For most of us autumn and winter are challenging seasons since we have to deal with the rainy and snowy weather, overcome seasonal depression and be ready to resist numerous illnesses. But what should you do if you are pregnant during the fall-winter season?
Surely, this pregnancy will bring you certain discomfort, though it isn’t going to be a tough one. Just keep in mind that baby expectation in the cold season has its peculiarities and requires extra attention and special care about your health.
I still remember my endless happiness when I found out I was in the family way. But soon I realized I would have to deal with winter pregnancy and that fact made me really anxious. I’ve heard lots of terrible stories from my friends and other pregnant women who had experienced all the bad sides of the cold season: decreased immune system, low temperatures, dangerous road conditions and lack of vitamins.
Fortunately, I found one of the best doctors in my city who dispelled my worries and helped me to enjoy every minute of my pregnancy. With the help of her useful recommendations I’ve managed to stay safe and keep away from illnesses during those cold months, protecting the precious life that was growing inside me. So, if you are going to give birth to your baby in winter, I advise you to pay attention to the following tips.
1. Stick to a healthy diet
It is extremely important for every pregnant woman to keep to a healthy and balanced diet in autumn and winter when we all suffer from vitamin deficiency. The best way to eat properly and supply your body with vitamins and minerals is to include various vegetables, fruits, whole grains and low calorie foods into your eating plan. However, bear in mind you should avoid some of them if you have allergies. That’s why it would be better to consult your doctor.
Today there is a wide range of fruits and veggies that are sold all year round, so it won’t be a problem for you to buy those you like and provide your body and fetus with the necessary nutrients. When I was pregnant I planned thoroughly my daily menu, trying to keep a balance of proteins and carbohydrates and steer away from sweet products. Seafood, fish, vegetable soups and puree, fruit salads and whole grain biscuits were my favorite options.
2. Keep warm
Considering the fact that cold is very dangerous to fetal health, it is essential for pregnant women to keep warm and comfortable on cold winter days. I preferred to stay at home when the temperature was dropping far below zero. However, if you still decide to go outside in the cold weather, you should certainly wear warm maternity clothes to prevent undesirable illnesses like flu that might have the negative impact on the fetus.
Make sure you constantly heat your room, keeping the temperature level not higher than 21-24 degrees, otherwise, it will lead to overheating. Choosing a good coat is an integral part of your preparation to cold seasons, especially if you are pregnant. It was very difficult for me to find the one that would fit my big belly without overwhelming my upper body and arms.
Eventually I bought a coat that suited me perfectly well. I paid a big sum of money, but that was worth it. In order to feel warmer and more comfortable I used to wear at least one light layer underneath my loose warm sweater. When you go out don’t forget to grab cozy mittens and a hat.
3. Walk carefully on the slippery ground
Even now, when I’m not pregnant, slippery sidewalks in winter are a real torture to me. While walking to work or somewhere else in the slush and ice, I’m freaked out about falling down and sustaining an injury. And what about pregnant women, whose center of gravity is changed and who are more prone to falling?
If you have a bulging belly, it would be wise to avoid strolling in the snow. In case it is necessarily for you, remember that you should walk carefully and slowly.
Avoid heavy bags as they will only increase your risk of falling on the ice. Do you care much about your style and tend to wear high heels?
I should reassure you that your pregnancy is not the most suitable time for them. A good pair of flat winter boots was the perfect solution for me.
Not only did they keep my feet warm and dry, but they also helped me stay safe on the slippery ground and stairs. Another advantage of such boots is their reasonable price.
4. Protect yourself from germs
Doctors say that a pregnant woman’s immune system is weaker and more susceptible to viruses that might cause numerous diseases during the fall-winter season. Throughout the day you do plenty of different things and your hands often contact with the door knobs, ATM machines and computer keyboards, where germs are concentrated most of all.
Therefore, you have to get into the habit of washing your hands more frequently to ward off germs and keep your immunity protected. Whenever I planned to visit public places while being pregnant I always took wet napkins with me for disinfecting my hands if necessary.
5. Avoid public places
Autumn and winter are the prime time for infectious virus diseases like influenza, varicella, rubella infection, mumps and others that can affect the development of the fetus. Thus, it is highly recommended for women who are pregnant in the cold season to avoid visiting shopping centers, cinemas, theatres and other public places with lots of people who can be sick and infect them.
My doctor advised me on getting influenza vaccine when I expected my baby and I should admit it was an effective way to prevent the illness and its severe consequences. If it happened so that you got sick, don’t panic and take safe medicine under the guidance of your doctor.
6. Don’t forget about physical exercise
Constant physical exercises are essential for pregnant women and that is the basic rule you should stick to. The cold weather in autumn and winter is not the reason for you to stop the movement and lead a sedentary lifestyle.
There are some indoor activities you can do daily instead of your regular walks outside or attending the gym when it is raining or snowing. For instance, it will be a splendid idea to buy a workout video and exercise in your living-room.
Another way to stay active during your pregnancy is to get on the stationary bike or treadmill. Although this option is rather costly, but it will be beneficial for you.
By exercising at home you’ll be able to keep fit, enhance your immunity and get more energy. Just pay attention to the amount of exercise you do as overworking can be harmful to you. and make sure you consult your doctor before doing any exercise.
7. Drink enough water
We used to drink plenty of water in summer when it is hot and our body is dehydrated. Unfortunately, we often forget about the recommended 7-8 glasses of water a day in winter. It has been proven that drinking extra water can help mothers-to-be maintain a healthy pregnancy.
Why do we need to stay hydrated during the cold seasons? First of all, winter air may be dry and have a negative influence on your health.
Moreover, when you go into the buildings with excessive heat, you might get sweaty and overheated. Accordingly, by drinking enough water you’ll manage to fight headaches, dry skin and decrease the risk of preterm labor.
In spite of all your fears about winter pregnancy, you can be sure it has many advantages. For example, you have a fantastic opportunity to enjoy more relaxed rhythm of life and focus on your physical and mental well-being as well. All these tips helped me to survive through my cold-weather pregnancy and avoid undesirable problems.
After several months of discomfort I could finally relish lovely spring weather with my little one. That was the greatest reward for me!
What did you do to stay healthy and safe during your fall-winter pregnancy?