Pregnancy Travel Tips: Coping with the Heat
Travelling with a bump, big or small, is a new and interesting experience. Even if you’re super lucky to avoid any side effects of being pregnant (lucky you), the fact is you’re still carrying extra weight and providing for a little one. Coping with the heat when you’re pregnant is a whole new ball game!
Since being pregnant I’ve travelled to Cannes and Nice (in France), Gozo (a Maltese island) for a week of cycling and Orlando (in Florida, USA). This baby is already well-travelled! In all of these places the temperature ranged from mid 20s to early 30s, so hot to say the least.
As I type this the UK is currently experiencing a heat wave (which is potentially our one week of summer – sigh). At 8am this morning my car said it was already 21 degrees and it’s expected to reach nearly 30 degrees in a few hours.
So, how do you get by enjoy it when you can no longer see your toes, your ankles have swollen and a walk to the next floor has you gasping for more air?
This has been my craving for the last few months anyway, but during the heat my love for ice has intensified! If you know your hotel room (or rental apartment) has a freezer, pick up some cheap ice cube trays and take them with you. The silicon ones are great as you can roll them up so they don’t take up much space in your suitcase.
On your trip, fill your water bottle with the ice cubes to help keep your water cooler for longer. If you’re staying in more of a lux apartment and you have time to get creative, blend up some fresh melon and freeze it in the ice cube tray – delicious, refreshing snacks!
Ask for ice in your drinks (provided it’s made with safe water) and look out for slushies, Fraps and ice pops. Admittedly they’re not the healthiest thing to have, but they do have a knack for cooling you down.
Drink, drink and drink (the H20 kind), especially when you’re spending time in the heat and especially when you’re pregnant. The advice on most pregnancy support sites suggests up to three litres per day when it’s hot.
If you find it too bland add a slice of lemon or go for sparkling water. It’s just a personal preference, but I’ve been sticking to bottled water when I’m abroad just so that I know it’s safe for me and bump.
Try and book somewhere that has a pool or one that’s at least close to the sea. I don’t like the water that much, but the chance to dip your puffy feet in cool water is such a massive relief, trust me. If this heat wave continues I’m planning on filling a bucket up and sinking my feet in it this weekend!
If you can’t get to a pool or the sea, at least run cold water on your inner wrists throughout the day. It magically cools you down, even if it’s just for a few moments. This was my life saver when I was cycling in the heat in Gozo!
Supposedly your blood has to work 40% harder when you’re pregnant, so you’re bound to really feel the heat. Keep cool by opting for rooms with air con or pop into air conditioned stores during the day for a welcomed break. I think the latter is probably why I ended up spending so much money at the outlet stores in Orlando!
If like me you’re not a fan of air con in your room, go for a desk style fan. They might be small, but they do make a difference.
Keeping in the shade obviously helps a lot, so it makes sense to pop a hat on to help keep cool. It’s not just your feet (and belly!) that swell when you’re pregnant, so go for a loose fitting one rather than a tight baseball cap. Big, floppy ones or straw boater hats always look stylish.
Similarly, go for loose, fitted clothes. Leave any bodycon dresses and restrictive waistbands at home. Being pregnant is the perfect time to float around in a stylish kaftan, a baggy maxi dress or an oversized shirt. I’ve recently gone all out by buying a pair of jersey dungarees – comfiest and coolest purchase ever!
I bet you can detect a theme here. Yep, keep any shoes as loose as possible. Pregnant ladies often have swollen, puffy feet and by the time your bump is noticeable you’ll find it hard to bend down. Do yourself a favour and go for flip flops or any kind of shoe that you can easily slip on. Leave laces and buckles for everyone else.
So, over to you; do you have any pregnancy tips for keeping cool? It’s the hottest day in the UK since 2006 so I’m all for hearing your pointers!