There are pros and cons to every season when it comes to pregnancy and whilst the cosy, comfortable nights at home on the sofa with your bump are perfectly appealing, there are some additional challenges to being pregnant in winter. Here are some tips for a happy and healthy winter pregnancy.
You might not be getting the luxury of that warming morning coffee, but even when you’re cutting back on your caffeine, it’s still important to drink regularly and keep up your fluids. Staying hydrated during pregnancy is just as important during the winter months as the summer, particularly as you may be exerting yourself and using more physical energy to get around in winter weather conditions. Aim to drink at regular intervals throughout the day, ideally water or water-based fluids, in order to help maintain your energy levels and protect your skin too.
Layer it up
Consider your winter pregnancy wardrobe. Wrapping up warm and protecting yourself from the elements during a winter pregnancy is a really sensible idea, but try and stick to layers rather than thick items or heavy clothing. Continually moving from the freezing temperatures of outdoor settings to heated indoor environments can actually be quite overbearing. Bulky, restrictive garments can actually cause you to feel overheated, light headed or flustered. Instead, you should opt for a number of removeable layers, ideally in accessible and breathable fabrics such as cotton or fleece. When you enter an indoors environment you can then easily remove a layer or two, before popping them on when you head back outside. Remember, most of your body temperature is lost through your head, so don’t forget to pack that bobble hat!
Look after your skin
During pregnancy, hormonal changes can cause your skin to feel dry and flaky; particularly as your skin stretches and adapts to your changing body shape. During the winter months, add in lower temperatures, wind chill and indoor heating, and you may find that your dry skin can become worse or at least more noticeable. Keep a lip gloss or moisture-rich lip salve in your coat pocket and try to slather on some moisturiser on your bump or any problem areas before bed. A moisturising cream enriched with Vitamin E is a great option, helping enhance your skin’s natural elasticity whilst keeping it soft and hydrated.
Wear sensible shoes
If you’re heading out for a winter walk or taking a journey through challenging weather conditions, make sure you wear sensible shoes. The risks of slips, trips and falls are even greater during pregnancy, where you could not only hurt yourself but your unborn baby too. Whilst most minor slips aren’t necessarily cause for concern, a serious fall on ice or snow could be dangerous particularly if you land harshly on your spine or jolt your abdomen. It’s also fair to say that no one wants to be nursing a sprained ankle or wrist at the same time as labor either. To keep safe during your winter pregnancy, ensure your shoes have a strong, solid grip and good traction, or switch to boots when you arrive at your destination. Walk slowly and take your time.
Check the forecast before you head out on any significant journey and in order to keep safe, avoid travelling in bad weather unless it is absolutely essential. If you must travel and the forecast is changeable or likely to turn bad, ensure you have some essentials in your trunk of your car. This emergency stash means that in the event of any breakdown, snowdrift or weather-related incident, you can keep warm, safe and hydrated whilst you wait for assistance.
Good hand hygiene
During the winter months, coughs, colds and viruses tend to circulate more widely and are more likely to spread in indoors, particularly in heated or poorly ventilated areas. Protect yourself by practicing good hand hygiene, washing your hands regularly or using antibacterial hand gels in areas where germs are more likely to spread.
Whilst ice skating, hot tubs and extreme winter sports are off the cards for now, spring is just around the corner, meaning longer, lighter days are not too far away!