By now, you probably know the drill about staying safe during pregnancy. No blue cheese. No tipples. And no smoking. But what about surviving those inclement temperatures, or battling cold and flu season? In true Games of Thrones fashion, winter is here and this means following some important ground rules. With these in place, you can very easily survive and thrive with a winter pregnancy. Wrap up, grab a warm beverage and get ready to take note!
Use a humidifier
When temperatures plummet outside, it can be tempting to crank up the thermostat and get cosy indoors. Sure, this is lovely for a while – that is, until your skin becomes parched, your peepers feel dehydrated and your nose starts to bleed. It’s no secret that blasting the central heating dries the air in your house, leading to all sorts of unpleasantness. The solution? Use a humidifier to establish some equilibrium. Opening a window can help achieve a balanced temperature, too.
This may be a well-worn, hackneyed piece of advice, but we’ll say it once again for good measure: drink up! Besides keeping pretty much every bodily function in check, staying hydrated is especially important in pregnancy, thanks to it supporting the maintenance of amniotic fluid. While the biting cold can suppress your thirst, this isn’t an excuse not to drink those vitally important 8-10 glasses every day. If you’re not a natural H20 guzzler, download an App to remind you to drink. You could even add sliced citrus fruits, berries or mint to tantalize your taste buds and encourage you to drink more.
Move your body
Let’s be real here: no one wants to go running in the ice and snow (well, a small percentage of you might – and if so, we salute you!). That said, exercising is still crucial during pregnancy – it’s food for your mood and keeps your weight in check. Ultimately, it comes down to finding a happy medium – and often, this means working out indoors. Quick wins include joining your local gym, using a pool, or investing in a yoga matt and practising some asanas from the comfort of your own home.
The cold weather calls for getting seriously snuggly in cosy loungewear – perfect for when it’s too cold to brave the outdoors. Comfort is at the heart of surviving and thriving a winter pregnancy. All you need is a couple of key pieces to keep you warm and toasty (ahem, ahem: our super soft, 100% cotton nursing pyjamas will do the job nicely!). Oh, and when you do decide to venture outside, don’t forget your gloves, hat, and scarfs. It could even be wise to layer up with thermals, too.
Never underestimate the power of a good ol’bottle of moisturiser in the winter months. Skin can already be dry and lacklustre at times during pregnancy – and the double whammy of freezing temperatures and central heating may only exacerbate this. Though the idea of plunging into a hot bath sounds inviting, it’s bad news for your parched skin, so stick to a lukewarm temperature (sorry!). After bathing, nourish your skin with lashings of moisturiser, paying close attention to elbows, belly, hands, and chest. This is a brilliant act of self-care, too – your body will definitely appreciate it. Top tip: always carry a little pot of moisturiser with you wherever you go, ready for when the cold takes its toll on exposed on hands and lips!
Stay inside on truly freezing days
When artic temperatures hit, you have permission to hibernate indoors. Trudging through snow, ice and slush won’t only knacker your feet (in addition to the pain they already feel), but it could also be hazardous. The last thing you want to do is fall over with a little bean in your belly. Use these ice-cold days as an opportunity to focus on yourself. If you’re still at work, you may want to request working remotely. Commute + snow + baby in your stomach = one very tired mum-to-be!
Eat a well-balanced diet
No winter survival guide would be complete without a mention of nutrition. Hands down, this is one of the most powerful weapons you have in your arsenal at this chilly time of year. Pack your diet with plenty of fresh veggies, fruits, wholefoods, lean meats, nuts, and seeds. Set yourself a goal of ‘eating the rainbow’ – pile your plate with as many different colours as possible (natural colours, of course – we’re not talking about those you’d find in a pack of Smarties!). Try to up your intake of vitamin C, too – a potent antioxidant that works wonders at supporting immunity. To supercharge your levels of this immune-boosting nutrient, eat more apples, lemons, broccoli, and grapefruits.