The thought of summer conjures images of bright beach days, barbecues outside and watching the kids play under the sprinkler.
When you’re pregnant, however, summer just simply sucks.
As I write this, my swollen feet are soaking in a bucket of cold water to relieve them from carrying around my ever-expanding pregnant form. I still have 16 weeks ahead of me to grow this amazing little human but with scorching temperatures already at my door and plenty more to swelter through, I am preparing to stare at the same four walls and praying my air conditioning doesn’t let me down.
When I look at myself in the mirror, I don’t think my sweaty lobster form is what people imagine when they speak of the glorious pregnancy glow.
While I know there are plenty of things to love about summer, I am sure I am not the only expectant muma hating the heat right now and here’s why.
Forget the fact every swimming costume I try on makes me feel absolutely huge, because I understand I am big for a beautiful reason, but let me tell you the enormous feat it takes to get one of those lycra, elastane, nylon creations on.
Simply bending down to get the first foot through is a balancing act, then rolling it up over the bump requires grit and determination beyond belief before I hit my biggest obstacles – boobs!
By the time everything is tucked and folded where it should be, I am exhausted and often so dripping in sweat you’d be forgiven for thinking I’d already been for a swim.
As if getting the swimwear on wasn’t hard enough, the process of taking a wet costume off is harder than breaking into an over-packaged child’s toy or a Chupa Chup – the sweet relief once you’re free is much the same though.
2. Staying clothed
When you are emitting enough heat to boil an egg, it is just torturous to have the outside world throwing more back at you.
The perfectly tailored maternity wear and cute outfits that beautifully show off your blossoming bump to the world become a too much of a chore to wear and you begin to think the world should just be grateful if you put underwear on.Finding cool clothes that will meet in the middle can really seem impossible and pointless too. Let the belly be free, I say!
3. Birkenstocks, thongs or really stretchy flats
Fashionable footwear takes a back seat when you’re pregnant in summer. If it isn’t your changed centre of gravity making you put the heels on hiatus, then swollen feet are sure to limit your choices.
I am absolutely fascinated by how I can wake in the morning with completely normal-looking feet and by the end of the day, even if I have barely left my chair, my feet are balloons. It can get so bad my feet appear to swallow any visible part of my thongs.
Anyone inviting a pregnant friend to their formal function in the heat of summer, please understand comfort comes first with feet.
4. Sweat (lots of it)
Sweat has to be in a category all of its own, even though it comes into play during most pregnancy heat problems.
I don’t mean to brag but I have never really been a sweaty person but, while waiting for this baby to arrive, I have noticed sweat coming from places I didn’t even know could sweat. I am not just talking underarm sweat, under-boob sweat or even crotch sweat, I am talking side-sweat, front-sweat, neck and knee sweat – buckets of sweat just pouring from everywhere.
As temperatures rise, even performing the simplest task – such as sitting – is enough to turn me into a hot sweaty mess.
There are so many things to keep you awake when you are pregnant but none more so than heat. Even two fans blowing on me at high speed isn’t enough to stop me tossing and turning when the night air fails to provide cool relief. Setting up camp on the tiled dining room floor under the air conditioning unit may not sound appealing but it’s a whole lot better than the alternative – lying in a pool of your own sweat.
Now many might think this problem should be lumped in with the swollen feet but cankles are a phenomenon all of their own. From a distance you may think they look painful so let me assure you, you are ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. Even if you can push through the pain felt with every step, there is no relief until you are on your back with your feet high in the air.
Summer really sucks when you are pregnant and the mere seconds it takes you to walk from your front door to the letterbox has you gasping for air as if you had just completed a 5km marathon.
And, if this isn’t your first pregnancy and you now have one or more children to contend with, all bets are off. I have a soon-to-be four-year-old son who loves to test the boundaries, which are a lot harder to maintain when he works out my heat handicap.
If the sweat doesn’t break you then the subsequent chaffing will bring you to tears.
Everything touches in pregnancy – it is a real battle between thighs, butt cheeks and boobs and just a bit of friction is enough to leave bruises – yes, black and blue bruises. It is just as well all the baby sample bags give you copious amounts of nappy rash creams and powders because you may need them before baby arrives.
A little heat rash during soaring temperatures is to be expected, even when you’re not pregnant, right? Perhaps, but it is hardly an even playing field. Sweat rashes can occur when you sweat so much that your sweat glands become clogged.
You can try wearing looser clothing, taking a cold shower and getting out of the heat but if the rash has really set in there is no hope for you! You can’t even seek relief though various antihistamines and steroids when you’re pregnant.
10. Bump touches
Just as infuriating as bump touches are from strangers on a normal day so too can be the constant bump touches from friends and family when you’re ready to boil.
When you’re flat out trying to keep your body temperature in check, hide your cankles and balloon feet and simply breathe, the last thing you need is someone else’s body heat headed your way – even from affectionate, amazing and well-meaning husbands.
Not wanting to sound ungrateful for the attention but you’ll only be met with belly sweat – yes that’s a thing too – really I am doing you a service by saying hands off in the heat!