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Cool tips for summer pregnancy

With your belly getting bigger and bigger just as we head into summer, you may find yourself wondering if you'll make it out alive. But don't worry -- while it's true that a summer pregnancy isn't always easy, here are a few tricks to ease your hot-weather woes.

DEHYDRATION

Getting enough fluids is especially tough in the hot summer months. Ordinarily, you should try to drink 2 liters of clear liquids every day, but in the summer, you need to add 8 ounces for every hour you spend in the heat, according to New York City nutritionist Lara Englebardt Metz. That's basically the amount you'll be sweating out.

Cool Fix: Icy concoctions.

Since you'll be constantly sipping, make your drink a fun one. Try out Lara's favorite mocktail: chilled seltzer with a splash of mango juice and lime. The mango is loaded with vitamin C and iron. If you get sick of sipping, go for a homemade Popsicle. Lara suggests blending nonfat yogurt, walnuts, and blueberries and pouring into Popsicle molds for a sweet snack loaded with H2O (not to mention omega 3s, calcium, antioxidants, and fiber).

SWELLING

Edema can be worse in summer, causing your calves, ankles, and feet to become one wide, bloated mass. Sounds like fun, doesn't it?

Cool Fix: Kick up your heels!

"To help reduce swelling, make an effort to keep your legs up whenever you can -- even in the office,'' says Lara. If your swelling persists, Lara suggests munching on watercress, celery, citrus fruits, or small bits of parsley, which may act as natural diuretics.

EXTREME HEAT

Obvious but true: It's steaming. You're huge. It stinks.

Cool Fix: Get wet.

Be sure to wear sun protection (at least SPF 30), but don't shy away from the pool. Water is a mama-to-be's best friend! An afternoon dip will not only lower your body temp, the buoyancy will also ease the stress on your squished organs, and splashing around provides a great low-impact workout. Plus, you'll have the chance to really show off that belly! No access to a pool? Try the plastic kiddy version. Baby can use it later.

STICKY SWEAT

OK, so the summer may have you chafing a bit. But the best thing about a summer pregnancy: lightweight and comfy maternity clothes!

Cool Fix: Breathable maternity wear.



For maximum cuteness and comfort, go for loose, light-colored clothes. This helps keep you from overheating and allows sweat -- especially beneath and between your boobs -- to evaporate, preventing nasty rashes.

BOREDOM

The simplest way to keep your body temp on track? "Stay indoors in an air-conditioned home,'' says Lara. But how's a girl to keep her sanity when she's hanging out on the couch in the living room all day?

Cool Fix: Fun summer rentals.



Beat the heat with a few belly laughs courtesy of some baby-focused DVD favorites. Your, er, "condition'' might have you looking at a couple of '80s and '90s classics in a whole new light. Remember Junior? How about Father of the Bride Part II? Look Who's Talking and Nine Months are great for a chuckle, too. Renting (rather than hitting the theaters) will give you the freedom to pause the flick and walk around to ease your aches (or pee every 10 minutes).

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