Being pregnant can come its challenges but being pregnant in the hot summer brings a whole new set of challenges. Don’t despair, though. Here are a few tips to help you and baby keep cooler in temperature (and temperament!) over the next few months.

Hydrate. Doctors recommend drinking a minimum of 8 cups (64 ounces) of water every day, especially in the summer. Water is essential for transporting nutrition to your baby, flushing waste from your system, and keeping your skin soft. Also, adequate hydration helps your body fight constipation, keep cool, and decrease water retention.

Swim. Find a comfortable one-piece or bikini and head to the beach. Swimming not only cools you off, but floating takes pressure off your joints. On a hot summer’s day, there’s more chance of a breeze at the beach, too.

Aqua aerobics. Check with your local pool schedule for a water aerobics class. This is a low-to-no-impact chance to strengthen and stretch your sore muscles while keeping cool. Of course, check with your doctor before doing any type of exercise when pregnant.

Lay off the salt. Reduce your sodium intake to ease inflammation and swelling during summer months. But don’t eliminate salt completely from your diet; iodine is essential for your baby’s health. Instead of salting your food, add more flavor with herbs or spices.

Put your feet up. Legs, ankles, and feet are prone to swelling, and the summer heat only makes it worse. Take every chance you can to get off of your feet and lift them up. For further soothing, place a cold, damp towel over your legs. Invest in an inflatable footstool to tuck under your work desk or your favorite comfy chair at home.

Use a higher SPF. Pregnant skin is more prone to burning and blotching so apply plenty of sunscreen with a high SPF. Better yet, avoid being out in direct sunlight for long periods of time.

Be kind to your pregnant body this summer! Drinking water, floating in the pool, and putting your feet up will make you more comfortable in body and spirit. You’ll feel the difference and so will your baby!