Avera Medical Minute: Pregnancy and summer safety

Published: Jul. 5, 2021 at 2:33 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -Many of us are enjoying these hot summer days outdoors. However, the warm temperatures can be dangerous, especially for pregnant women.

April Mullin is expecting her second child any day now.

“Ready to meet our baby and then also just, getting rid of, yeah you’re hot all the time,” said Mullin.

While everyone feels the summer heat, it especially affects pregnant women.

“You are using your metabolism all the time. You’re growing another person inside of you and so your cellular activity is kind of ramped up at baseline and so because of that you have a slightly increased kind of body temperature,” said Dr. Catherine Brockmeier, Avera Obstetrician, and Gynecologist.

Dr. Brockmeier says pregnant women are more susceptible to dehydration.

“Dehydration and pregnancy do not mix, that’s for sure. Dehydration can cause preterm contractions, preterm labor, trips to labor and delivery, urinary tract infections,” said Dr. Brockmeier.

So it’s important to drink plenty of water.

“Just staying hydrated and making sure that I have enough fluids, especially if I’m outside,” said Mullin.

“If you think you are drinking enough, push it a few more glasses a day. I mean ideally, you want to get your body weight in ounces,” said Dr. Brockmeier.

Pregnant women can also be more prone to sunburns.

“Our skin changes in pregnancy and because of that they can get severe sunburns much more than they would outside of pregnancy,” said Dr. Brockmeier.

So Dr. Brockmeier says it’s important to wear sunscreen. Ideally, at least SPF 50.

“Applying multiple times, whether you are in and out of the pool or sweating and just keeping your skin protected,” said Dr. Brockmeier.

“Making sure that, like, you can get some shade because that makes a big difference too,” said Mullin.

If you aren’t feeling well, such as dizzy, lightheaded, or have contractions or cramping it’s important to go inside.

“Rest from the heat, a way to cool off. Maybe a warm washcloth in the back of your neck or your forehead,” said Dr. Brockmeier.

Air conditioning also helps.

“Not a good time for the dads to try to save money on the electricity bill, keep the thermostat dialed back a little bit, you know, just to keep her as cool as possible,” said husband, Dan Mullin.

April Mullin says this doesn’t mean expecting mothers can’t still do activities outside, they just need to be more cautious.

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