Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Summer Pregnancy Survival Tips

Now that my third summer pregnancy is well underway, I thought it might be good to share a few survival tips I've learned along the way.  Summer pregnancies are not for the faint of heart.  My first two were born in August and September so when Q-ball was born in April I thought it was pretty much heaven on earth.  Had I not had a miscarriage in October, there would have been a very new baby around these parts and I would have missed out on a third summer of having a built-in heater in my tummy.  But it is what it is and so I will happily use my hard-earned knowledge to make it through as pleasantly as possible.  Below are several things that help or have helped me cope.

Loose clothing
Everything I read about clothes during my first pregnancy advocated wearing fitted t shirts to accentuate the belly and avoid the tent look.  Maybe in winter, but in the summer...not so much.  I much prefer a flowy top that gives me good circulation to a tighter shirt than gives me sweaty under-boobs.

Comfy bra
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I realize this could easily go under the previous heading, but it is important enough to me to merit it's own section.  Early on in this pregnancy I started feeling suffocated by the band on my bra.  I first attempted to just buy an extender.,  Victoria's Secret, however, doesn't sell extenders in white (seriously, no white?!?) so I simply went to Motherhood to buy a couple that would take me all the way through nursing.  After trying on several I decided on the bra pictured above because the band is so stretchy.  The conversation with the girl at the counter went like this:

Counter girl:  So you're going with the lounge bra?
Me:  Lounge bra?  Oh.  Well, no wonder it's so comfortable!
CG: Yeah, it's light support so it's not, like, a real bra...

She trailed off when she saw the shut-up-and-take-my-money look on my face.  Being able to breathe in my bra makes life much happier.

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You would be amazed at how quickly a single popsicle will lower your body temperature.  If you're really into it you can make your own all-natural, organic frozen fruit juice pops with cups and sticks.  Me?  I do Otter Pops.  Lots and lots of Otter Pops.  Sometimes I even share with the kids.  Another thing I really enjoy is a flavored slush from Sonic.  Soooo good!

Pool pass
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If you can reasonably get to a pool every day, do it.  When I was pregnant with Blue Eyes I was able to go to the pool at my grandparents' condo for an hour or two every week day.  The buoyancy the water gave my poor, bloated body was heaven on earth.  During my pregnancy with Pink Blur I was given a pass to the city pool, which I used almost daily.  With baby #4 I have three kids under 6 years old to watch out for and that's just too many for me to do by myself.  My solution this summer is more to eat more popsicles and hide out in the air conditioning when the older two kids aren't at swim lessons.  I'll also be getting a haircut pretty soon.

Loose shoes
Here is yet another heading I could have put with clothing, but which deserves mention by itself.  Swelling of the feet and ankles is fairly common, particularly in a summer pregnancy.  Flip fops are your friend.  I like some that have a little heel to them because they are more comfortable than the flat ones.  For a lot of people, flip flops end up being the only shoe they can put on their swollen tootsies.  The picture above was taken when I was eight months pregnant with Blue Eyes and the air conditioning went out at my work.  It was so bad I had to go home because I was overheating.  My swelling lasted for a minimum of six weeks and was bad enough that I could poke my feet, ankles, and sometimes even my calves and it would leave a dimple where I pressed.

Fake ring
This is my real ring.
Okay, so this isn't a necessity, but it certainly makes me feel better.  Along with swollen feet and ankles, my fingers also grow in size when I'm gestating a little one.  I like to just buy a cheap stand in ring to wear on my left hand when my real wedding ring doesn't fit anymore.  Most people don't care whether or not you have a ring but there was a stranger who saw me in the store without my ring and asked if I was considering adoption.  Sigh.  Rude people or not, I like a little sparkle on my hand.  I usually get a $10 ring from Walmart and it passes as real just long enough to get me through until my wedding ring fits again.

Bath and shower powder
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Let's get real.  When pregnant (and sometimes when not pregnant) "summer fresh" is more like "summer moist, chafe-y, and kinda stinky" unless you take the appropriate measures.  A few shakes of baby powder or bath and shower powder in your underwear is the answer.  Use it every time you go to the bathroom.  EVERY time.  I realize that during the first and third trimesters that means you're sprinkling more in every five minutes, but it's still totally worth it.  I like to keep an industrial size shaker bottle in my bathroom and a travel size in the diaper bag.  It does more to keep me comfortable and confident than anything else.

So there you have it, my summer pregnancy survival tips.  Is there anything you've found to make a pregnant summer more comfortable?  This baby is due about a week after the weather turns cooler where I live, so I'll take any hints I can get!

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