How to Survive Winter While Pregnant

Try light indoor exercises like yoga to stay active during your winter pregnancy.

Different seasons bring new pregnancy risk concerns for women. This is as true for winter as it is for any other time of year; during these cold months, you’ll brave icy sidewalks, bitter winds and snow piles that threaten to keep you indoors indefinitely.

Being pregnant during the winter will come with its own challenges, but it’ll also come with some perks. Here’s what you can expect from a cold-weather pregnancy and how to prepare yourself:

Stay warm

One of the perks of being pregnant during the coldest months of the year is the fact that your growing belly is a heater in itself. Your internal thermostat has just been cranked up, and you’ll likely be feeling toasty, even in chilly rooms.

Layer your clothes for maximum comfort during the winter.Stock up on sweaters and other warm layers for your winter pregnancy.

However, that doesn’t mean you won’t have to dress for the weather. Invest in a maternity winter coat. Even though it’s outerwear you’ll only use for a few months, it’s well worth it. Additionally, layer up on sweaters, scarves and hats.

Prepare for ice

Everyone who has dealt with winter weather has taken at least one tumble on an icy sidewalk. But with baby on board, you’ll want to reduce the risks of a slippery spill. Skip the fancy footwear and opt for waterproof boots with good traction instead.

Boost your immune system

One year-round pregnancy risk relates to the fact that women’s immune system strength tends to drop during these nine months. It’s especially important to stay healthy during cold and flu season. Be sure to get a flu vaccination to ward off illness. Parents suggested getting this during the second or third trimester, because this is the time when your immune system will be at its weakest.

Be proactive about your health in other ways, too. Eat healthy and avoid too much junk food. Additionally, be sure to wash your hands frequently, and carry hand sanitizer just in case.

Keep hydrated

While you might associate dehydration with the dog days of summer, it’s actually a wintertime pregnancy risk, too. The air is colder, which also means dryer. Make sure you’re drinking enough water to stay healthy. Mix it up and enjoy a seasonal refreshment by testing new herbal teas, The Bump suggested. Just be sure to inquire about any new ingredients with your doctor first.

Stay active

When the weather outside is frightful, it’s tempting to stay inside, curled up in your favorite blanket. However, it’s typically a good idea to stay active and moving during your pregnancy. Go for walks or try some light exercises such as yoga. Or, start preparing your home for baby’s arrival: paint the nursery, set up the crib or put safety guards on all your outlets.

But don’t go downhill skiing

While staying active is important during the winter, there are some things to keep in mind. Don’t try to shovel or scoop snow, as this can cause strain to your back. Also, many winter sports have a certain level of intensity that isn’t ideal for pregnant women. Avoid sports like downhill skiing, snowboarding, hockey and sledding this season. Other fun winter activities like cross-country skiing or snowshoeing are perfectly fine to engage in though, according to Dr. Marjorie Greenfield, author of The Working Woman’s Pregnancy Book.

Gina Russell is a lover of Thai food, feminist prose, and music of the indie rock persuasion. When she’s not writing or reading up on health and education, she’s drinking coffee or binge watching “The Office.”