Being pregnant in any season can be tough, but many moms purposely plan their pregnancies over winter because it’s so cozy. And although it is nice to cuddle up inside all winter long, there are quite a few things moms expecting over the cold season really shouldn’t do.
Many mamas find that the weather influences their moods or limits what they’re able to do while super pregnant. Even if they want to get out and do something, there aren’t always lots of options, particularly in frigid climates. Other moms might feel trapped if there’s chilly winter weather swirling, and that can lead to a bit of cabin fever that leaves them wanting to do anything to get out of the house for a while.
No matter how active or inactive a pregnant mama wants to be in winter, she needs to be cautious about how she’s moving around and what’s around her. From sports to everyday tasks, some things are just no-go’s. And sure, summertime might pose the risk of sunburn or dehydration, but there are just as many worrisome elements in winter as any other season.
Here are 20 things pregnant women shouldn’t do in winter, both for their own wellbeing and the health of their babies.
20 Dare To Go Sledding
Sledding is pretty fun, at least until everyone gets all wet and soggy. So many pregnant mamas might think a trek up a small hill to ride down on a sled sounds like a good time. But the thing is, you never really know what’s under the snow, which can cause problems if your sled bumps a rock or runs into something that slows or turns it. Plus, being pregnant, your balance is likely a bit off to begin with, which can cause you to lose control of your toboggan and spin off the designated trail. And at the end of the day, hiking through the snow is no fun, pregnant or not.
19 Tackle The Bunny Slopes
Skiing is another activity that’s a no-no for pregnant moms. Although skiing on more level ground—think cross-country type skiing versus flying down a mountain—isn’t so worrisome, it’s more about the stress it puts on your body. Again, your balance is likely off—especially if you’re far enough along that your belly is big—and your ligaments are also stretched out. Everything is loosening up in preparation of the baby’s delivery, which means your ankles and other joints are at a higher risk of damage if you fall down or even move the wrong way. Besides, would you even be able to get on or off the ski lift with your belly protruding so far?
18 Hop On A Snowboard
And finally, we have the last snow sport that most pregnant mamas shouldn’t think to try while pregnant—snowboarding. Some ladies might still be tempted to snowboard a bit, especially if they’re early on in the pregnancy, but it’s just not a good idea. From getting stuck out in the snow to twisting an ankle, there’s a lot that can go wrong. It’s really not worth it to hop on the ski lift at all, no matter how early on in the pregnancy you are, especially when you could just hang out at the lodge and have hot cocoa anyway.
17 Soak In The Too-Toasty Spa
Anything and everything warm is super attractive in winter, but I’ve got some bad news for you if you thought that soaking in a spa was the way to go. Both spas and saunas are no-no’s for pregnant moms because of the high and potentially unsafe temperatures. Most spas are kept at high temperatures to keep germs at bay, meaning a pregnant mama may be overheating herself and her baby if she’s dipping in. Saunas are the same—a too-high temp can mess with your body’s ability to regulate itself. You could also become dehydrated even if you’re not in the sauna for long.
16 Shovel The Walkway
Let’s be honest, most pregnant ladies aren’t really willing to wield a shovel when there’s snow on the ground outside. But in some cases, it might be a necessity. Here’s a helpful piece of advice though: pay the neighbor kid (or your own kid) to handle the chore instead. Shoveling snow is not only tough on a mama’s body—the whole loose ligament thing again—but it’s also worrisome because you have to bend and twist your back a lot to shovel. And the last thing any mama wants to do during her pregnancy is throw her back out! So put the shovel down and back away slowly—but don’t slip and fall.
15 Stay Out In The Cold Too Long
Getting some fresh air is great for pregnant mamas any time of year. But with winter time, it’s not a good idea to stay outside too long. Depending on your location’s climate, you may be faced with below zero temperatures or snow, and in that case, stepping out the door for a few minutes per day should be enough! If you live somewhere milder, however, you should still consider how the cold air can cause you to get dried out and chapped—stay hydrated and make sure to lotion up to avoid the effects of the dry air and cold wind.
14 Drink Too-Toasty Beverages
Toasty hot cocoa or tea is great in winter, whether you’re pregnant or not. But of course, drinking liquids that are too toasty isn’t good for you or your baby. And as keen as you may be on the thought of sipping some spiced cider, make sure it’s cooled down enough that it won’t scald your esophagus going down. After all, the baby will feel the heat, too, and that may be the perfect recipe for some uncomfortable gymnastics and maybe even heartburn afterward. So wait a few more minutes to slurp your drink, or cool it down with an ice cube or two to be safe.
13 Chug Homemade Eggnog
While most store-bought eggnog isn’t harmful, the homemade kind can pose issues for pregnant mamas. That’s because store-bought eggnog is usually pasteurized, so while it contains raw eggs, they don’t have the bacteria that can be harmful to mamas and their babies. Homemade eggnog, however, can use whatever ingredients the home chef decides to put in! Which means there may be unpasteurized and unsafe eggs (and other stuff!) that isn’t good for you or your little one. If you just can’t pass up the eggnog during the holiday season, try a dairy-free version (it’s egg-free too) or just make sure you buy your own that’s pasteurized.
