For expecting mothers falling ill anytime during their pregnancy can be worrisome. And the winter season brings with it an onslaught of cold and joint aches. Managing your pregnancy during this time requires adequate precautionary care. So, here are some great tips to help your breeze through your pregnancy this winter, and keep you and your baby’s health at its best!
Tips To Manage Your Pregnancy During Winter
- Dress Warm And Comfortable
- Stay Hydrated
- Get Your Flu Shot
- Exercise Regularly
- Have A Nutritious Diet
- Wash Your Hands Regularly
- Moisturize Your Skin
- Keep Up With Your Doctor Appointments
1. Dress Warm And Comfortable
One of the most important things to prepare for your pregnancy during the winter months is a lot of warm clothes. Though this may sound like an obvious decision, but long winter coats will help protect your back from the cold, which takes the entire brunt during pregnancy.
If you’re cold, it will be your back muscles that will start aching first, followed by your knees and ankles. So, keeping your back and abdomen warm and at a normal temperature is crucial. Furthermore, during winter your toes and fingers may start swelling due to poor blood circulation. This is called chilblain, which is extremely painful and causes discomfort. So make sure your feet and hands are covered and warm, with thermal socks and gloves.
2. Stay Hydrated
During winter, you might not feel as thirsty as you would during the hot, scorching summer. But you can get just as easily dehydrated, which brings a slew of other problems with it. As the surroundings as cold, your body is utilizing more energy and bodily resources (including water) to maintain body temperature.
Your body essentially requires more water in a cold climate, so be consciously aware of when and how much water or fluids you have been consuming. Since the climate is cold, you can opt for various warm beverages like teas, hot chocolate, milk, and soups. This will not be nourishing but also keep you hydrated and internally provide warmth.
3. Get Your Flu Shot
As the winter season rolls around so does the flu season. So it is best to get your flu shots as a precautionary measure. In fact, the Center for Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) strongly advises expecting mothers (6 months and above) to get the necessary flu shots before the winter sets in.
Taking the necessary flu shots, during such a crucial time of your life, reduces the chances of falling sick due to influenza or other viral infections that can affect the baby. The vaccinations can help you avoid serious complications that may occur from flu, and helps keep both the expecting mothers and babies safe.
4. Exercise Regularly
The cold may make you feel lazy and you would want to snuggle in your blankets all day. But not partaking in regular physical activity may worsen pregnancy symptoms like joint pain and swollen feet, and even contribute to unexpected weight gain.
While it might get difficult to step out of the house to indulge in some exercise because it’s cold, doing some basic but effective workouts indoors can help just as well. Indoor exercises can be a great substitute and can help lower pregnancy symptoms like fatigue and back aches. You can indulge in low-intensity exercises like brisk walking, prenatal yoga, or other gentle exercises that will not necessarily put a strain on your body.
5. Have A Nutritious Diet
A nutritious diet doesn’t even require explaining and must be a part of every expecting mother’s daily routine. But during winter, our body expends more energy to maintain its normal body temperature so that our internal systems function optimally. Hence, it is crucial for everyone, especially pregnant women, to have a healthy balanced diet with enough carbs to provide the body with glucose (energy).
Also, since the body is susceptible to the common cold and flu during this time of the year, adding fruits and veggies that help boost immunity and have anti-inflammatory properties to your diet is essential. Foods like berries, kiwis, bell peppers, and dry fruits are great options. Also, adding spices like ginger, garlic, and turmeric to your diet can be quite beneficial since they help strengthen the immune system.
6. Wash Your Hands Regularly
Pregnancy has every mother worried and become a little of a germaphobe with the good intention of not falling sick. And with an increased risk of viral infections in the winter, some precautionary steps need to be taken like hand washing. Washing your hands at regular intervals throughout the day, especially after you come home from an errand or so, will help reduce the risk of falling sick.
If you’re confused about when to wash your hands and when not to, it’s best to wash them after completing any chore and before your meals. It goes without saying that you have to wash your hands also after coming in contact with anyone from outside. Also, remember to wash your hands after every bathroom break and before going to bed. This might seem a bit excessive but your and your baby's health are top priorities and such precautions need to be taken.
7. Moisturize Your Skin
Your body goes through massive changes throughout your pregnancy, especially your skin. The skin tends to become dry during pregnancy and more so in the winter. The cold and dry climate steals away the moisture from your skin and leaves it feeling lifeless. The dry skin then becomes flaky and itchy and requires some special attention during the winter months.
The best way to go about it is to opt for warm water baths, not hot water baths, no matter how tempting they may be. After your bath, immediately moisturize your skin. You can either use your regular body lotion or opt for body oils that help with stretch marks as well. Make sure to apply generous amounts of lotion on your elbows, hands, belly, and feet as the skin there tends to feel dry quickly. You are what you eat so also make sure you’re consuming food like sunflower, flax, chia seeds, and avocados to nourish your skin from within.
8. Keep Up With Your Doctor Appointments
This needs no explaining as doctor appointments are key to any and every pregnancy. Your doctor appointments help gauge how your pregnancy is progressing and maintain optimum health throughout the journey.
Ensure you keep up with your doctor visits and all the necessary prenatal care. Getting regular check-ups from the gynecologist, especially during the first trimester is crucial. To protect yourself from the bone-chilling cold outdoors, make sure you’re carrying body warmers to keep yourself comfortable during doctor visits.
Pregnancy during the winter may seem slightly tedious. But with the right measures and precautions, you don’t have to worry yourself too much. The holiday season is a great time to spend time with your family and loved ones, and also to indulge in some extra self-pampering! Simply remember to eat healthy, sleep well, stay hydrated, and exercise regularly.
Does Cold Weather Affect Pregnancy?
Cold winters can affect your pregnancy when not enough measures are taken to maintain your normal body temperature. You should layer enough so you’re not putting a toll on your body to fight to maintain comfortable body heat. Only extreme conditions of the external cold could stress your body.
Is It Better To Be Pregnant In The Winter Or Summer?
The truth is everyone has different opinions about what’s the best season for pregnancy and it all boils down to your personal preference and where you stay. Winters could be better if you can’t stand the summer heat. On the other hand, you might prefer summers if you don’t want to deal with winter health problems like sore throat, body aches, or other health ailments.
What Should A Pregnant Woman Wear In Winter?
It’s best to layer up during the winter months. Splurge on long coats, sweaters, jumpers, thick scarves, woolen socks, and maternity leggings for the winter.
What Should You Not Wear When Pregnant?
Avoid any clothes that are excessively tight. Tight clothes restrict blood circulation, especially towards the womb, and can inhibit your movements. It can also cause rashes and chaffing due to the excessive friction between the cloth and your skin.