What to expect when you’re expecting in summer

What to expect when you’re expecting in summer

If one is pregnant in summer then at times the heat can be really discomforting demanding more care, writes Dr Jayashree Nagraj Bhagsi


Proper care during pregnancy is a must. The same is more important in summers. If one is pregnant in summer, then at times, the heat can be really discomforting. Pregnancy also poses many challenges that call for greater care.

Nausea & vomiting

This is a normal phenomenon faced by 60-70% of pregnant women. Excessive vomiting can lead to dehydration and weakness requiring admission to hospital which can be made worse in the summer months.

Indigestion & reduced appetite

The changes that take place in pregnancy contribute to slow movement of food through the food pipe, stomach and gut. There is also relaxation of the gut muscles and sphincters which cause a regurgitation of acid and food, worsening heartburn. Pregnancy presses upwards on the stomach and worsens the discomfort.


Fluid retention in the feet and legs occurs after the first three months of pregnancy. About 60% of normal pregnant women have swelling of the feet and legs. This can get worse and cause discomfort in hot weather.

However, remember that excessive swelling or sudden swelling of the feet, legs, fingers and face may be a sign of high blood pressure in pregnancy. So, it is advisable to see your doctor if the swelling is disproportionate or does not go down with rest.

Shortness of breath

The growing uterus compresses the lungs and causes shortness of breath. During hot temperatures, this can increase the sense of ‘suffocation’ felt by some, making them breathless, especially when lying down. 

Feeling hot

Some pregnant women complain of feeling hot and sweaty most of the time. This could be because pregnant women have 1-1.5 litres of extra blood in their body, compared to their non-pregnant counterparts. It could also be due to their metabolism being higher.

Tips for a cooler pregnancy in summer

Stay hydrated: Pregnant women often see the temperature of their bodies increase. The goal is to keep it stable. To fight heat, the number one tip is good internal hydration. This can be done through ample consumption of liquids mainly water, but also fruit juice or through intake of fresh vegetables with high water content. In addition to drinking a lot, it is strongly recommended to include in one’s diet fruits, vegetables and soups. Sweet drinks can cause a sensation of thirst shortly after ingestion, thus avoid them as much as possible.

Cold shower: To withstand high temperatures in summer, there is nothing better than a  shower at room temperature. Although cold water showers are more tempting and desirable during hot weather, they tend to increase body temperature because our body has to work to adapt to the ambient temperature. That’s why a few minutes after a cold shower one will be hot again. A cold shower at dawn or just before bed will refresh you for several hours. If one is not used to it, do it gradually starting with the shower head on your feet, legs and then your arms. Make the belly last, while massaging it in circular motions.

Choosing right clothing: Choose clothes that make you feel good and comfortable. In summers, clothing should not be tight and should facilitate breathing and movement. You should choose natural fabrics that do not trap sweat. Wear light clothes as they are breathable.


(The author is senior gynaecologist &
obstetrician, Fortis La Femme Hospital)