SUNDAY, April 25, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Keeping a cool head during those last months of pregnancy is a wise idea, but keeping your body from overheating can actually be critical to the health of your baby.
That's not to say you should skip exercise. In fact, it's actually encouraged during pregnancy. In its most recent guidelines, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggests pregnant women who are physically able and have their doctor's approval should exercise moderately for 30 minutes or more on most, if not all, days of the week.
To keep your body temperature within healthy limits, drink water before, during and after exercise. And don't overexert yourself.
Even when you are not exercising, pregnancy can make you feel warmer, probably due to an increase in metabolism. To keep comfortable, consider wearing clothes made mostly of cotton, suggests Tabby Erfani, a certified professional midwife in Granada Hills, Calif.
"Avoid nylon; it will keep the heat in your body," she adds.
Steer clear of coffee, sugar and spicy foods, Erfani says. All can make you feel hotter.
Need a good cooling effect? "Try a cold pack around the head and neck," Erfani says. Or sip decaffeinated iced mint tea.
Eating citrus fruits has a cooling effect, too, she adds. Even plopping a slice of lemon in a glass of water can help considerably.
Taking time to relax will also help keep you cool, she says. "When you are mentally cool, physically you will feel better," she says.
For more details on exercising during pregnancy, visit the American Academy of Family Physicians.