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10 Tips for Safely Celebrating Memorial Day for Pregnant Women

How do you celebrate Memorial Day safely?

I don’t know about you, but where I am right now (in Ohio), it’s hot.  Like, 85 degrees and humid.  With Memorial Day coming up tomorrow, the heat is just one factor to consider while pregnant — since pregnant women tend to struggle with the heat more than others do.

So today, I’m offering 10 tips for safely celebrating Memorial Day!

1. Keep water with you at all times — Whatever you’re doing, you’ll need to make sure to stay hydrated.  It’ll help you stay cooler and avoid the risk of heatstroke…and fainting!  Pregnant women tend to be more sensitive to changes in temperature, especially towards the end.

2. Get some sun, especially in the morning or evening — Sun produces vitamin D, which may help you feel good (and since we’re all deficient…go for it!).  Just make sure not to stay in the sun too long.  If you turn pink or feel too hot, get out of the sun.  That’s why morning or late afternoon sun may be better than mid-day.  Remember that sunscreen blocks vitamin D production, so don’t put it on right away, and check out this post on sunscreen and sun recommendations for more.

3. Take a break from the heat — If you’re feeling too hot, don’t ignore it.  Get some ice water, get in the shade, or go inside in the air conditioning.  Overheating can be especially dangerous while pregnant.  People will understand that you need a break!  Don’t forget these fun ways to cool off, too.

4. Skip the alcohol — I know, it’s controversial.  But a lot of party drinks aren’t really a good idea (especially mixed drinks with hard liquor), and there’s the temptation, in a party situation, to drink too much.  Also, if you’re outside, alcohol can leave you more likely to become dehydrated and cause problems.  Stick to fun, fruity drinks or water, especially while outside.

5. Cook your meat thoroughly — A lot of people like to grill meat at their celebrations.  Make sure you follow safety guidelines and cook your meat completely to avoid the risk of contamination and food poisoning, which is more likely when you’re pregnant.

6. Be careful of egg-containing salads — Like potato salad.  Improperly handled salads are a major cause of food-borne illness, and like under-cooked meat, it’s especially a problem for pregnant women.  Make sure salads are stored in a cool location and put away immediately after eating, or just skip them.  It may not be worth the risk.

7. Take a rest, or even a nap — If you can, sneak away from the festivities for awhile and rest, or even nap.  It’s hard, especially in your last few months, to be so busy all day, especially if you’re chasing other children!  Let others help with cooking, clean up, and whatever else needs to happen so you can take a break.

8. Watch the dessert table — If you’re anything like me, sugar + heat = bad.  Try to choose only a couple small treats, and mostly stick to fresh fruit or other naturally-sweet treats.  This goes for sugary drinks, too.  Plain water or diluted juices are safer choices for hydration than overly-sweet drinks.  Blood sugar spikes, dehydration, and heat can team up to spell disaster for some pregnant women!

9. Bring chairs — Whether it’s a parade or a party, you don’t want to be on your feet too much.  Bring a chair along and make sure you can sit when you need to.  The further along you are, the more necessary this will be!  (I have a hard time standing for long periods of time by about 20 weeks.)  If you carry your own folding chair, you’ll be sure to have a seat no matter where you are.

10. Keep your stress-level down — Even if you usually have a major blow-out for the holiday, don’t overdo it this year.  Let others help you out as much as possible.  Invite fewer people (if you can).  Avoid any conversations that may raise your blood pressure (if that’s likely to happen!).  Just try to relax and enjoy your holiday!

How do you celebrate Memorial Day?

Top image by cwwycoff1

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