Summer-Time for Birth Mothers: Physical Health, Mental Health, and Handling Warm-Weather Celebrations

What do expectant birth mothers need to know about pregnancy in the summer? Whether you’re still in the first trimester or your due date is nearing, take a look at the top questions about pregnancy, physical health, mental health, adoption-related issues, and the summer-time season answered.


How Can the Summer Weather Affect Birth Mothers Early On?


You’re in the beginning stages of your pregnancy. Even though you may look the same on the outside, inside you feel differently. Many pregnant women experience nausea and vomiting (morning sickness) in the first trimester. Morning sickness is also common in the second or third trimesters. But it’s typically less likely later into your pregnancy.


Persistent or severe vomiting can cause dehydration and an electrolyte imbalance — especially in the hot summer weather. Increased sweat production coupled with water loss from morning sickness-related vomiting could put you at risk. 


To combat this potential pregnancy problem, make sure to drink enough water. Avoid soda or processed/sugary drinks. These liquids can add to dehydration. Along with sipping water, try to avoid the sun or areas with high-heat or no air conditioning. 


If you can’t keep anything down (including liquids) or have signs of dehydration, contact your medical provider as soon as possible. Signs of dehydration may include headache, confusion, dizziness, dry mouth, fatigue, higher than normal heart rate, low blood pressure, flushed skin, weakness, or dark-colored urine. 


How Can the Summer Weather Affect Birth Mothers Later in Pregnancy?


Like the first trimester, dehydration is a potential problem that you could face later in your pregnancy. Therefore, you should drink enough water daily and watch for the signs of dehydration. Along with dehydration, you may notice additional discomfort and swelling. While some swelling is normal during pregnancy, excessive swelling is not. 


The added heat and increased body fluid volume of pregnancy can cause swollen ankles and other body parts. You may notice that your shoes feel tight or your rings suddenly don’t fit on your fingers. To minimize summer swelling, reduce the amount of salty foods you eat, avoid high-heat or high-humidity areas, increase the amount of water you drink, and elevate your feet.


Excessive or extreme swelling after the 20th week of pregnancy could point to preeclampsia. This pregnancy-induced condition also includes protein in the urine and increased blood pressure. If your swelling persists, worsens, or is concerning in any way, contact your medical provider. Preeclampsia can also cause swelling of the face and neck as well as headaches, sudden weight gain, blurred vision or other vision changes, and pain in the abdominal region. 


How Can the Summer Affect Your Mental Health?


An unintended pregnancy can cause anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges. Add the hormonal fluctuations of pregnancy to this already-stressful time, and you could start to feel powerful negative emotions that persist as you get further into your pregnancy. 


While the summer itself won’t necessarily change your mental health, it could amplify your feelings or present issues that might potentially increase anxiety or depression.


Your physical health needs may complicate your ability to maintain your normal daily activities. If you have concerns about dehydration or other pregnancy and heat-related issues, you may need to take a break from pool days with friends, skip a beach vacation, or stay indoors. This can lead to boredom and depression. 


If you feel sad, stuck, anxious, or angry, talk to a professional. Your adoption counselor or a therapist can help you to work through this tough time. Group therapy can also help you to connect with other women, discuss your mental health needs, and find a caring community that can get you through a summer slump. 


How Should You Handle Summer Holidays and Events?


The summer season is filled with holidays such as the Fourth of July and Labor Day, events, and group activities. Whether you have a family barbeque or a relative’s summer-time wedding to attend or you just want to spend some of the not-so-hot days at the pool with friends, you may need help to handle these social situations. 


Many women feel anxious about how others will react to their growing belly bump. Unlike the wintertime, summer’s temperatures prevent you from hiding your pregnancy under bulky clothing — and you shouldn’t have to.


You have a right to your own feelings and don’t owe an explanation to anyone else. If someone stares at your pregnancy belly underneath your bathing suit, it’s perfectly acceptable to ignore them. No one should make you feel bad about your pregnancy or your choice to move forward with adoption.


If family members or friends question your choices or make you feel uncomfortable during summer celebrations, you don’t need to provide answers. A counselor or therapist can walk you through these potential situations and help you to find positive ways to handle your feelings.


This can help you to manage your pregnancy, maintain a positive attitude, and make your way through the summer celebration season in a way that feels right to you.


Do you have questions about adoption and your options? Contact Arizona Adoption Help for more information.