The Secrets to Surviving a Winter Pregnancy
The holidays are over but for many people, winter is still in full swing.
If you live in a colder climate, staying warm and comfortable during pregnancy can be tough. From dry skin to colds and flus, pregnancy can make winter even more unbearable.
This guide is jam-packed with tips to make surviving winter pregnant a breeze.
Pregnancy Winter Outfits
The good news is that pregnancy will often make you warmer. Thanks to extra blood flow, your metabolism gets a boost, creating more body heat. On average, a pregnant woman’s core body temperature will rise about a degree to 37.8°C.
While you still have to bear the same cold temperatures as everyone else, you may be feeling a little warmer this year. If you’re still feeling chilly, we have a few wardrobe tips to warm you up!
Layers. If buying a whole new set of maternity clothes just for one season seems too expensive, invest in a few layering pieces. For example, knitted cardigans and puffy vests can be mixed and matched with your regular shirts. If you already have a few cardigans in your closet, try them on. Many times, they will still fit with the addition of a belt. If your hormones are causing hot and cold flashes, layers are a great solution.
Invest in large-fitted shirts and sweaters. In the winter, most people switch from form-fitted shirts to loose and large-fitted attire. Depending on how much weight you have gained during pregnancy, you may be able to use the same shirts next year. For example, a knitted shirt or sweater may have a tighter fit during pregnancy. But you can wear it next year with a looser fit. Both fits are fashionable for winter-wear.
Winter coat. If you’re pregnant and live in a cold climate, buying a maternity winter coat is likely an unnegotiable expense. If you can’t fit into your regular coat, you’re left with little choice but to get a new one. Here are a few tips to make it cheaper.
- Check out a thrift store for maternity jackets. Even if you don’t find the most stylish option, remember: You only need it for one season.
- Hit up recently pregnant friends or family members. They may have a jacket you can borrow for a few months.
- Check out your local online classifieds. If there is a Facebook group for mothers in your city, make a post about looking for a used winter maternity coat.
- Search for used coats on sites like eBay, com or Swap.com.
Skip the fancy footwear. With snowy and icy sidewalks, it’s best to stay away from heeled booties and stilettos. This year you have the added worry of falling and hurting not only yourself, but the baby, too! If you choose to wear heeled shoes, make sure they have some type of traction or grip. Investing in high-quality slip-on winter boots will prevent slipping, keep you warm and you’ll fit into them next year too!
Scarfs. If you’re feeling a little bogged down by all the winter wear, you can always style up an outfit with accessories. Winter is the perfect time to buy a few cheap scarfs to make any outfit pop. Beautiful hats are another way to look put-together while staying warm.
Warm tights: Shop for thick leggings or tights that are lined with cotton. These will keep you warm paired with a sweater dress, long shirt or oversized knitted sweater.
Pregnant Winter Exercise
You probably already know that moderate exercise during pregnancy is okay and even recommend. Research has shown that exercise may help prevent gestational diabetes and decrease chances of having a baby with a larger-than-average birth weight. It may also make your baby’s heart healthier. Read about more benefits here.
With a giant baby belly, you may have switched the intense gym workouts for brisk walks or jogs. However, with the cold weather, you’re probably feeling less inclined to get outdoor exercise. Luckily, you can still get exercise indoors. Here are a few ideas:
- Follow these 5 exercises. They’re safe every trimester.
- Find an indoor pool in your city.
- Attend a prenatal yoga class. If there aren’t any in your area, find free or paid classes online. Our guide on pregnancy yoga is packed full of tips.
- Do a pilates workout. Find free classes on YouTube.
- Do a few squats and pelvic tilts. These moves have other benefits, too! Squatting can help open the pelvis and pelvic tilts can help stop back pain.
- Download a pregnancy exercise app, such as Oh Baby! Pregnancy Exercise.
- As with any exercise program, contact your doctor to make sure it’s safe. If you have a high-risk pregnancy, your doctor may recommend against physical activity.
Avoid Hot Tubs & Saunas
In the cold weather, it can be tempting to warm up in a hot tub or sauna. Unfortunately, experts recommended against them. If you really need to, limit your exposure to only 10 minutes. But avoiding them altogether is safest, particularly in the first weeks of pregnancy.
What makes them dangerous? Hot tubs and saunas can raise your body temperature too much, potentially causing safety issues. Studies have shown that mothers with a higher temperature before 7 weeks have an increased risk of having a baby with neural tube defects. Other studies show that a heightened temperature can increase the risk of a miscarriage. While the results aren’t conclusive, it’s better to be cautious. You’re also more likely to get dizzy from hot temperatures when pregnant.
When you’re having a hot bath or shower, try to only spend 10 or 15 minutes in the water.
Looking for safe ways to warm up?
- Make a cup of hot chocolate or herbal tea
- Have your partner give you a warm oil massage
- Instead of maternity clothing, wear a super comfy and fluffy robe around the house. Pair it with warm slippers.
Avoid Colds and Flus
Winter is the season of colds and flus! Germs are everywhere and now that you’re pregnant, it’s even more important to avoid them. Although the common cold usually does not pose a dangerous threat to your baby, they can be annoying to deal with during pregnancy. On top of dealing with morning sickness and fatigue, you don’t want to be dealing with a runny nose and sore throat. It can also be complicated figuring out which cold medications are safe to take when expecting. The best option is to not get sick at all. Here are a few tips to get through winter without getting sick:
- Make washing your hands a habit. Wash them after using the washroom, touching surfaces or after being around someone who is sick.
- Avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth to prevent germs from entering your body.
- If someone is visibly sick, exit the room or avoid contact when possible.
- If someone in your home is sick, don’t share hand towels, cutlery or plates. Ask them to throw out their dirty tissues immediately.
- Frequently clean the surfaces in your house. Keeping your phone screen clean and germ-free is also a good idea.
- If all else fails, taking a vitamin C supplement every day can make a cold shorter and less intense.
Take Care of Your Skin
As the weather gets colder, you may notice your pregnancy glow fading into dry skin. Dry skin can get itchy and may cause acne for some women, especially during pregnancy. Here’s how to prevent it:
- Use a moisturizer. Especially when you’re leaving the house, protect your skin from winter’s drying effects. If you’re worried that a moisturizer will cause acne, choose a sensitive-skin, oil-free brand.
- Use an SPF. Sunblock isn’t just for the beach. In the winter, the sun reflects off the snow. On top of this, pregnancy skin is usually more sensitive to sun.
- Avoid steaming hot baths or showers. These will dry out your skin more.
- Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water and herbal teas.
Too Cold to Leave the House?
On the really frigid days, you may feel too cold and fatigued to even leave the house! There are still plenty of activities and errands you can do inside.
- If you live in a major city, there are many services that deliver groceries. To grocery shop, all you need to do is go online and answer your door!
- Instead of going out to shopping centres, shop online for baby items.
- Need some entertainment but it’s too cold to go to the movie theatre? Get a Netflix subscription.
- Need maternity clothing items? Order them online.
- Need something quick? Like the next day? Amazon Prime will be your new best friend.
How are you keeping warm this winter? Comment below! If you have any pregnant friends that live in a cold climate, make sure to share this article with them, too!
P.S. Staying inside this winter will be a lot more interesting with a fetal doppler. These handheld devices allow you to listen to your baby’s heartbeat at home—similar to an ultrasound!