Being pregnant through the summer months is no easy feat. You’re wondering what to wear, how to take care of your skin, how much you should be hydrating, and if you’ll survive all the sweating you’re bound to do (after all, you’re sweating for two).

Related: 10 beach cover ups under $30 that we’ll be wearing all summer long

If you’re expecting a baby later this summer or fall, here’s your “how-to” guide for surviving those sticky summer months while pregnant.

Beat the summer heat

If your body feels like an inferno every time you step outside, you’re not crazy—your body’s core temperature is always slightly elevated through pregnancy. Adding heat from summer temperatures is going to make you uncomfortable, period. Here’s how you can stay cool and comfortable from now until fall.

  • Stay busy in the morning or early evening if you can, that way you can relax during the hottest points of the day.
  • Invest in some MegaBabe (or any anti-chafe relief for when you wear skirts or dresses), because it’s going to save your summer.
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Keep those fluids going all day, especially when you’re outdoors. A water bottle that stays ice-cold for hours is a great investment. (So are popsicles.)
  • If you have access to a pool, this is the time to use and abuse those pool privileges! Swimming is a great exercise for pregnancy and a great way to stay cool.
  • An instant cooling towel is a must for those outdoor picnics or events when the sun is hot and shade can only do so much.

Sunscreen & skincare

If you’re tired and at risk for snoozing in the sun (who could blame you?), make sure you load up on sunscreen when you’re outside. Not only is sunburn not great for you, it’s also not great for the baby you’re growing. And pregnancy can change your skin’s appearance and texture, so load up on the SPF.

  • Sunbathing can drain your body of the fluids it needs, so make sure you’re hydrating in addition to wearing sunscreen.
  • Avoid being in the sun during its peak afternoon hours.
  • If you notice your skin is developing dark spots, that’s OK! It’s likely melasma, which is very common in pregnancy. In addition to sunscreen, try lotions and creams that have Vitamin C for their antioxidant properties that can brighten the skin and reduce pigmentation.

Summer maternity clothes & shoes

Loose, cool clothing in light colors will be your go-to this summer. You want to be able to feel like your skin can breathe, and no pregnant person wants to be restricted in their clothing ever—but especially not in the summer.

  • Maxi dresses and skirts will be your best friend. They’re comfortable, flattering and extremely versatile! You can pair them with denim jackets, a tied-up button-down or statement jewelry to jazz up your look.
  • Try different articles of clothing to see what feels best: shorts, leggings, skirts, dresses and athleisure all have maternity options in regular and plus sizes at a variety of outlets.
  • As for shoes, think big. You may want to size up a half or whole size to compensate for the swelling that is pretty much inevitable in the heat. Stretchy yoga sandals, cork bed sandals and a sturdy pair of slide-on sandals are all great options for your feet.
  • A two-piece bathing suit might be a better option for all those bathroom trips. Pulling up a wet bathing suit a dozen times per hour isn’t fun for anyone, let alone a person in their third trimester!

It can feel daunting to be pregnant during those long, hot summer days. But it can also be pretty awesome (I survived two summer pregnancies myself, so these tips are legit). You’ll figure out what works for you, what doesn’t, and what you can’t live without (slushies) during your summer pregnancy. And hey, at least you don’t have to worry about finding a winter coat that buttons over your bump!

A version of this post was published July 8, 2021. It has been updated.