Pregnant at the beach – how to make things easier
Being pregnant during the summer months has lots of great advantages – floaty summer dresses, afternoon naps in the sun, cooling off with ice cream (for the baby, of course), and if you live near the beach – plenty of beach days!
Follow our guide for how to make beach days a success while pregnant.
1. Make sure you wear loose, comfortable clothing that’s breathable. Pure cotton or linen are ideal fabrics for warm weather. Because your body temperature is higher than normal when you’re pregnant, you’ll often feel hotter and sweat more easily.
2. Shade is your friend. Invest in a big beach umbrella or cabana. Ideally one that is not too difficult to set up if you’re the one who will be doing this. Having a cool, shaded area to retreat to will make all the difference to your beach experience. These are also great for taking a nap under or for keeping little ones out of the sun.
3. Cover up. Although sunshine does wonders for your health, it’s important to make sure you don’t overdo it, especially considering how harsh our sun can be in New Zealand. A wide brim hat and long sleeve muslin or cotton tops are some essentials. Also wearing a natural sunscreen will help protect your skin – when pregnant your skin is more sensitive due to the blood being closer to the surface of your skin.
4. Stay hydrated. When you're pregnant, you need more water than the average person in order to form amniotic fluid, produce extra blood, build new tissue, carry nutrients, enhance digestion, and flush out wastes and toxins. This is especially important when you’re out in the hot sun and your body is losing water through perspiration. Storing your water or drinks in a cooler bag or popping some ice cubes into your drink bottle will make them even more refreshing.
5. Snacks. Any woman who has been pregnant knows that when you need to eat, you need to eat! Having some nutrient-dense, healthy snacks on hand will help to make your beach experience a lot happier for you (and those around you!). Examples of good snack choices include yogurt with berries, guacamole and corn chips, or hummus and vege sticks. If you are dealing with morning sickness, stick to plain foods like crackers and cheese or anything with ginger.
6. Bring a beach chair or cushions. It can feel hard to get comfortable at the best of times when you’ve got a pregnant belly. Don’t be afraid to bring along whatever you need to make your time at the beach more comfortable and relaxing. Tip: If you’ve been missing lying on your tummy, dig a hole in the sand for your bump and enjoy the tummy time.
7. Sign off duty (if possible!). If you have other children, ask a friend or your partner if they can be on kid duty, even if it’s only for half an hour or so, it will give you some time to read, relax, and take a much-needed break.
8. Get into the ocean. It will cool you down and take some of the pressure off of your body. Even though you’re not totally weightless in the water, you’ll instantly feel lighter and it will help ease the aches and pains that pregnancy can bring on. You never regret an ocean swim!