With summer temperatures steadily rising above 100 degrees, pregnant women should take special care to stay cool, comfortable and safe. Maintaining good hydration while pregnant is extremely important, and even more so during the summer when our bodies can become dehydrated. Expectant mothers should drink at least eight 12-ounce glasses of water daily, and avoid consuming sugary or caffeinated beverages.

Regular exercise plays a key role in contributing to a healthy pregnancy, but it can be tough to exercise outdoors this time of year. To avoid overheating, complete your routine in the early morning or consider swimming, which not only keeps the body cool but also provides buoyancy to relieve aching joints.

Summertime often includes vacation plans, and in most normal pregnancies it is perfectly safe to travel by car or air. In fact, air travel is allowed throughout the entire pregnancy, though travel in the final month is not typically recommended due to an increased chance of going into labor as the due date approaches. Also, because the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (a serious condition involving blood clots) rises during pregnancy, expectant mothers should stay mobile when traveling. Walk around for five to 10 minutes during every hour of travel to aid circulation and reduce the chance of a blood clot forming.

True, the Arizona sun may make pregnancy a little less comfortable, but an expectant mother should try to maintain her routine as much as possible. Take advantage of prenatal appointments to ask questions about hydration, exercise and travel to ensure both patient and doctor are aware of concerns.

Dr. Michael Urig is chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center. For more information on this topic, talk with your doctor or call Urig's Ahwatukee Foothills office at (480) 759-9191.


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