Babies and pregnant women need light foods and more liquids in the heat


During pregnancy, a woman’s body temperature increases by approximately half a degree and, on hotter days, this can cause great discomfort for the future mother, as excessive heat causes swelling and can make her more tired, especially in the last trimester of pregnancy. The alert comes from doctor Célia Regina Silva, vice-president of the Gynecology and Obstetrics Association of the State of Rio de Janeiro.

In a situation of high temperatures, like the ones Brazil is experiencing at the moment, Célia Regina said that it is essential to drink plenty of water and maintain a healthy diet, including colder meals, such as salads and fruits.

“ Generally, swelling is caused by compression of the uterus on the vessels responsible for returning blood from the legs to the heart. Circulation is further impaired when these vessels are dilated by heat. To prevent the problem, pregnant women need to change their body positions during the day. If your legs are very swollen, it is recommended to leave them elevated for a while.” For women who work standing or sitting, the doctor advises not to sit still for more than an hour.

Also vice-president of the association, obstetrician Renato Sá highlighted that, in the case of high-risk pregnant women, who do not have comorbidities, the concern is with hydration, which has to be adequate, because pregnant women have difficulty controlling their pressure. “Everyone has seen pregnant women fainting, especially in hot conditions,” said the doctor. Therefore, they need to maintain better hydration.

At the current time, when Brazilians are facing very high temperatures, there are two problems: excess heat and low air humidity. The tendency is for people to dehydrate much more. “And this is for pregnant women and everyone.”


It is necessary to pay attention to pregnant women who have comorbidities, including the issue of blood pressure and pre-eclampsia. “Because then it’s not just the issue of hydration, but how it will be done and what repercussion the heat can have on the pregnant woman’s blood pressure”, highlighted Renato Sá. This may be a situation in which the pregnant woman needs to consult her prenatal doctor to find out if she will need to change anything in her behavior.

According to the doctor, another critical point is that pregnant women are more prone to urinary tract infections. He warned that low hydration increases the risk of urinary infections and that this can be very serious for a pregnant woman, even leading to a generalized infection, or septicemia. “Women need even greater care in relation to hydration, which everyone can take, but for this specific point of urinary infection”, he added.

Women who have already had a baby, those who are breastfeeding, need even more hydration, because 90% of breast milk is water. “If she doesn’t drink enough fluids, she won’t be able to produce milk properly.” In the case of babies, it is clear that temperature control is very fragile and they become dehydrated very easily. Basically, a baby’s nutrition and nutrition is breast milk. Therefore, the nursing mother must have adequate production to meet both the child’s nutritional and hydration needs, explained Renato Sá.

sale of soft drinks in elementary schools, from 1st to 9th grade,
sale of soft drinks in elementary schools, from 1st to 9th grade,

The best option is water, not soft drinks – Archive/ Agência Brasil

The doctor does not recommend drinking soda instead of water. “This is not interesting, because, in the case of pregnant women, for example, they may have gestational diabetes. And there is the caloric situation, sometimes also of juices. It’s not the most appropriate. The best option is water. The recommendation is to hydrate, preferably with water.”

Pregnant and breastfeeding women should also avoid caffeinated drinks. “They are not prohibited, but they should be avoided.” The obstetrician’s advice is to hydrate, preferably with water. If she wants fruit, ideally she should eat it instead of making juice, which has more calories.”

São Paulo (SP), 09/19/2023 - Public drinking fountains available for hydration of the population in Parque Augusta, in Bela Vista. Photo: Rovena Rosa/Agência Brasil
São Paulo (SP), 09/19/2023 - Public drinking fountains available for hydration of the population in Parque Augusta, in Bela Vista. Photo: Rovena Rosa/Agência Brasil

There can be no carelessness with hydration, doctors warn – Rovena Rosa/Agência Brasil


According to doctor Tania Sih, member of the Scientific Department of Outpatient Pediatrics of the Brazilian Society of Pediatrics (SBP), the main problem that high temperatures can cause in babies and children is hyperthermia, when the body has a temperature higher than normal. how normal.

When the family does not have an air conditioning unit, the recommendation is to keep windows and doors open to allow air to circulate, or a ceiling fan. “The more the air circulates, the better.” Secondly, children and adults have to hydrate. Even if the child doesn’t ask for it, they should be offered liquids every 15 or 20 minutes, the pediatrician recommended.

“If you are going to give your child any food, preferably don’t give anything dry, like roast chicken, for example, because it dries out the throat. The food should be wetter.” According to Tania, a good option is fruits with a lot of liquid, such as watermelon. “And alternate water and juices with more liquid foods.”

Body cream

It is also advisable to moisturize the child’s skin. “I would preferably leave the child in just a diaper, standing barefoot, just wearing a t-shirt. And don’t forget to apply a moisturizer. It is also important for the child not to go outside, but to stay indoors, “with the window open, air conditioning or ceiling fan on.”

For the doctor, there is no problem in eating ice cream, such as ice cream. To prevent the nose from drying out too much, at least four times a day, parents should use saline solution or spray a spray of nasal hygiene without corticosteroids in the child’s nose. Lips should receive cocoa butter. And you should not forget that when applying the moisturizing cream, also apply it to the ear, the external part where the hair meets, to avoid cracks and infections.

Tania Sih also recommended that mothers pass a damp hand over their children’s head, in order to moisten the scalp. “The child has to have moisturizing cream on their body, without forgetting their ears, with cocoa butter on their lips and drink liquids so that the mouth stays moist inside, and the nose has to be hydrated with any saline solution with a dropper. or of spray“, he reinforced.

The doctor emphasized that it is a good idea for the child to just be wearing a diaper, with bare feet, running around the house at will, without going outside, because “the heat is much stronger there”. These would be the main precautions to be taken in situations very high temperature, in addition to foods that turn into water easily, such as watermelon and fruit. “And plenty of juice and water.” The temperature of the liquids can be cold, without any problem, he reiterated.

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Babies pregnant women light foods liquids heat



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