7 tips for tackling pregnancy in winter

If you’re not a summer gal, you might be thrilled that you’re growing your babe during the cooler months. You’re not contending with sweat pooling where it shouldn’t (like under your boobs), and you’ve got the ultimate excuse to stay in and lounge to your pregnant-self’s content (“It’s too cold, can’t come out!”). But, pregnancy in winter still has its challenges. Depending on where you live (we’re looking at you, Florida moms!), simply adding a thicker sweater to your life might be enough to get you through those chillier temperatures. But, for others, you might need to make a few changes to keep you (and your babe) safe, warm, and comfy. So, here are seven tips for tackling pregnancy in winter. 

1. Buy a bump-friendly winter coat 

For the budget-conscious amongst us, shelling out for maternity clothes that you’ll only wear for nine months or less might feel a little redundant (and hard on your baby budget). But, mama-to-be, take it from us: during pregnancy a winter coat is a must. Especially if you live somewhere that’s f*cking freezing: you can still feel the cold even though that bowling ball of a baby bump has you feeling warmer than usual. 

Winter pregnancy clothes, especially bump-friendly coats, can be expensive, so shop on Facebook Marketplace or at your local thrift store if preferred. You could also explore a jacket extender as another solution – it’s a sort of zippered panel that attaches to your existing winter coat and adds more fabric to cover your growing belly. 

Try: Seraphine Short 3 in 1 Down Maternity Coat

Source: Seraphine.com

2. Get some crampons (or some sturdy rubber boots)

Your center of gravity changes during pregnancy (amongst other bizarre things that happen to your body while you’re growing a baby). Meaning you’re unstable on your feet at the best of times during those nine months, let alone while trying to navigate slippery ice and snow. Falling over during pregnancy is not recommended (it can cause serious harm to you and your babe), so do yourself a favor and pick up some crampons that attach to your shoes or some rubber boots for extra grip when you’re out and about. They’re a must for your winter pregnancy outfits. 

Try: Kahtoola NANOspikes Traction System

Source: REI.com

3. Avoid shoveling snow

While it seems harmless enough, shoveling snow requires quite a bit of twisting and lifting, which can aggravate lower back pain. Our tip? Leave it to your partner, a family member, or a friend, and kick up your feet in front of the fireplace instead. Consider it practice asking for help, which is invaluable after you’ve had your baby. 

On the topic of other winter activities to avoid, we’re sorry to say you’ll need to skip the hot tub and sauna. While these warm environments might seem all-too-tempting on a chilly winters’ day, they really are quite hot, which can raise your body temperature and lead to overheating and issues like neural tube defects in babies. So pass on these for now, and perhaps have a warm (but not too hot!) bath instead. Tip: if you indulge in a bath, add Epsom salts, which help relieve pregnancy aches and pains.  

Try: Epsoak Epsom Salt

Source: Amazon.com

4. Protect your skin

Winter’s dry, cold air can affect your skin’s barrier. But, combine this with the changes to your body and its hormones during pregnancy, and you might find your skin is irritated by the winter air more than usual. Invest in a thick lip balm and body moisturizer to help manage any sensitivities – just make sure to use them regularly to see the benefits. 

Try: Carmex Classic Lip Balm and Weleda Skin Food Body Butter

Source: Target.com

5. Keep busy (but not too busy)

Winter’s shorter days and drab weather can leave you feeling blue. But, one of the best ways to stave off the winter blues is by keeping busy. Organize a games night with family, head to the cinema with a girlfriend, or try a virtual bake-off with colleagues – these are all fun things to do while pregnant in winter. Heck, you could even decide to embrace all the season has to offer and go snow-shoeing in the woods. Just ensure you still make time to rest and relax – growing a baby is tiring work. 

Try: Cards Against Humanity 

Source: Target.com

6. Stay active and hydrated 

When it’s colder outside, it can be easy to forget to drink water. And it can be so tempting to curl up on the couch with a book rather than work out (no judgment here, lady!). But, keeping active and staying hydrated is vital in pregnancy, no matter what trimester you’re in or when you’re giving birth. Exercise can help with back pain and constipation, encourage shortened labor, and reduce your risk of pregnancy complications like gestational diabetes. Staying hydrated can help prevent serious pregnancy complications like neural tube defects and premature labor. So, find a workout that works for you (even if it’s a gentle at-home pregnancy pilates session) and consider surgically attaching a water bottle to your person (we’re absolutely joking, but you know what we mean: get a good water bottle and carry it with you wherever you go). 

Try: Glo and Hydro Flask Water Bottle

Sources: Glo.com and Amazon.com

7. Take steps to ward off sickness

We all know that winter is cold season. But, thanks to changes in your immune function during pregnancy, you might be more susceptible to catching a cold than usual. UGH! And, to make matters more complicated, some cold medication is off-limits during pregnancy. Double UGH! Washing your hands regularly, getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising can help your defenses against colds. And if you get a cold? Safe remedies include nasal sprays and rinses, some antihistamines (like Claratin), and natural throat lozenges. (But always speak to your doctor before taking anything.) 

Try: NeilMed Sinus Rinse

Source: Amazon.com 

We hope these tips leave you confident to tackle anything winter throws your way. The weather outside might be frightful… but the baby growing in your belly is so, so delightful! (We couldn’t help ourselves.) You’ve got this. Soak up all the hot cocoa, roaring fires, and coziness that comes with these cooler months. Spring and summer (and your baby!) will be here before you know it.

Read next: Good foods to eat while pregnant: A guide to each trimester

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