This article is not for everyone….unless you take out the reference to pregnancy. Beating the heat is something a lot of us are trying to do during these dog days of summer….so read on, just filter out any mama-talk if it does not apply.

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When I found myself eight months pregnant with my third child mid-July, I could take it no longer. I had my hair chopped into an unfortunate pixie cut. It was not flattering, but I felt very out of control and chopping my hair was something I could do. Several factors led to that sad decision; we did not have air conditioning, the humidity was thick, my two babies insisted on running everywhere and my long hair spent all day every day in an uncomfortable ponytail.

Looking back, I can see cutting my hair really did little for my morale during that time, but the following tips would have helped me see clearer and stay cooler. I learned during my next summer pregnancy and managed to keep my locks throughout!

Stay cool, pregnant mama

Cover yourself with comfortable, loose fitting fabrics. Look for breathable, lightweight fabrics that move with your body. Living in sundresses allows you to look pretty and pulled together even when you feel oppressed by the heat. A maternity sundress and a pair of comfortable sandals is also a no-brainer outfit that comes in handy when chasing a toddler. Just slip the dress on and go.

Have fan; will sleep. Even if you have air conditioning, a fan can help circulate the air to keep you feeling cooler at night. Positioning fans throughout the house will also help minimize odors that can trigger morning sickness, or afternoon sickness, or simply heat sickness. I could not have made it through my summer pregnancy without my little hand held fan. My kids loved to take turns getting cooled off by it too which kept them nearby.

Rely on water. Staying well hydrated is an easy way to keep your body temperature down. Keep a container of ice cold water nearby at all times. If straight water is not appealing, add slices of citrus fruit or a few slices of cucumber to the water. I also found that crushed ice is strangely more appealing. Ice water can also be applied to your skin in the way of a cold washcloth on the back of your neck or by dipping your feet in a bin of ice water.

Plan around the heat. If you are with child, while with children, you need to plan your day around the heat. This means try to schedule playground time early in the morning or after the hottest part of the day. Hit the air-conditioned library, indoor playgrounds or swimming pools to keep your kids active and help you stay cool.