafak Yılmaz Baran says:
“It is necessary to make sure that the pool is regularly maintained and hygienic. In addition, you should not stay in the pool for a long time, as the chemicals used in pool cleaning may be absorbed from the skin. If possible, prefer the sea. Be sure to swim slowly, avoid strenuous movements, and stay away from activities such as water skiing, jet skiing, and scuba diving. Not to swim alone and not to open too much due to leg cramps that may develop during pregnancy; Be careful not to stay in a wet swimsuit, as it may affect the flora of the genital area and cause vaginal fungus, itching and discharge.”
Emphasizing that sleep and rest are very important for expectant mothers, Assoc. Dr. Şafak Yılmaz Baran said, “Sleep helps to eliminate stress. The summer heat can tire the expectant mother more. During pregnancy, expectant mothers can relax in cool environments by taking time for themselves (such as reading a book, listening to music or meditating). A nap between 30 and 60 minutes during pregnancy also helps to relax.
Swelling in the legs is common during pregnancy due to the heat in the summer months. Excessive weight gain, high blood pressure, excessive standing and tight shoes can also increase this situation. For this reason, be careful not to hang your feet too much, to wear wide shoes, and to massage your feet and legs in order to help blood circulation to the legs and eliminate leg edema. Take care to keep your feet elevated whenever possible, especially during your working hours.
Take as short trips as possible during pregnancy. You can choose comfortable plane travels that can shorten your journey. Driving is generally not recommended after the 24th week of pregnancy. More circulatory disorders may occur on long trips. For this reason, when you need to travel for a long time, it will be useful to get up for at least 2 minutes every 3-10 hours and to use compression socks. Again, make sure to eat light and drink plenty of water while traveling.