Summer is the season of sun, fun and the busiest time in the labor rooms. So, while you’re waiting for that sacred moment, here are some tips to can help keep you safe:
- Ultraviolent rays are not your friend. Wear a hat with a three-inch brim and sunglasses when sitting in the sun
- Use a sunscreen with a minimum of 15 SPF or higher
- Women of color should also use a sunscreen. The incidence of skin cancer has increased for all races in recent years.
- You can swim in a chlorinated pool but check the chlorine level. The pH level of a pool should be between 7.4 to 7.6. Avoid using a public or private pool if it has been “shocked” (given extra chemicals).
- Enjoy your barbeques but don’t eat food that has been left outside for more than 2 hours.
- Use insect repellent to protect yourself from bugs if you go outside but use it sparingly. Mosquito bites increase the risk of developing the West Nile Virus which causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. Both the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) state it is safe for pregnant women to use insect repellents, specifically the longer-lasting agent DEET. For longer hours spent outside (over 3-4) use a repellent that contains at least 20% DEET. Products with more than 50% DEET does not offer additional protection and should not be used in pregnancy.
- Use Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus or PMD as a natural pesticide if you prefer to avoid chemicals.
- Stay well hydrated when in the sun. Drink plenty of water.
- Don’t over exert yourself in extreme heat. The human fetus’ temperature is about 1 degree higher than its mother’s and cannot regulate its temperature. If you remain cool, so does your baby.
- Thunderstorms increase during the summer. Have your disaster supplies ready as well as emergency numbers and a route mapped out to the hospital.
Summer is a time of enjoyment but please — play it safe.