I've been pregnant three times and have three beautiful children to show for it. I've also been "lucky" enough to experience pregnancy during all four seasons of the year. For me, pregnancy isn't fun regardless — it's just nine months (give or take) of vomiting, random aches and pains, and being uncomfortable. I can say with absolute authority, though, that being pregnant in the summer is the worst.
I consider the first trimester of pregnancy to be, hands down, the most uncomfortable. Between the nausea and exhaustion it's no picnic, and it all can feel about 100 times worse when it’s hot outside. Add in bug bites, long car rides to beach destinations, and having your older kids home from school on summer break and you’re sure to have a less than pleasant time. Not only was I pregnant during the hottest summer in recorded history, but I had preeclampsia, which made my hands and feet swell until I looked like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. And as you can imagine, I felt about as good as I looked.
I didn't fit in my pre-pregnancy summer clothes, but my maternity clothes didn’t fit either, so I was stuck wearing maxi dresses that made it far too easy to feel the sweat drip down from under my boobs and pool on the waistband of my ginormous underwear. Before I knew it I was in my third trimester, carrying around an additional 50 pounds and braving the summer heat while I walked miles to try and jump-start labor. Of course, delivering a baby when it's 100 degrees outside is no fun either.
So yeah, being pregnant in the summer is the absolute worst, and for the following, undeniable reasons:
Being pregnant is hard enough. Being pregnant in the summer heat is the worst. Trying to stay cool while wearing a living space heater on your abdomen is no joke. I was so hot I was willing to do anything to cool off. The problem? Nothing worked.
I had hyperemesis gravidarum during my last two pregnancies, which meant I vomited several times a day for months. The entire experience was made so much worse by the summer heat, though. The heat was a major trigger for my nausea and vomiting, so every time I ventured outside I was likely to vomit... and pee my pants in the process. The last summer I was pregnant was literally one of the worst three months of my life.
Summer porch and patio drinking is one of the only redeeming qualities of the season. When you are pregnant you have to resort to non-alcoholic wine (which is definitely not the same), and virgin margaritas. It really sucks.
Trying To Find Clothes That Work
Trying to find summer maternity clothes is pretty impossible. No matter what you wear, it feels like you're wearing too many layers of clothing. To make matters worse, absolutely nothing is both work-appropriate and allow you to be relatively comfortable for car rides, walks from the parking lot, and in office air conditioning. You can't win.
Before I got pregnant I had relatively small breasts. As a result, I didn't have any prior experience with boob sweat. Then I ended up pregnant and learned all about the hell that is sweaty boobs, underboobs, chafing, and a soaking wet bra. So gross.
I get bitten up every summer, no matter how much bug spray I apply. And when I'm pregnant I am apparently a rare delicacy to insects, which sucks. Literally.
Maternity Bathing Suits
Beating the summer heat while pregnant usually meant wearing maternity swimsuit and the enduring the stares of critical people. In my experience, maternity swimsuits never fit quite right and don't really look good on anyone. I finally gave up and decided to just wear a bikini — stretch marks and all — and dared someone to judge me. I was growing a human, after all, so the least people could do was leave me alone while I was trying to get comfortable in the summer heat.
My last pregnancy I had three mystery rashes that were so bad they required medical attention. There's nothing worse than being hot, sweaty, and itchy, except being those things while also being pregnant in summer.
Before I got pregnant, I would love to take road trips to a fun destination to relax and recharge. But I realized that as a pregnant person road trips to the beach become endless car rides of vomit and regret, followed by a week in an uncomfortable hotel room not being able to sleep because your body pillow wouldn't fit in the trunk.
Some of my favorite parts of summer are my birthday, going to the beach, outdoor concerts, drinking wine on my porch, and summer race season (running is my jam). All of those things seemed tainted by my pregnancies, because they were actually no longer fun when I couldn't enjoy them as per usual. Instead just wanted to lie in front of a fan, like a miserable beached whale.