Pregnancy and you blog

Winter pregnancy tips

By Julie A. Lamppa, C.N.M., R.N. January 17, 2016

For me, the winter months mean watching "Elf," "Christmas Vacation," and hockey. For others, it's a time for strapping on skis or heading south for the sun. Whatever your usual winter activities, they might need a change up if you are pregnant.

There are pros and cons to carrying a pregnancy between November and March. Your natural pregnancy heater keeps you toasty warm, minimizing electric bills and restrictive layers of clothing. This may be the first and only time you and your partner agree on home or car temperatures! In addition, maternity leave over the holidays isn't too shabby.

On the flip side, dry and itchy skin can be a total bummer. Remedies include moisturizers, wearing loose clothing (cotton is ideal), oatmeal baths, and avoiding getting overheated. Although irritating, itching is rarely a concern in pregnancy. Contact your health care provider, however, if the itching is persistent or severe.

For those of you living in areas graced with ice and snow, sturdy foot wear is a must! Slips and falls are common during the winter and pregnant women, who have an altered center of gravity, are especially at risk. If you take a tumble and you're worried about your baby, see your health care provider. He or she may run tests to make sure everything is OK.

It's also safest to avoid activities that pose a high risk of injury. Place plans for skiing, hockey and snowboarding on hold until the next year.

With the potential for snow storms, plan ahead if you think labor is starting, especially if you live far from the hospital. Don't labor at home for as long as you would if the weather was warm and sunny. Consider getting a hotel room near the hospital for those hours of early labor if it's not quite time for admission.

The cold and snow can bring some challenges, but you can’t live in a cocoon. Think of those pregnant women who will be sitting in front of a fan in the sweltering heat of July and August, with every possible stitch of clothing peeled off. So put on your boots, grab some hot cocoa, and enjoy watching those snowflakes fall.

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Jan. 17, 2016