Winter Pregnancy Guide – 15 Precautions to Stay Safe & Healthy - Part 1
After scorching heat and monsoon, winter brings in a breath of fresh air. However, like any other season, the harsh winter weather also presents its fair share of challenges for expecting moms. Whether it's dehydration, dry, itchy skin, nosebleeds, cold, cough, fever, or other viral infections, you'll need to take some additional precautions during winter pregnancy.
Sailing through frigid winter months can be daunting, but there's plenty you can do to amp up your immunity and maintain good health.
In this article, we are covering the top 15 tips for a safe and healthy winter pregnancy.
Common Winter Pregnancy Questions
- How should I dress for winter while pregnant?
- What is the most important food(s) to eat while pregnant?
- How do you prevent dehydration in the winter?
- How to stay active during a winter pregnancy?
- How to prevent dry winter skin?
- How to get rid of chilblains during winter pregnancy?
- Should I get a flu shot during pregnancy?
- How to keep your room warm during winter?
- What activities can you do during winter pregnancy?
- How to beat seasonal depression naturally?
- Why is it important to wash your hands?
- How can you prevent slips and falls in winter?
- How can you prevent exposure to pollution?
- What to do when air quality is very unhealthy?
- When should you contact a doctor?
15 Pregnancy Care Tips During Winter Season
1: Winter Maternity Clothes
Winter style is all about coziness, comfort, and warmth. Sweatshirts, hoodies, fleece pyjamas, joggers, Knit dresses, winter coats, and shawls – there are so many options to keep yourself warm and cozy during cold months. For a stylish look, you can wear a hat, scarf, and a pair of gloves.
Also Read: Maternity wear essentials
Maternity winter leggings, maternity jeans, and ribbed knit maternity dress are some staples for the winter pregnancy wardrobe. These winter maternity wear items are versatile, comfortable, and easy to wear again and again.
Another styling tip is layering. During winter, layers are a must. In addition to enhancing your overall look and personality, layering is also a great way to stay warm without having to wear thick maternity coats or sweaters.
So for a casual look, you can go for a basic t-shirt, jeans, maternity sweaters, high boots, scarf, and a hat. And if it gets too cold, you can add a winter coat and gloves.
The best fabric during the winter season is wool, fur, fleece, and rib-knit.
Footwear is very crucial in winter styling. As per Cosmopolitan, platforms; mule; Knee-high boots; and slides are in trend for 2021 and 2022.
Make sure to add accessories like sunglasses, hats, gloves/mittens, socks, and earband.
2: Amp Up Your Nutritional Intake
Pregnancy during winter makes you susceptible to various viral infections, so sticking to a well-balanced nutritious diet is vital to keep your Immune system in top shape. Consumption of a nutrient-rich diet is essential to your baby's well-being as well. Here are some easy ways to boost your nutritional intake:
- Add a variety of fresh fruits to your diet, including Indian gooseberry (Amla), one of the richest sources of vitamin C and also known for promoting a healthy immune system. It also helps in morning sickness, nausea, constipation, and other pregnancy discomforts. As per WebMD, red pepper, green pepper, kiwi, strawberries, oranges, and tomatoes, are good sources of vitamin C. Try to eat whole fruits rather than juices!
- To boost your immunity, include plenty of seasonal and leafy green vegetables, such as lettuce, spinach, fenugreek leaves, bell peppers, green onions, tomatoes, and cauliflower, in your diet.
- Snack on nuts, seeds, or dried fruit to increase your vitamin and calorie intake. Toss some into a salad or healthy pregnancy smoothies. But make sure you eat them in moderation.
- Make probiotics, such as curd, buttermilk, cheese, and other naturally fermented foods, a part of your diet to keep your digestive system functioning well.
- Drink Kesar (a few saffron strands) milk and a healthy homemade soup to stay warm and protected.
- Satiate your pregnancy cravings with winter treats like gajjak, revri, chikki, patti, and laddu. Consume them in moderation as they are high in calories and sugar.
- Add more fiber to your diet in the form of grains, pulses, and cereals.
- Ensure you have different foods from various groups, like dairy, fruits, legumes, etc., in your pregnancy diet.
Fuel your body with all the essential nutrients as your baby gets nourishment from what you eat!
3: Stay Hydrated
The chilly weather often makes everyone avoid or subconsciously forget drinking water, which is not good for women carrying a baby.
Dehydration during pregnancy can cause a host of problems, ranging from lower amniotic fluid levels, preterm labor, light-headedness, and lower breast milk production in new moms.
Also, as the air is dry during the chilly weather, your body needs extra water to keep your skin moisturized from within. Try these tips to stay well-hydrated during winter pregnancy:
- Aim for drinking at least 8-12 glasses (2-3 liters) of water a day. Keep a bottle of water handy and sip water regularly even if you don't feel thirsty. It is also advisable that you drink lukewarm water during winter.
- Limit your intake of caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea, aerated colas, etc. Hot chocolate is a delicious substitute for them.
- Include water-rich vegetables and fruits in your diet, such as oranges, peaches, cucumber, spinach, tomatoes, radishes, and cauliflower.
- You can also substitute water with other beverages such as coconut water, fresh juices, vegetable soups, lemon water, herbal teas, buttermilk, etc.
Remember, clear urine tends to indicate that you're well-hydrated!
4: Stay Physically Active
Although it's pretty natural to feel lazy during cold weather, you still need to be active to beat the winter chill and ease common pregnancy-related discomforts such as backaches, pains, and fatigue. Since it is not always possible to step outside during the cold weather months, indulge in indoor activities to keep you fit and moving, such as:
- Lap swimming (indoor pool)
- Low-impact cardio
- Kegel exercises
- Indoor stationary cycling
Additionally, you can try meditation and breathing exercises to improve your mental health and fight off those winter pregnancy blues. If the weather is clear, you can even go out for walks and get some fresh air. According to NCT, walking and swimming are two good exercises throughout pregnancy. Whether indoor or outdoor, it is always a good idea to check with your doctor before starting a new activity.
5: Take Care of Your Skin
Your skin around the abdomen and breasts stretches during pregnancy, and low humidity coupled with the harsh winter breeze steals away the moisture content, leaving it dry, cracked, and itchy. While you're already drinking adequate fluids to keep your skin hydrated from within, your skin needs extra attention to stay healthy from the outside. Here are some skincare tips during pregnancy for the winter season:
- Use an unscented vitamin- and protein-rich moisturizer twice daily.
- Immediately moisturize your skin after taking a bath to keep it soft, smooth, and supple all day long.
- Combat dry skin with mild soaps.
- Avoid hot showers, saunas, hot tubes, and steam rooms, no matter how tempting they may seem. Instead, use lukewarm water for bathing.
- Use lanolin-based creams to soothe cracked nipples.
- Always carry lotions and balms to protect your skin on the go.
- Don't forget about your lips. Apply lip balm liberally to avoid bleeding and cracking.
- Pregnancy makes your skin more sensitive to the sun, so use a sunblock cream with at least SPF30++.
- Try a milk and yogurt bath. As per HealthLine, it helps in removing dead skin and also hydrates the skin.
Always read the label, and make sure it's safe for pregnant women or confirm with your doctor.
Winters have already started, and since pregnancy makes your body even more sensitive and vulnerable to diseases, you need to take all these necessary precautions. However, surviving a winter pregnancy is not just limited to just dressing in warm layers, increasing your nutritional intake, staying active and well-hydrated, and taking care of your skin. You also need to be aware of many other things to enjoy a safe and healthy pregnancy in winter. Read on Winter Pregnancy Guide Part 2 to learn about them.