Doctors provide cooling tips for pregnant women during excessive heat

Image of pregnant woman touching her belly with hands
Posted at 5:03 PM, Jul 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-30 18:03:48-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF)  — As excessive heat lingers across Middle Tennessee, health experts warn that pregnant women are among those most likely to overheat.

Doctors say women should listen to their bodies and take a break from the heat as soon as they feel uncomfortable.

The Obstetrics and Gynecology department at Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford has some tips for expecting mothers to make sure they stay healthy when temperatures rise:

  • Make sure to stay in shaded areas: You can bring a hat or umbrella to create shade.
  • Keep your feet up to prevent your feet from swelling.
  • Stay hydrated: The American Pregnancy Association says drinking plenty of water works to keep both mom and baby healthy.
  • Bring a fan: You can buy a small, hand-held, battery-operated fan online and in many stores for $10 or less.
  • Stay cool in the pool or take cold showers.
  • Wear loose fitting clothes.

According to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, there is a link between extreme heat exposure in pregnancy and lower birth weights in babies.