Pregnant during the winter months? As your belly grows and needs change, find ways to adjust to the season with our best winter pregnancy survival tips!
I remember hearing stories of summer pregnancies…how unbearably hot and uncomfortable it was for many expecting moms. I couldn’t fathom dealing with the summer heat with a growing belly and hormone fluctuations! How lucky I felt to not have to experience that.
But little did I know, I would be dealing with my own set of challenges as a first-time mom pregnant in the winter.
The Biggest Challenge of a Winter Pregnancy
My boys were all spring newborns, so I experienced three winter pregnancies around my second and third trimesters. And unlike what I thought, the worst part of winter wasn’t just trudging a big belly through the freezing cold snow.
It was much more about trying to avoid the germs and viruses that you come into contact with while stuck indoors or around crowded spaces. These can compromise your health big time during pregnancy.
And then, what are you to do if you catch the flu or a bug during pregnancy??
I wish I didn’t have any experience in this area…but I definitely got hit hard one year, despite my best efforts to avoid it. I wish I had prepared a little better.
Below I’ll share some of the best winter pregnancy tips to help you survive the season. From staying healthy and preventing sicknesses…to staying warm and finding comfort with a growing belly.
Winter Pregnancy Tips
As a pregnant woman, preventing sicknesses will be a priority during peak flu/cold season to keep both yourself and growing baby well. The best thing you can do besides avoiding sick people is simple: wash hands frequently, especially before mealtimes or touching your face.
Opt for a natural handwash free of perfumes or toxic chemicals like this Meyer’s brand or one that comes infused with nourishing ingredients and is also pregnancy-friendly!
Get a flu shot
Children, the elderly and pregnant women are one of the more susceptible groups that need to be extra cautious to avoid illnesses. Get your flu shot early — usually in your second trimester when you are feeling best to prevent contracting as many strains of the flu as possible.
If you do catch something, be sure to call your doctor ASAP to know what medications are safe during pregnancy. You don’t want to risk a little cold turning into something much bigger.
I got the flu with my second baby, while I was visiting family. But instead of making my way to the ER like my doctor recommended I decided to rest in bed because trying to figure out locations/doctors while away from home was a bit overwhelming.
That was NOT my smartest move…as the recovery process took a while and things could have gotten dangerous. Remember to prioritize your pregnancy self-care by always having your vitals checked as dehydration while sick is a big risk.
Staying healthy during your winter pregnancy doesn’t have to be super hard. As long as you’re taking care of those basic self-care areas you’re already ahead of the game.
Start with eating a balanced diet — fruits, vegetables, and proteins really are that important this time of year. You want to ensure you have plenty of antioxidants and Vitamin C to be at your very best to fight off infections.
If you are still battling morning sickness, it may be more of a challenge but try to add 1 or 2 nutritious elements to each meal to keep yourself on the right track.
Hydration is key throughout your ENTIRE pregnancy. That’s just the truth. With a winter pregnancy, that still remains the same…especially because the dry air indoors will contribute to dry skin, bloody noses and dehydration.
If you forget to drink, grab one of these perfect pregnancy bottles you can carry with you everywhere you go and refill as needed. Plus, it helps you keep track of how much more you need to drink.
And again, if morning sickness is still an issue, grab a water bottle that you can infuse with your favorite fruit flavor (lemon was my go-to nausea relief!)
Note: While in the shower, choose an organic pregnancy-safe body wash that will keep your skin hydrated.
Also remember to moisturize throughout the day — after showering and washing hands especially to prevent dry, cracking skin. Don’t forget your lips too — I remember dealing with cracked, bleeding lips throughout my winter pregnancies and it was NOT comfortable at all. Aquaphor was definitely my go-to, but I’d recommend using it as a preventative first, as to avoid more issues.
Find Winter Maternity Clothes
I wrote a post a few years ago talking about the one maternity piece I needed more than anything…and I still feel the same to this day. But there are a few more maternity clothes that a mom-to-be really should have handy (whether borrowed or brand new) to feel comfortable in winter.
- Cardigans or Ponchos
- Layered Tops – Because you retain heat during pregnancy, adding layers lets you have a little breathing room, to adjust as needed.
- Maternity Coat – You can buy extra-large to save (like I did with my first) but know it comes with a few cons.
- You’ll have A LOT of air coming in from the bottom
- It’ll make you look bigger than you actually are (if you are concerned about that)
More Winter Pregnancy Safety Tips
I wanted to throw out a few more winter pregnancy tips to keep mom-to-be prepared to deal with all that comes with the colder weather.
Winter Maternity Shoes
It’s no doubt many people can take a fall with the slippery conditions out there. So when you’re pregnant in winter, investing in some safe footwear is something you definitely need to think about. These winter boots are a great affordable option for expecting moms — comfortable for anyone dealing with swollen feet but also made of durable rubber soles to prevent slips.
For indoor shoes, try the Sketchers brand (I don’t care what anyone says about how they look, I lived in mine for most of my pregnancy). So comfy!!
And for a more relaxed look, please stock up on non-slip socks — any brand really, but I loved how warm these non-slip socks were — yes, they are a MUST!!! I say this as a mom who slipped down a whole flight of stairs during my third pregnancy wearing my everyday socks. Not a risk you want to take!
Winter Activities to Avoid During Pregnancy
Even if you were an avid sports fan before, winter is not the best time to try going all in — skiing, skating, sledding are all winter activities that you may want to steer clear of. Again, it’s just another major risk, best to avoid for this season in life.
Please, please also avoid lifting and taking part in any strenuous work during pregnancy (besides labor of course!). Shoveling snow, moving furniture or rolling down heavy trash cans should not be done by mom-to-be!
Finally, avoid hot tubs/saunas — these are things that come up for many women, as snowy weather sometimes means traveling to ski resorts or staying warm in the cold. But it’s another major risk because of the high internal temperature changes it causes your pregnancy body to experience — not recommended by doctors.
Avoid the Winter Blues
I wanted to end this post, by touching on the seasonal depression that is common for many people in the winter months. With what feels like shorter days and longer nights, with less sun exposure, it’s natural to feel sad.
Because of raging hormones, pregnant women can be even more vulnerable. Keep this in mind if you have a winter pregnancy, by taking steps to avoid it.
- Get outdoors — even for a quick walk. The fresh air can do wonders.
- Change of scenery. Being stuck indoors because of bad weather is no fun. When possible, change things up a bit by visiting a neighbor, local shop or
- Listen to upbeat music that has very therapeutic powers.
- Reach out to a friend. Make plans to get together — you’ll have something on the calendar to look forward to. You can even just go the old-fashion way with a good old phone call which can do wonders for your spirit.
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Ana, a mom to three rambunctious little boys, has supported thousands of women throughout their pregnancy and motherhood journey since 2012 as a prenatal and postpartum educator at MommysBundle.com.