Being Pregnant in the Summer Doesn’t Have to Suck

When it comes to being pregnant in the summer, it's all about staying cool and comfortable.

Things that suck: long lines, mean people and being pregnant in the dead of summer.

Between the swelling and the sweating, you might be feeling a bit like an overinflated water balloon that’s been dipped in a margarita. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to keep cool, comfortable and happy all season long. You might even come to realize that being pregnant in the summer is sort of awesome.

Here are some summer pregnancy tips to try:

Rock that bikini

Ah, the age old question: Can pregnant women wear bikinis? Yes. Yes! The answer is a resounding yes! Truthfully, you should wear whatever the heck you feel comfortable in. If that’s a one-piece, great. If that’s a bikini, so be it.

During both of my summer pregnancies, I had lots of skin sensitivity issues. I absolutely couldn’t stand to have anything tight across my belly. Obviously, wearing a one piece was out of the question, and I wasn’t about to forego swimming. So, I shimmied myself (somehow) into my bikini and happily took my pregnant self to the beach.

When it comes to beach or pool attire, wear whatever you're most comfortable in.When it comes to beach or pool attire, wear whatever you’re most comfortable in.

Swimming does a world of good for pregnant bodies, as it’s easy on the joints and can relieve some general aches and pains you may feel from carrying extra weight. The American Pregnancy Association noted that swimming is a great way to get your cardio in without overheating. As exercise can lead to an easier delivery, you probably want to get in as much swimming as you can!

Embrace wardrobe minimalism

Being pregnant in the summer means you don’t have to spend money on a maternity coat or maternity sweaters. In fact, you don’t even have to wear pants if you don’t want to! I pretty much lived in breezy cotton or linen dresses during both of my summer pregnancies, which was supremely comfortable (and also made dressing for work incredibly simple).

When you’re pregnant, summer outfits can literally consist of three components: a dress, shoes and an accessory. Check out this ethereal white dress and delicate strand of pearls – couple it with a pair of comfy Birkenstocks and you’re good to go.

When you're pregnant, outfits are best kept light, breezy and simple.When you’re pregnant, summer outfits are best kept light, breezy and simple.

If you work in a corporate office environment, pair your dress with one of your regular blazers, which you can leave unbuttoned. Dress flats complete the outfit.

Tip: Stash a pair of flip-flops underneath your desk in case your feet swell and you need to take your shoes off as the day progresses.

Veg out and let others pitch in

If you’re experiencing slight swelling (edema) in your feet, hands, legs, ankles or face, the American Pregnancy Association recommends you sit with your feet elevated and rest. If your significant other isn’t available, ask a family member or friend to help out with chores or childcare for your older kids while you veg out on the couch with a remote in one hand and a dish of Ben and Jerry’s in the other.

To further minimize swelling, be sure to drink lots of water, avoid salty foods and ice affected areas. If you have a job where you stand for long periods, try to take sit-down breaks as much as you can.

While slight swelling is normal, contact your doctor if your hands and face swell suddenly as it can signal preeclampsia, which can be dangerous to both you and your baby.

Reduce swelling by resting in a cool place with your feet up.Reduce swelling by resting in a cool place with your feet up.

Eat popsicles!

In addition to water, popsicles can help keep you hydrated throughout your summer pregnancy. Shop for varieties that are all-natural with no added sugars (sugar should come from fruits and veggies). You could also make your own pops to save money. This recipe for Virgin Banana Piña Colada Pops features just four ingredients and might just quench that urge to sip a cocktail by the pool.

All-natural fruit or veggie popsicles are a great way to stay hydrated during your summer pregnancy.All-natural fruit or veggie popsicles are a great way to stay hydrated during your summer pregnancy.

Wear your swimsuit with confidence because a pregnant body is a beautiful thing. Get dressed in the morning with your eyes closed because it’s just that easy. Binge on Netflix while your S.O. washes dishes because – hello! – you need to rest. Eat popsicles every day because you really must stay hydrated.

This pregnancy-during-summer thing is looking better by the minute, am I right?

Erin Balsa is a Boston-based mom of two who met her husband on an airplane. Her interests include reading, writing and sleeping through the night.