We haven't even officially begun summer and the heat is already on! And when you're pregnant, that can make being in the heat so much worse.

That's why it's especially important to take steps to protect yourself and your baby during the summer months.

Combat the summer heat

Did you know that there are more babies born in the United States during the months of July, August and September than any other time of the year? That means many women are in the third trimester of their pregnancies during the hot, summer months.

Whether you are newly pregnant or about to pop, there are certain considerations that need to be made when you're pregnant during the summer season.

Choose your time outdoors wisely

The raging midday summer heat in east Tennessee can be hard on anyone. That's why it's important to stay indoors when at all possible between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., when the sun's rays are most intense.

That's important for a couple reasons. First, you protect your skin by not exposing it to the most intense UVA and UVB rays. And second, you avoid the hottest hours of the day.

Drink up

Staying hydrated is key for good health during the summer. Since the temperatures are higher, you are going to be sweating more during the day. As a result, more water is lost, which means you need to be sure you are drinking enough water to replace it.

How much water? Well, the amount of water needed varies from person to person. The best way to keep track of your hydration is to keep an eye on your urine. You want it to be clear or pale yellow - anything darker indicates you may be dehydrated.

If you're outdoors, be sure to also splash your body with water in order to help cool your body temperature down.

Slather on the sunscreen

Applying sunscreen should already be a ritual you are used to performing before heading out in the sun.

Grab your sunscreen with a sun protection factor - or SPF - of at least 30, and make sure you reapply at least every two hours or more often if you're sweating or swimming.

Are you getting ready for baby? Be sure to check out Parkridge East to learn more about our comprehensive range of services, as well as our classes to get you better prepared for your new arrival!