You might be thinking: Why the heck am I so hot? During pregnancy, the amount of blood in your body increases by 40-45%, boosting metabolism and causing your core temperature to rise. So when summer comes, what’s a pregnant gal to do? Try these tips for beating the heat, from clothes that keep you feeling — and looking — cool to the best beauty products, snacks, activities and advice to get you through the season.

photo: Marcos Moraes via Unsplash

1. Master the basics.
There’s a reason this particular advice has been around since your grandmother’s era. It works! Stay inside during the hottest times of day, drink lots of water, eat smaller meals, snack on water-filled foods (think watermelon and cucumbers), and take a cold shower before slipping into bed.

Photo: Stephanie Gerber via Hello Natural

2. Get minty clean.
Peppermint has cooling and soothing properties (and helps fight nausea), so it’s a great choice for your hair and skincare products. For a full-on peppermint spa experience, make your own mint mojito bath salts. If you’re not a DIYer, try these products: Earth’s Nectar mint shampoo, Captain Blankenship peppermint hand & foot balm, Malin + Goetz’s Peppermint Body Scrub and Archipelago Botanicals mint body wash.

photo: StockSnap

3. Sip on healthy smoothies.
There’s a smoothie recipe for every pregnant need, from a strawberry, ginger and banana smoothie to soothe nauseated stomachs to this strawberry cherry smoothie full of folate for your growing baby and this pineapple avocado green smoothie with calcium to help build baby’s bones.

photo: zelah_w via Flickr

4. Just say no.
It’s hard to say no when a friend asks for a favor or invites you for a fun night out. But when you’re tired and easily overheated, be selective about what you do and avoid big crowds or strenuous activity that can make summer heat seem worse. Instead, stick to a few low-key events and carve out time to rest your feet, elevate your legs and relax. If you really want to say yes, scope out the least-strenuous ways to participate, all with an eye to reducing stress and staying comfortable.

Photo: Boob

5. Sleep in soft cotton.
If you’re tossing and turning at night, try a lightweight cotton nightgown. This v-neck nightdress (Boob, $59) has a nursing panel for easy feedings once your baby has arrived. Then wrap yourself in cotton sheets and add a fan to your nightstand and you’ll stay cool all night long.

Photo: romaneau via Pixabay

6. Take a dip.
A pool is a pregnant woman’s best friend. Whether you swim leisurely laps or park yourself on the steps, your body will thank you for immersing it in cool water. Many non-maternity bikinis work well into a woman’s pregnancy, or, if you prefer to cover up, Pink Blush’s maternity tankini top flatters your belly and can be worn with non-maternity bottoms you can use after pregnancy.

Photo: HATCH

7. Keep clothing loose.
Regardless of your pregnancy style (“show it off!” or “hide it, please!”), loose fabric will be your friend this summer, as fitted fabrics will make you feel warmer than usual. Consider breezy pieces like this caftan from HATCH. Caftans can be dressed up or down while keeping you super comfortable.

Photo: Philann Ooi via Flickr

8. Find distractions.
Tackling your pregnancy to-dos are a great way to take your mind off your discomfort. Pack your hospital bag, finalize your list of baby names, or choose a car seat or stroller. You can also check out our third-trimester checklist and read our tips on making mom friends. For a break from all things baby, pick a new book (for suggestions, check out Modern Mrs. Darcy’s summer reading list), ask friends for their best Netflix discoveries, or tackle a recipe you’ve never made.

How do you plan to keep cool this summer? Tell us in the comments below!

— Elizabeth Carr