At the end of the summer heat is difficult. We are accustomed to sea breezes and very tolerable weather. When it gets hot and humid we are not only uncomfortable but suffer with heat rash, overheating, and all around misery! What can we do to make ourselves and our babies more comfortable? In order of importance…..
- For breastfeeding mommies: Drink more cold water than you ever thought possible!!! The goal is to keep you comfortable and healthy. Your body needs liquid to function (run your lungs, liver, etc.); your body needs liquid for the process of making breastmilk; your body needs liquid for the actual milk. It would be pretty much impossible to drink more than you can use. It is especially important to be aware of this when it is hotter than usual. Gatorade has lots of sugar but can do in a pinch, other flavored waters may make drinking more easier for you. Try adding lemon or lime juice to a large glass of ice water. Mint is a treat or there are many vitamin additives that flavor water and add nutrients. I went through August during my second pregnancy. I literally spent the month outdoors in the kiddy pool with the running hose in one hand and a Popsicle in the other!!! Do whatever it takes to be comfortable. One of my favorite obstetricians, Dr. Tin, encouraged me to “take long walks in air conditioned malls”.
- For infants under the age of two: Babies are at your mercy for their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Most of them can not tell you they are too hot or thirsty. Be very aware of their clothing, blankets, and sleep area in the heat. Soft thin cotton T-shirts and a diaper may be all they need. If it is really hot forget the shirt, allow them to lay on a soft blanket with just a diaper. If they are are mobile look for cooling opportunities: a hose on the grass, a squirt gun, an air conditioned anything. We all tend to over dress babies, be aware of this! For breastfeeding babies offer the breast more often than usual. A day or two will not start a bad habit, but it will help you be sure baby has all the liquid he needs, For older infants add an extra bottle of watered down juice or a Popsicle outdoors. You can make your own or purchase a myriad of healthy pops.
- For the rest of your family: Make their favorite liquids available in mass. You know what they like: fruit cups, water bottles, Popsicles, juices, watermelon and so on. Avoid sodas, caffeine, and large amounts of tea as they act as diuretics, causing our bodies to slough off the liquid we so desperately need at this time. Pay special attention to what each of them ingests. If they are very active they will not think about it, but will need it even more!
Enjoy the wonderful days at the end of the summer! More soon on other hints to avoid summer rashes! Keep cool!!! Judy