What Are The Do's & Don'ts Do in Winter Pregnancy
Created by Ambili S Kartha Updated on Dec 23, 2019
During winter pregnancy, chilly temperature and some other factors may bring some extra challenges for the expecting mother. Moderately chilly climate may be a welcome change for the pregnant woman when compared to scorching summer. This is because pregnant women feel sweaty and overheated, especially during the second and third trimesters. By following some of the practical steps mentioned in this blog, you can stay safe and healthy in winter pregnancy.
Is Cold Weather Good For Pregnancy?
Here are the most important challenges pregnant women face during the winter pregnancy:
Morning Sickness: Winter season is also happened to be the festive season. Most of us like to remain indoor, enjoying different winter cuisine. However, expecting mothers who are in their first trimester may not enjoy this as their sense of smell is heightened, and they hate most of the cooking smells. Heightened smell triggers morning sickness.
Low Birth Weight: Extreme temperature may affect the birth weight of babies. Pregnant women who are exposed to unusually hot or cold weather found to have increased risk for delivering babies with low birth weight, even if the baby is on the term.
Dehydration: Expecting mother tends to drink less water during the winter season. Even though they feel less thirsty during winter, the requirement of the extra water for the body is still there. Moreover, extra water is needed during winters as the dry winter air steels more water from the body.
Infections: The cold winter weather is coupled with common cold, chills, infections, cough, and fever. Even a common cold can cause many discomforts during pregnancy. As the expecting mother can't take any over-the-counter medications for relief, the expectant mother will be more prone to aches and pain associated with infection.
Reduced Physical Activities: Physical activities like walking are a must during pregnancy. Physical activity during pregnancy can help with pregnancy aches and pains, and it can positively influence the labor and delivery as well. However, during winter weather, pregnant women tend to spend more time indoors, resulting in reduced physical activities.
Risk Of Slipping And Falling: As the sidewalks are slippery during the winter season, and pregnant women are more prone to falling the risks of falling increases during the winter season. The balance is affected by the pregnant body; the muscles become more relaxed due to pregnancy hormones. Moreover, the center of gravity will change considerably as the pregnancy progresses. All these factors increase the risk of slipping and falling.
What Should A Pregnant Woman Wear in Winter?
Loading up on layers is always a smart strategy for cold winter temps for a pregnant woman during winter. Unlike a normal body, the pregnant body fails to regulate body temperature effectively. Even though it sounds crazy, the pregnancy hormones may get you chills in your well-heated room or give you hot flashes in the cold room. That is why layers are preferred as winter wear for expecting mothers. You can add or take away a layer as you please. A long stretchy vest that covers your bump should be in your wardrobe.
What Are The Dos & Don'ts During Winter Pregnancy?
From choosing the right kind of garment to the measures taken to increase the immunity, there are several things you can do to take away the toll of winter pregnancy. Here are some do's and don'ts that help pregnant women to sail through the journey of winter pregnancy.
What to Do's While Pregnant
1. Get A Flu Vaccine:
There will be an outbreak of flu during the winter season. The risk of complications from flu is much higher during pregnancy. The flu shot is safe and effective for pregnant women. It not only shields you from flu, but it may also extend some immunity for the first few months for your baby. This is very important because it will protect the baby from possible flu before he is old enough to get his own flu vaccine. [Read - Must-Have Vaccines & Vaccination in Pregnancy & Side-effects]
2. Take Extra Vitamins
Since women are outside less during the colder months, it is important to take an extra dose of calcium and vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential during pregnancy. Vitamin D helps the body to absorb other minerals like calcium.
3. Stay Physically Active
Yes, it is risky to go out on a snowy day for a walk. This doesn't mean you have to stay away from exercise. You can stay physically active by sticking on to some indoor exercises. If you cannot find an instructor, you can depend on prenatal yoga or exercise videos available on the internet.
4. Wash Hand Regularly
Washing your hand frequently will help to keep the germs away. Also, carry hand sanitizer with you and use it frequently when you go out.
5. Stay Well Hydrated
Staying well-hydrated is very important during pregnancy. Even if not feeling thirsty, make sure you drink plenty of water. As the winter air is dry, the body needs more water during winters.
6. Boost Immunity
It is very important to boost your immunity as during winter pregnant woman is more prone to infection. Include lots of vegetables and fruits in your diet. Spinach, broccoli, ginger, garlic, Indian gooseberry, almonds, milk, and yogurt are some of the must add food in your daily menu. [Read - Pregnancy-time Nutrients Foods for Expecting Mothers]
Don'ts Do's While Pregnant
1. Avoid Shoveling
Pregnancy hormones make the joints lose. Also, as mentioned earlier, pregnant women are prone to slipping and falling. Twisting and lifting snow while shoveling can easily pave the way to injuries. Therefore, avoid shoveling during pregnancy.
2. Outdoor Activities
Winter comes with many health issues. As the expecting mother has less immunity, she will easily catch the infections in air. So avoid going to public gatherings. Also, as the ground will be slippery, the risks of slipping and injuries are high.
3. Avoid High Heels Footwear
Avoid wearing high heels, especially during winter. Choose one provides not only warmth and comfort but also provides an excellent grip. For that choose one with rubber soles with lots of bumps and crevices that provide excellent grip on slippery paths and roads.
4. Avoid Salty And Processed Food
Winter days hunger pangs increases. Besides pregnancy, it is the body's defense mechanism to combat the cold and keep you warmer. Stick on to healthy snacks. Avoid too salty and sugary food. Also, avoid processed food items. The blood pressure tends to elevate during winter slightly, and salty food triggers it.
Some Winter Pregnancy FAQ
Question: Does Cold Weather Affect Pregnancy Or Unborn Baby?
Yes. Extreme cold weather may affect the birth weight of babies. Extremely cold weather, especially in the second or third trimester of pregnancy, increase the odds of having a low-birth-weight baby up to 18 to 31 percent.
Question: How Should I Dress For Winter While Pregnant?
The key to staying warm during a winter pregnancy is to dress up in layers as the body temperature is fluctuating. Soft stretchy fabrics are ideal for the base layer. It will keep your bump fully covered. Now simply layer on the top. Invest in long maternity t-shirts or vests or maternity coat. An extra-large cardigan is great for layering too.
Question: What Can I Eat During Winter Pregnancy?
Jaggery is considered as a winter superfood. Jaggery or Gur-based sweets can opt for sweet craving during winter pregnancy. Indian gooseberry, amaranth seeds, ginger, turmeric, fish, milk and milk products, garlic and lots of fruits and vegetables will make the sail of winter pregnancy easier and trouble-free. [Read - What to Eat & What to Avoid During Pregnancy?]