1) Drink ALL the water: If you only take one thing away from this article, this is it! Hydration is SO important for overall physical and mental health, particularly in pregnancy. Dehydration in pregnant women can lead to increased cramping/contractions (your uterus is a very reactive muscle, and when muscles do not get enough water they twitch/contract –this can even lead to preterm labor or birth!), lower amounts of amniotic fluid for baby, increased risk for urinary tract infections, constipation, and increased swelling. We recommend you have a gallon of water a day. Ways to help stay hydrated include carrying around a large water bottle, setting reminders on your phone to drink, using apps like Hydro Coach or Plant Nanny, minimizing caffeine, or keeping a gallon jug in the fridge and making sure you finish it by the end of the day.
2) Boost electrolytes: Another way to help promote hydration is adding electrolytes. Great sources include a good variety of vegetables and fruits (leafy greens, bananas, tomatoes, oranges, etc), milk/yogurt, coconut water, and supplements (such as Nuun tablets). Be mindful of sports drinks as many contain excess amount of sugar.
3) Stay cool: It is easy to get overheated when pregnant, so being mindful of how your body is feeling is important. Try to go for walks or exercise outside early in the morning, or after the sun goes down. If you go for walks during the day, bring lots of water and try to stay in shaded spots. Wear light clothing that easily wicks sweat away. And take advantage of spending time in the pool! If you start feeling overheating, fatigued, or if you notice increased cramping/Braxton Hicks contractions, that is your cue to cool down and hydrate
4) Wear sunscreen/cover up: Your skin is extra sensitive to the sun during pregnancy, and you are more likely to get burned/have skin changes. Make sure you apply sunscreen (at least SPF 30) prior to sun exposure (at least 30-45 min before going outside), and reapply every 2 hours. Most sunscreens are safe for pregnant women, but avoid any with oxybenzone in it. Consider an oil-free sunscreen as your skin is more sensitive and oil can make acne worse. Wear hats/wraps and cover-ups, and try to stick to the shade as much as possible.