Unless you have actually been pregnant yourself, you have no idea of the discomfort and the advanced levels of crazy that this state brings. From cravings for random pickled foods, to what feels like a complete lack of temperature control, pregnancy is an interesting challenge. However, having a bun in your oven in this blistering South African summer heat can test even the most moderate moms-to-be.
What do you need to know, and how can you stay safe and comfortable this summer?
The Importance of Temperature Control for Pregnant Women
Did you know:
“Temperature affects both birth weight and length. The more temperature increased at the last month of pregnancy, birth length became longer. For birth weight, the temperature at mid-pregnancy affected in a positive way.” (Source)
We’re not totally sure if you want to hear this, but there is empirical evidence that babies born in colder months are shorter than those born in hot months. If you’re due shortly – good luck to you!
On a more serious note, pregnant women need to pay close attention to the temperatures that they subject themselves to. These nine months will result in increased metabolism, higher hormone levels and a positively draining workload on your body. (Growing a brand-new person is no easy task!)
In addition, your blood volume increases by 40 – 50 percent and you experience increased peripheral circulation – which means you’ll likely be that person who sits fanning herself under an air-conditioner and holding ice blocks to her head; you will feel hot, even though your core temperature is normal.
With all these extra fluids and the weight of a growing baby, you may find that your feet and ankles swell up in a rather unflattering way. This too is normal but is made worse in warmer weather.
So, in these scorching summer months, pregnant ladies are going to feel some serious discomfort!
Our advice to you is to keep your lady in a cool, air-conditioned room with her feet up, and some cold water at hand.
Temperature Control for Babies
Once you’ve got your brand-new little person home, of course, you want him to be as comfortable and happy as possible. However, these tiny humans are not able to effectively regulate their body temperature until they are around three months old. Until then, moms and dads need to operate as baby’s thermostat and moderate the temperature of their surroundings.
During the warm summer months, baby should be dressed in just one layer more than you are comfortable with and not exposed to the hot sun. Be careful when putting your little one in the car, as the inside temperature can shoot up quickly and heat up the chairs and belt buckles. Aircon is an absolute must in this weather, and an ambient temperature of around 18 – 20°C should be maintained.
Did you know:
“A baby’s body surface is about three times greater than an adult’s, compared to the weight of his/her body. Babies can lose heat rapidly, as much as four times more quickly than adults. Premature and low-birthweight babies usually have little body fat and may be too immature to regulate their own temperature, even in a warm environment.” (Source)
Air Conditioners to the Rescue
The bottom line is that infants and pregnant women are vulnerable to extreme temperatures. Now that we are entering the sweltering months of summer, these special people will be highly susceptible to the increased heat index. It’s good to remember that, even outside of direct sunlight, elevated humidity levels can make an already hot and flustered mom-to-be extremely uncomfortable.
If you have pregnant women in your office, we’d like to encourage you to bear with them when they set the room’s temperature control to “arctic.” If you are a partner or a father-to-be, accept the fact that your air conditioner is going to be your best friend for the foreseeable future. (Remember, a happy wife equals a happy life!)
If you need to ensure a comfortable summer with your fragile family, then call the Toshiba team to install or maintain your aircon system.