When I found out last February that I was expecting for the first time, I was ecstatic. My midwife told me early on that my baby would be due approximately the end of September. Great, I thought—the baby will share a birthday month with his dad! Then I realized that just as I would be hitting the “big belly” stage of the pregnancy, we’d be heading into summer time, and during August, one of the hottest months of the year, I’ll be close to due.
That thought definitely stole my thunder a bit. Already hot by nature, my expanded blood volume makes me even warmer as it is, without the help of hot summer temps. But once I did some research, I found that there are actually some great reasons to be pregnant during the summer season. Some are obvious, but some might not have occurred to you. So put on your cutest summer maternity dress and check out the sunny side of a summer pregnancy.
1. It’s a great time for outdoor exercise
Walking and swimming are an expectant mama’s two best friends. Both are low-impact, provide great cardio benefits and are the perfect excuse to head outside for some fresh air.
See more: How to exercise safely in the summer >>
“Walking is one of the very best forms of exercise during pregnancy because it can be done by women of all fitness levels and stages of pregnancy, and it qualifies as weight-bearing cardio,” says Jennifer Johnson, perinatal exercise specialist and founder of fitforexpecting.com. “Research shows weight-bearing exercise delivers a multitude of health benefits to both mom and baby, including delivering more oxygen to mom’s muscles and tissues, and therefore to the baby through the placenta.” This translates to a better-functioning placenta and more nutrients for your growing little one. Tip: Wear comfortable, supportive shoes and bring plenty of water.
See more: Safe walking workout >>
Swimming provides much-needed relief from pregnancy weight gain, swelling, pressure, loosening of the joints and the intense summer heat, says Johnson. If running (or even walking) on land is uncomfortable, water jogging or walking is the perfect alternative. Water aerobics is a favorite of many pregnant women because it’s the only place they feel weightless, and the cool water feels refreshing.
See more: Stay in shape safely with this cool pool workout >>
2. Fresh fruits and vegetables are abundant
And most of us already know just how important the nutrients in these foods are to a healthy mom and baby. Packed with vitamins and important nutrients like energy-giving carbohydrates and filling fiber, fruits and vegetables are major building blocks for a healthy baby.