Are You Wearing the Right Fabrics to Stay Cool in Pregnancy?
All fabrics are not equal when it comes to staying cool during hot summer months. If you live anywhere that feels like the face of the sun, you'll do almost anything to stay cool. Air conditioning at 50 degrees? Yep. Cold shower? Yep. Sleep nude? Obviously. Stand in front of an open freezer? Why not. With a little know-how, you can add "wearing the right fabrics" to your list.
A Guide to Fabrics that Keep You Cool and Comfortable in Pregnancy
Cotton - Cotton is a natural fiber, which means that it breathes well, is soft, lightweight, and good at absorbing moisture. Cotton is a good choice for dry heat as well as humidity. However -- cotton does a great job at soaking up sweat, but it does not get rid of moisture well. If you're sweating a lot, your cotton clothing will be heavy and wet against your skin. Moisture against your skin for extended periods of time is uncomfortable and can cause rashes, yeast, and chafing. If you tend to get very hot and sweaty, consider another fabric that's better at wicking away moisture. Or, take along a change of clothing if you're going to be in the heat for an extended period of time.
Polyester (technical)- Polyester is a synthetic material. When you find it in a high-tech athletic garment, it's a good choice as this kind of polyester is made with sweat in mind. Technical polyester does a good job at wicking away moisture. The kind of polyester you find in dress clothing and shirts is not the same and is not a good choice for staying cool in warm weather.
Rayon - Rayon is a lightweight blend of natural and synthetic fibers. It's good because it's very light and breathable, which helps keep you stay cool. The downside is that rayon does not get rid of moisture well.
Merino wool - You probably wouldn't think wool = cool, but merino wool is a great choice for hot temperatures. It's breathable and wicks away moisture well (if it works for sheep in the pasture...). Merino wool is not the same as wearing a thick, wool sweater in winter -- merino wool comes in thin, lightweight styles for warm weather.
Linen - If you don't mind the wrinkles that linen can be famous for, it's a fantastic fabric for staying cool in the heat. Linen is a natural material with a loose weave, so it's the ultimate in breathable material and it does a great job at absorbing moisture and drying quickly.
Silk - Silk is thin, lightweight, and breathable -- most people love the feel of silk against the skin. But silk is not at all good with sweat. Skip the silk if you're looking to stay cool and comfortable.
Nylon - Nylon, like polyester, is a synthetic material that's good at wicking moisture away from your skin when worn with tightly fitted clothing. A lot of athletic wear is made from a blend that includes nylon. It is not be as soft as cotton, and it's not as breathable (which means it can get stinky), but it does a good job of drying quickly.
What's your favorite go-to summer wear during pregnancy?
What's in your maternity wear closet this summer? What's your go-to outfit for staying cool?