Summers can be difficult, especially for pregnant women managing morning sickness or moving around with a baby bump. Here are some simple ways you can try to beat the heat this summer.
How to keep the home cool?
- If you are not able to sleep in your room because it is too hot, move to a cooler room. West-facing rooms and walls generally get the most heat from noon to evening.
- Keep the curtains drawn all day to prevent the rooms from heating up with direct sunlight.
- You can install bamboo blinds on your doors, balcony, verandas and windows, or use traditional khus (a grass with aromatic roots that is readily available during the summer). These are very popular in western and northern India.
How to keep your body cool?
- Take frequent showers. It is a great way to cool down.
- Ask your partner or family members to help you with household chores if the heat is exhausting you. Cook the meals early when working in the kitchen is still bearable.
- Avoid wearing clothes made of polyester and synthetic fibres. These fabrics do not let the skin breathe. Instead, go for loose-fitting cotton, linen, cotton voile khaadi clothes that let your skin breathe, and allow sweat to evaporate. Light colours should be preferred over dark ones because they absorb less heat.
- Open-toed shoes with good support will keep you comfortable and your feet cool.
- Keep a spray bottle with water or a mix of two parts rose water (gulab jal) and one part plain filtered water in the fridge. Spray your face whenever you feel hot. It will refresh and cool you down.
- Keep some slices of cucumber in the fridge or freezer. Place them over your eyes whenever you need to cool down. You can also use cotton wool balls or tea bags soaked in cooled water. It might look silly, but take a chill pill and relax
- Dip your feet in a tub with cool water. You could add some marbles to the tub for an easy foot massage. Gently roll the soles of your feet over the marbles, try to pick them up with your toes. This will be a good way to both relax and exercise your feet muscles. To avoid slipping, make sure you sit down before you dip your feet into a tub full of marbles. Before you get up, make sure your feet are dry.
- Apply Fuller’s earth (multani mitti)but making a paste of it. Add some sandalwood powder to the paste and apply it to the soles of your feet, neck and face. Wash off once the paste dries. This has cooling properties and prevents prickly heat.
- Stay hydrated and have a lot of fluids throughout the day.
How to beat the heat when outdoors?
- Do not forget to take a water bottle with you.
- Keep a mini battery-operated fan handy and take it with you everywhere.
- Avoid going out during the hottest time of the day. If you are going out, carry an umbrella. Keep your head covered with a scarf. You could also use a hat with a wide brim.
- The best time to go for walks is early morning. Late evenings can also be an option.
- If you are a working mum-to-be, try to start and finish work earlier. This will help you avoid the peak hours.
- When on the move, wet face wipes are useful as it refreshes and cleanses your skin.
Foods that can keep you cool?
- Drink as much water as you can, and always carry a small bottle with you to avoid dehydration. You can also try drinks such as coconut water, buttermilk (chhaach), nimbu paani, jal jeera, thandai, or aam panna. They are healthy and will keep you hydrated.
- Avoid having drinks or street food like chaat from outdoor vendors, especially during the summer. It is not safe considering the hygiene levels they maintain. It is best to make milk based drinks and fresh fruit juices at home.
- Avoid Coffee, sodas and fizzy drinks. They can dehydrate you because they suck water out of the body.
- Try making a refreshing cold fruit salad or some raw vegetables. Along with keeping you cool and hydrated they will also provide you with high vitamins and minerals.