Surviving a Summer Pregnancy

pregnant woman holding belly

If you're expecting during the summer months, you may find yourself struggling with the soaring temperatures. Between swollen feet and increased sensitivity to the sun, surviving a summer pregnancy presents its own, unique challenges.

But don't stress yet, mama! With a little planning and a few handy tips, you can successfully get through these next few summer months while enjoying all your pregnancy highs. Here are some of our top tips:

Preparing for the Heat

It's natural to want to take advantage of the beautiful weather and enjoy outdoor activities in the summertime. But as temperatures start to rise, many unpleasant pregnancy symptoms, like hot flashes and swelling, can feel a bit more extreme. 

Pregnancy hormones naturally cause your baseline body temperature to rise. However, if your core temperature rises too much (about 1.5 - 2 ℃ above your baseline), your baby’s health is at risk.

Even if your core temperature stays in the safe range, you’ll likely still feel uncomfortable in the summer heat. To ensure a safe and comfortable summer season for both mom and baby, here are some crucial tips:

Stay hydrated

Drink lots of water! When the summer heat is at its peak, dehydration can become a real concern for expectant mothers. It’s essential to drink plenty of water during pregnancy (at least 8 to 12 eight-ounce glasses of water daily). You may need even more than the recommended amount if you’re spending time in hot weather or engaging in physical activities. 

Carry a water bottle to help yourself and hit your hydration goals. An accessible water bottle is a helpful reminder to sip frequently throughout the day. Over 97% of our mamas tell us they carry one on them at all times during the summer.

Dress for the heat

No pregnant person wants to wear uncomfortable or tight clothing, especially in the summer. Breathable maternity wear can make a huge difference during the summer months. Choose loose and light-colored clothes to reflect the sun's rays rather than absorb them. Choose clothing made from materials like cotton and linen, which are particularly good at keeping you cool and comfortable. Our mamas tell us they love to wear maternity dresses and shorts in the hotter months to keep themselves cool. 

Sun protection

We can’t recommend this one enough. Everyone should wear an SPF of 30 or higher to protect their skin from harmful sun rays, but pregnant women need to be extra careful because they may be more susceptible to burning. Your pregnant body also produces more melanin than usual, which can lead to skin conditions like melasma—grayish-brown skin spots—on the face and body. You can combat the fierce power of the sun by applying sunscreen every two hours and wearing protective clothing or hats.

Manage swelling

Swelling in the feet and ankles is common during pregnancy, and the summer heat can make it much worse. When we asked our mamas, over half (54%) said they experienced summer pregnancy swelling! 

Fortunately, some simple habits can help you manage summer swelling: 

  • Take a leisurely walk or go swimming to boost your circulation and help reduce swelling.
  • Elevate your feet when resting to encourage fluids to flow away from your extremities.
  • Stay hydrated to reduce water retention (dehydration actually makes your body hold onto extra fluid).

Avoid midday heat

Try to steer clear of direct sunlight during peak hours when the sun is at its highest strength (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). If possible, schedule errands and activities either early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the most intense sun. If you need to be outdoors when it's hottest, find shade, wear a wide-brimmed hat, and take frequent breaks to cool down.

Cool off

Cool showers, splashing cold water on your face and wrists, and eating refreshing foods can quickly reduce your body temperature. If a heat wave hits, seek out air-conditioned places to spend your time and to help prevent heat exhaustion or heat stroke. You can even kick back with a bowl of ice cream to keep yourself cool (wink wink).

Summer Travel

Summer is the season of vacations and family visits. While this can be very exciting for a mama-to-be, traveling while pregnant—especially to a hot destination—can require some extra planning. This doesn't mean you have to miss out on travel! It just requires some extra planning to keep you and your baby comfortable and safe.

Staying cool and hydrated is your number one priority, so make sure you have water within reach at all times. If you’re driving, make frequent stops to get out of the car and walk around. If you’re flying, get out of your seat when it’s safe to walk around; moving around every few hours can help maintain good circulation. Regardless of your mode of travel, budget extra time for stretching, bathroom breaks, and general commuting—running to your gate to catch your flight is exactly the kind of thing you should be avoiding, mama!

If you’re unsure about your hydration levels, check the color of your urine: it should be a pale, straw color. If your pee is dark or amber-colored, you’re likely dehydrated. By being mindful and prepared, you can ensure a safer, more comfortable travel experience during your summer pregnancy.

Warning Signs

All pregnant women should be aware of the warning signs that may signal a pregnancy complication or heat-related issue. 

Should you experience any of the following symptoms, seek shade, cool down, and contact your healthcare provider immediately.

  • Cramps
  • Bleeding
  • Unusual or extreme swelling
  • Severe headaches
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dizziness, fainting, or loss of consciousness
  • Loss of vision

Dehydration and overheating can also bring on Braxton-Hicks contractions in pregnant women, so it is very important that you do your best to keep cool! While these contractions do not always indicate preterm birth or labor, they can be painful and scary for any expectant parent.


Remember that every mama's experience is unique. The heat and humidity may pose some challenges, but with a bit of preparation and self-care, you can still enjoy your summer while caring for yourself and your growing baby!

There are plenty of ways to make the most out of your summertime pregnancy. Don't be afraid to ask for help and take breaks when you need them. Your health and well-being should always be the top priority! Be sure to reach out to your healthcare provider with any specific questions or guidance on your health.

Information provided in blogs should not be used as a substitute for medical care or consultation.