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Stay-Cool Strategies

Feel like the warmest (and sweatiest) person in the room? No wonder: "When you're pregnant, you'll usually feel as though you're walking at a brisk pace," says Michael Silverstein, M.D., an attending obstetrician at New York University Medical Center. "Your heart rate and metabolism are a little faster, and your organs are working harder to sustain the baby. The result: You're generating more heat." Plus, hormonal shifts and those extra pounds you're carrying around can up your hot-and-bothered quotient.

Since dog-day weather puts you at risk for heat-related problems, such as dizziness, weakness, or fainting -- all signs of dehydration -- you'll want to beat the heat. Here's how:

Dress for the weather. Opt for loose-fitting clothes made of natural fibers (cotton, linen), and sandals or shoes that give and breathe.

Tank up before you feel thirsty. Drink more than the six to eight glasses of water or fruit juice per day that are recommended during pregnancy. To tell if you're getting enough: Check the color of your urine. If it's almost clear, you are.

Don't overexert yourself. There's nothing wrong with a little exercise -- whether a workout or a walk. But be sure to increase your fluid intake even more: An hour before you start, drink two glasses of liquid. Sip a few mouthfuls of water every 15 minutes while you're on the go, and down another glass after you're done.

And when the days seem too hot to handle, remember that there's nothing wrong with just finding some shade and pouring a glass of lemonade. After all, you are sweating for two.