If you're pregnant while dealing with the winter weather this year, you've probably noticed there are some new considerations, worries, and frustrations. With a little planning and tricks, you can better weather your winter pregnancy.
Tips for a Winter Pregnancy
Contrary to some of our instincts in winter (ie, to hibernate indoors), it's important to continue spending time outside. Time in nature -- even for 15 minutes -- will help improve your mood and sense of well being. So bundle up, put on some sensible rubber-soled shoes, and head outside. When you come back in, warm up with some hot tea. Linking an enjoyable ritual, like drinking tea, with time spent outdoors can help you accomplish something that feels hard because there's a "reward" at the end.
Even with regular time outside, winter lacks enough sunlight, which greatly reduces the amount of vitamin D you absorb, impacting your body and brain. Vitamin D, which helps regulate your mood, strengthen your bones (by helping absorb calcium), and boosts your immune system and neuromuscular system. Check with your care provider first, but it's usually a good idea to boost your vitamin D in the winter by taking a supplement.
Dreary and cold winter weather can be extra demotivating when it comes to exercising. But forcing yourself to get in regular exercise, even for 15-20 minutes at a time, will help boost your mood, blood flow, energy, and motivation.
Take more precaution to avoid falls by wearing no or low-heeled, non-slip, rubber-soled shoes when walking out and about in the winter snow, sleet, and ice. Walk and move mindfully and slowly, especially when on ice. If you find yourself in a fall, try your best to tuck your head and roll onto your side or back. If you do fall and hit your abdomen, remember that your uterus is strong and designed to keep baby safe. It's always a good idea, however, to call your care provider after a fall.
Pay attention to bad weather conditions warnings when it comes to driving in the winter. Make sure your tires are in good condition with tread that isn't worn down. Wear your seat belt correctly and every time you get in the car. According to the March of Dimes, you should make sure both the lap belt and shoulder belt fit snugly; buckle the lap belt so it sits under your belly and across your hips; position the shoulder belt between your breasts and off to the side of your belly.
With pregnancy comes an impaired immune system, which means you are more susceptible to colds and illness during winter. People tend to get sick more often in winter due to the increased amount of time spent indoors and the fact that viruses live better in colder temperatures. Take proper precaution by frequent hand washing with soap, good nutrition (a large daily doses of fruit and veggies), sanitizing surfaces, getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, regular exercise, getting the flu shot, and avoiding people you know are sick.
With indoor heating and warm layers, you're almost as likely to face dehydration in the winter as your are in summer. Make sure you drink water and other fluids regularly throughout the day during your pregnancy.
Moving in and out of overly cold and overly heated environments can cause rapid and frequent body temperature fluctuations. To cope, wear thin, breathable cotton layers, including a short-sleeved shirt or tank top so you can easily peel off layers and better regulate your temperature.
Skin issues caused by pregnancy and winter weather are a one-two punch. Expect extra itchiness, dryness, and cracking. Find a good lotion, cream, oil, and/or salve that's low on harmful chemicals and apply regularly. Shorter and cooler (ie, not very hot) showers will also help preserve your skin's moisture. Running a humidifier in your bedroom and around the house or your office can also help. The humidifier is also helpful for people more prone to nosebleeds, which can be exacerbated in winter and during pregnancy. You can also rub salve on the inside of your nose to help lubricate and moisturize dry membranes.
TagsWinter weather in pregnancy Winter Pregnancy