Friday, July 22, 2016

Heat Index Over 100 F: Tips on feeling good!

This weekend may be the hottest weekend of the year with heat indexes well over 100F in many areas of the US!  Our pregnant and breastfeeding clients need to know how to cope during these blistering hot days.  

Here are some tips to help them feel good on hot days!

  1. Stay well hydrated!  Actually count the number of 8 ounce cups in a drink bottle.  It may be surprising how much (or how little) is included!  On a "normal" day, expectant and breastfeeding mothers need at least 64 fl oz or 8 - 8oz cups of water.  During the summer months and during exercise, expectant and breastfeeding mothers may need as much as 128 fl oz or a gallon of water per day!  Yes, all of that fluid may make urination a frequent item but it is so much better than the alternative!
  2. Avoid diuretics such as caffienated beverages.  Yes, that iced coconut caramel mocha looks amazing but a pregnant or breastfeeding mother will need to drink twice that in water to replace what is being excreted from the body.
  3. Stay indoors.  Especially during the hottest portions of the day which are typically 10 am to 4 pm.
  4. When outdoors, wear a large brim hat and use sunscreen, preferably a broad spectrum sunscreen - UVA/UVB.

Know the signs of Heat Exhaustion!

There are two types of heat exhaustion, water depletion (signs include thirst, weakness, headache, loss of consciousness) and salt depletion (signs include nausea and vomiting, muscle cramps and dizziness). Urine may also have a dark color and the heart may beat rapidly.  While less than heat stroke, heat exhaustion may require medical attention.  Certainly getting out of the heat and into air conditioning, resting, hydrating, and other cooling measures such as cool shower, fans or cold towels.  For more about heat exhaustion, see Web MD.

Know the signs of Heat Stroke!

According to Web MD, the symptoms of heat stroke include core body temp of 105F, dizziness or fainting, seizures, confusion, and disorientation.  It is imperative to call 911 or seek medical attention immediately while trying to cool the body!

The best advice is to stay in where it is cool and hydrate!  The hot weather will pass and soon cooler weather will be on its way!

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