Beat The Heatwave

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It’s time to cool down! We’re loving the summer sunshine, but this heatwave can get uncomfortable – especially if you’re pregnant or have a new baby at home.

Janet Balaskas and Lynn Murphy have some great advice that’ll help you and your precious ones to enjoy your summer…

 

Drinking plenty of water and keeping hydrated is top of the list for everyone.

  • Carry water with you at all times.
  • Try freezing a bottle of water to keep next to your bed at night – ice cold water is on hand if you wake up during the night!
  • If you get tired of plain water, add cucumber or lemon to it or drink cooled herbal teas. Coconut water is another wonderful alternative and particularly good to hydrate.

 

If You’re Pregnant

“You may notice more swelling in the lower legs,” says Lynn, “So simple leg stretches and rolling of the ankles can help to improve the circulation.”

Self-massage can be good too, working from ankles to knees. Better still, try a Reflexology treatment with Sophia Smith, our reflexologist.

 

Yoga and Exercise

Janet recommends gentle movement – rather leave the more vigorous practice for when it cools down.

“Slow sitting positions, breathing awareness exercises, and gentle stretches, rotations, easy side bends  and meditation are good on a hot day,” says Janet, “But stay out of the sun. Rather go for walks first thing in the morning and in the evening.

You will need to give yourself more time to get from A to B and will appreciate using the restorative asanas, such as supported child pose over a ball, lying on one side to rest or where you’re still comfortable on your back, adds Lynn.

Postnatally, an easy pose where you lie on the ground with knees bent, feet on the floor and arms out to the side works well.

In all of these resting poses you can connect to your breath and take five!

An easy pose for taking 5 …
5 easy breaths in through the nose and release out through the mouth – any time, any place!

 

Cooling Down

Water is still your best weapon!

  • If there is a swimming pool near you jump in, and do wet your head – it’s very cooling.
  • A cool shower is also a great way to reduce heat and again wet your hair.
  • A cold foot bath is great too. Make it as cold as you can stand, and even add ice cubes. This is very helpful for hot swollen feet, and adding a few drops of essential peppermint oil will work wonders.

 

New Mums

“It is good to know that babies who are breastfed will want to come to the breast frequently in this weather and that is normal,” Lynn assures us.

  • They are thirsty rather than hungry
  • The first part of breastmilk is their drink followed by the creamier milk, which is food
  • Feeds will be frequent and short as they refresh themselves.
  • If bottle feeding your baby, you can also give some water between feeds to hydrate.

 

Keeping baby cool

Your baby may well be restless and more irritable in this heat, or nap more. We are all struggling a little at the moment with these very high temperatures, so it’s not surprising that our babies are too!

  • At home and at night it’s fine to have baby in just a nappy.
  • During the day, take off the nappy to for them to really enjoy some air bathing.
  • Loose cotton clothing and sun-hats are a must for going outside.
  • Keep them out of the direct sunshine and in the shade.
  • In the extreme heat go out early and maybe late afternoon rather than the middle of the day.
  • Again, give yourself plenty of time to get from A to B.

We hope these tips are useful! Please share your own suggestions on our Facebook page and help other mums and babies to have a chilled summer.

 

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Janet Balaskas Founder of Active Birth Director of the Active Birth Centre
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