I was born the end of July 1988. Whenever I would ask my mother about my birth, she’d tell me, “It was the hottest summer on record, and I was pregnant with you.” Combine that with the fact that my mother had Gestational diabetes and that I was born past my due date at a whopping 10lbs 13oz, and you can imagine that my mother was miserable. Oh, and we did not have central air or even window air conditioning units in our home (in fact we didn’t for about 15 years after my birth!)
So, when I found out I was pregnant, and my due date would be July 26, my mother had to laugh at me. Because, unlike her, I would be pregnant in Texas (I was born in Wisconsin).
My other pregnancies were both spring babies – March and April – and in Utah and Indiana, not the hot South. So, I was curious how it would compare. I mean, would a summer pregnancy be that different?
I’ve come to realize that there are some very real pros and cons of a summer pregnancy. If you are thinking about having a baby in the summer, you may want to consider the following.
16 Cons of a Summer Pregnancy
1. The Heat
Pregnant women already radiate heat, but when the heat is coming from both within and without, it makes things very warm. And sleeping isn’t so easy when you’re hot.
2. The Swelling
During pregnancy it is normal to swell. Everywhere. In the summer the heat and swelling are multiplied, so forget about wearing that wedding ring or squeezing into those adorable shoes.
3. The Clothes
So many maternity tops are loose or V-necked and just begging for a camisole underneath (at least for my comfort level.) Maternity pants come with those large stretch tops that go over your belly. It’s just too many layers to be cool and comfortable in a summer pregnancy. Plus, I wear LDS garments under all my clothes (aka another layer) and a bra. The clothes just make you so warm that you often think about becoming a nudist. Or living at the pool. Or never leaving your house, because, at home, clothes are optional.
4. The Sweat
Women are said to have a pregnancy glow, but in summer, pregnant women aren’t glowing – they are glistening with sweat. And lots of it. And mostly because of that bra. Hello, boob sweat.
5. The Hair
You always have to have a hair tie and bobby pins, because the hair in your face and on your neck is just warm, gross, and sweaty.
6. The Showers
I am a busy mom, and I don’t normally shower but like 2 or 3 times a week (may sound gross to you, but I’m being real.) But, with how much sweating and swimming you do while pregnant in the summer, the need to shower more often is real. However, you can’t take nice, long bubbles baths or hot showers because they aren’t good for the baby. Plus, standing and bending in the shower can totally make you lightheaded. The more frequent showering also means less time doing more important things, like sleeping during pregnancy.
7. The Shaving
The great thing about winter and spring pregnancies is that you don’t need to shave your legs often because you can wear pants all the time. But, women pregnant in the summer do not want to wear pants or even long skirts. This means they need to manage somehow to reach their legs, around their big bellies, to shave, and probably more than just once a week.
8. The Hot Cars
Not only did I have the privilege of a summer pregnancy in Texas, but I got to experience it full force the entire time I was outside, as our AC has been broken in our suburban all summer long. Maybe it’s Karma from my mother suffering in a house without AC while pregnant with me. Either way, driving everywhere in a car without cold air is torturous, as the windows always have to be down (another reason to wear your hair in a ponytail.) Sitting at those long red lights is torture when there isn’t a breeze!
9. The Chemicals
Your skin absorbs chemicals, and those chemicals then enter your bloodstream and can thereafter reach your baby. Or so those maternity books and articles love to remind you. Summer is a time of chemicals. There’s the sunblock, bug spray, and chlorine pool, just for starters. Let’s all hope our babies turn out alright.
10. The Travel (or Lack Thereof)
When you think summer, you often think travel. Summer is the time people go to family reunions, the beach, and on day trips. Summer is the time for long road trips and airplane travel. Unfortunately, with a summer pregnancy, and restrictions on traveling near your due date, it may mean having to miss out on a lot of the fun. And if you do travel, it means sitting in a car (hopefully air conditioned) for long hours, which isn’t great for your swelling issues or the need to pee.
11. The Dehydration
Pregnant women need to drink lots of water as their blood supply is increased. Combine that need with a hot activity outdoors and the extra sweating, and the risk of dehydration rises.
12. The Fatigue
You’re always tired, but the heat makes you even more tired. And so does the swimming.
13. The Outdoor Activities
Summer = Outdoor fun. Being pregnant in the summer doing outdoor fun = One hot (cranky and tired) mama. Simple solution? Bring a folding chair and park it.
14. The Meat and Fish
Summer cookouts are awesome! But, pregnant women have some (optional but recommended) dietary restrictions in regards to foods like hot dogs, soft cheeses, and seafood. It may mean not being able to enjoy all the wonderful food of the season with your friends and family.
15. The Camping
Camping is a fun part of family summer fun for many. But camping while pregnant can mean even poorer sleep, even more sweat, and even more fatigue. (I did it anyway.)
16. The Swimming
Swimming while pregnant in the summer can be a godsend. However, after you give birth, it’ll still be hot, and summer, but now you won’t be able to go swimming for six weeks, or at least until you stop bleeding. You may feel like you’re still swimming, just in sweat… or breastmilk… Plus, it’s also pretty unreasonable to take a newborn swimming.
Pros of a Summer Pregnancy
1. The Hair
Since you’ve (wisely) decided to wear your hair up all summer, it means less decision making, and probably less time doing your hair. Yeah for sleeping in! Or maybe you like the challenge of finding new, cute, fun, and easy up-dos. Go you!
2. The Swimming
You’re hot and sweaty, and it’s summer anyway, so having an excuse to go swimming and relieve some pressure off your swollen everything is just peachy! Plus, there’s no need to worry about sucking in your stomach to make yourself look better. And thankfully there are some modest maternity swimwear out there.
3. The Indoors
Since you’ll want to spend time indoors, it just means you can have more time to prep, organize, and clean your home more this summer than ever before, or go shopping a lot. Yeah for nesting in the air conditioning!
4. The Showers
You’ll be cleaner and smell better more often with all the showers you take this summer.
5. The Shaving
You’ll have smoother legs more often with how frequently you’ll be shaving.
6. The Healthy Season
There is no need to worry about RSV or other common colds and illnesses with a summer pregnancy like you would with a winter baby.
7. The Ice Cream
There is a plethora of cold treats available all the time. Ice cream may even come down your street in a little truck playing music, just for you to get your pregnancy craving fix.
8. The Clothes (or Lack Thereof)
If you’ve never cared much for wearing a lot of clothing, and you love wearing loose, free-flowing dresses or skirts, summer pregnancies are awesome. Or if you really do live in a Nudist Colony…
9. The Excuses
You don’t like camping, the outdoors, or your extended family? Blame your summer pregnancy on why you can’t go camping, spend too much time outside, or attend your family reunion.
10. The Summer Baby
Of course the biggest benefit of a summer pregnancy is having a summer baby! Because it’s warm you don’t need to dress your baby in clothing head to toe (aka less laundry for you!) and the extra sunshine means more Vitamin D for baby and yourself. Also, summer babies are said to be happier and more optimistic.
Being pregnant in the summer is not for the faint of heart. While there are some advantages of summer pregnancies, there are some serious disadvantages. I certainly appreciate my mother and her sacrifice to bring me into this world much more, now that I’ve experienced my own summer pregnancy. And I’m grateful she did, just as I’m grateful I did it too because now we have this new sweet baby girl in our family. And that’s worth all the sweat in the world.