It’s not uncommon to feel uncomfortable towards the end of your pregnancy – you’re carrying a lot ­and the heat can make it worse.

The weight you’re carrying includes not only your baby, the placenta and amniotic fluid but also the thickening muscle layer of the womb, increased blood volume, heavier breasts and additional fat store for breastfeeding. You are a machine!

Add all this to a hot Australian summer – or simply a hot spell – and you’re going to feel the heat more than ever before, especially when you’re likely to have gained 10 to 12 kilos at full-term.

We’ve compiled 14 simple tried-and-tested tips and tricks to keep you cool during the hot mama phase.

  1. Stay hydrated. Keep your water bottle by your side at all times and drink regularly. Even better, have two bottles on rotation – one in the fridge. Opt for an insulated stainless steal bottle. Australian company Biome has a great range that keeps iced drinks cold for up to 24 hours. We like this one, which comes with a cover so your bag doesn’t get damp.
  2. Keep a spritz bottle of water in your bag and one by your bed. Store it in the fridge for an additional refreshing zing. Sukin Hydrating Mist Toner is lovely option as it’s alcohol free and smells deliciously of chamomile and rosewater.
  3. Put your wrists under cold running tap. This is a great trick that works fast. If you’re not near a bathroom, kitchen or bubbler, press the inside of your wrists against something cold like you drink bottle, water glass or even cold steel.
  4. Keep ice packs and cold (hot) water bottles in the freezer to make night-times comfier.
  5. Put a half-full bottle of water in the freezer. Just because you go out, top it up with water and you’ll have a refreshing drink on the go.
  6. Keep damp washcloths in the fridge and hold them against your forehead or baby bump for an instant cool down.
  7. Avoid warm, hot or spicy foods and drinks. Choose foods that are refreshing and hydrating, likes fruits and veggies.
  8. Always wear a sun hat when you go out. Wear a hat that provides good coverage all over your face, not a cap that just protects the front of your face. Not only will a large hat help keep you cool but it’ll reduce the chance of developing hormonal pigmentation on your face. It goes without saying that sunblock is also your friend.
  9. If possible, take a cool shower during the day. Several times a day, if necessary.
  10. Layer cool, cotton clothing: opt for a sports bra /top and sarong at home, great for a quick coverup when your home delivery arrives.
  11. Exercise at the start or end of the day when it’s cooler. Swimming is terrific as you can stay cool while getting your endorphin boost.
  12. Invest in a portable, cooling fan (keep an eye out at Aldi for their $40 ones) or go old-school with a traditional-style paper fan. For something that you can attach to your desk or your stroller, consider a clip-on cooling fan.
  13. Or, make your own air conditioner by putting a two-litre bottle of frozen water in front of your fan for home made a/c.
  14. Choose sheets made from natural fibres and use only a doona cover at night. Adairs has a great range of cotton, linen and bamboo sheets if you’re in the market for a new set. You can also look for cooling pillow slips and cooling sheets.

These tips are great ways to keep your little ones cooler, too!