It's not just your skin that's affected by the sun and heat. Summer also increases the risk for dehydration. This can be dangerous during pregnancy because it can compromise nourishment of the baby, increase the risk of blood clots, and even lead to preterm labor. In hot weather, your body cools itself by sweating, which can cause you to lose a significant amount of water, explains Sharon Phelan, MD, medical director of the maternity and infant care project at the University of New Mexico, in Albuquerque.
Signs of dehydration include a dry mouth, thirst or light-headedness, nausea, and abdominal cramping. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek rest in a cool place and drink water. If the symptoms don't subside within 30 minutes, call your doctor.
To prevent dehydration, you should try to drink at least 12 eight-ounce glasses of noncaffeinated fluids per day (as caffeine can actually dehydrate you), Dr. Phelan says. Incorporate into your diet lots of fruits and vegetables, which contain substantial amounts of water. "Your urine should be light yellow, and you should need to go to the bathroom every four hours," she adds.