12 Nosh On The Deli Tray
Another part of winter is all those holiday get-togethers, with tempting trays of snacks and treats. And, while indulging in a bit too much chocolate is a just a rite of passage for pregnant moms (and holiday partygoers of all stripes), there are some items at the buffet that you should pass on. Namely, deli meats are a no-no because they can often pose a risk of giving moms salmonella. But also, when people put food out at holiday parties, they don’t often maintain safe food temperatures or throw out food that’s past its prime. Plus, some people are just rude and touch food items, then put them back. Yuck, and no thank you.
11 Skip The Refreshments Altogether
While there are lots of things pregnant mamas shouldn’t consume in pregnancy—and especially in winter—one thing they shouldn’t do is skip the refreshments altogether. Especially in winter, pregnant mamas need lots of hydration. So while summertime pregnancies usually involve lots of thirst and therefore plenty of thirst quenching, most winter pregos don’t feel that thirsty. That means they may miss their water quota for the day, which, in combination with the cold and dry weather, only means worse states of dehydration. So don’t skip refilling your water glass, even if you’re not exactly feeling thirsty at all times of the day.
10 Cozy Up To Too Much Warmth
Staying warm is, of course, a great idea in winter whether you’re pregnant or not. But one thing that’s not so great is actually overheating yourself and the baby. Things like sitting too close to a fire or sleeping under a heated blanket can cause your body temperature to get out of whack. And although you might feel pleasantly toasty, your body needs to maintain a steady and specific temperature for both your health and the baby’s. Plus, switching from high to low temperatures constantly isn’t a good thing, either, so steady temps are ideal for preggo mamas in general.
9 Wear Those Cute Heels
Winter time may not be the season of flip flops, but that doesn’t mean the footwear is always ideal for pregnant mamas. Especially with all the holidays happening at that time, it can be tempting to try and dress up a bit with some high heels. But again, those stretched-out and loosened-up ligaments are bound to get in the way. Besides, you likely won’t be able to see your feet anyway, so why struggle through wearing too-high heels just for appearances? Choosing comfier low-heeled boots or cushy and traction-equipped flats is a good idea, and they’re warmer than peep-toe heels, too.
8 Overdo It On The Lattes
Winter is the best time for a Starbucks run, am I right? And even if you’re pregnant, you can still indulge in a bit of caffeine. The thing is, winter definitely isn’t the time to overdo the caffeine. First of all, most sources suggest that pregnant mamas don’t drink more than 200mg of caffeine per day, and that equals about an eight-ounce cup of coffee. The second reason why it’s not smart to overdo the coffee when pregnant is winter is it can contribute to dehydration. Caffeine and cold weather don’t really mix, so drink plenty of water whether or not you plan to latte it up.
7 Stay Inside Too Much
After all this talk of avoiding too much cold or too many temperature changes, it might surprise you to find that the next no-no for pregnant moms is staying inside too much! But it’s true—just because it’s cold outside, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t venture out every so often. You still need some fresh air and a bit of exercise—just walking is great for all pregnant mamas—and to interact with people other than your partner every once in a while. Staying indoors is great to protect you and your baby, but make sure you get some refreshing air and a different view every so often, too.
6 Forget About Vitamin D
Part of getting outdoors in winter, to a safe extent, is to ensure that pregnant mamas get enough vitamin D! Vitamin D is what your body makes in response to the sun hitting your skin, so you need some sunshine to keep everything working properly! You don’t have to lie out and tan—brrrr—but stepping out for a bit of a walk to stretch your legs is great. Then again, if it’s storming outside, you’re probably better off popping some doctor-approved vitamin D supplements and peeping the outdoors from indoors instead. But next time the clouds part, pop out onto the deck or into the backyard for a bit of a stretch.
5 Skip The Sunscreen
Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean the sun isn’t ready to crisp you—just ask any skier or snowboarder! If the sun is peeking through the clouds, or, really, if there’s any kind of weather apart from an outright snow storm, there will still be UV rays poking through. Plus, if there’s snow and sun, the light will reflect off the snow and make the sun’s rays even more intense. So even if you’re being a good preggo and standing to the side while everyone sleds and skis, if you’re not sporting SPF, you’re still engaging in a winter pregnancy no-no.
4 Cranking The Heat
Here we are again with the temperature issue! Overall, you don’t want extreme temperatures either way, whether it’s too warm or too cold. So the key is finding a balance between freezing and living in a volcano and setting your thermostat accordingly. Unnatural heat can dry your skin out, make dehydration worse, and just make everyone uncomfortable! It’s smart to use a humidifier at home, especially if you’re prone to nosebleeds, since adding a little bit of moisture to the air is always great in the winter. And, if you can, try to keep your thermostat temp steady so you’re not cranking it from one extreme to another.
3 Hang Around Germs
So sitting at home all day isn’t ideal, and neither is crawling around in the snow, so what should you do? Well, that depends on your local weather and what there is to do in your town. Because you don’t want to venture out only to come home with lots of germs in tow! Going places like the mall or Wal-Mart usually results in picking up lots of foreign germs, depending on what you touch, and that’s never good news for pregnant mamas. And while some doctors advocate that pregnant moms get the flu shot, there’s plenty of research showing it’s either ineffective or otherwise harmful to pregnant mamas, so do our own research on that. And remember, hand-washing is always helpful!
2 Buy Baby Clothes!
When you’re going stir crazy in the house, it’s understandable to want to get out and do a little baby shopping. That nesting thing is all too real, right? But think about it—winter is not exactly the best time to go shopping for baby clothes if you still have a few months (or more) to go before your baby is due. No matter what your actual due date, you probably have a rough idea of what season your baby will arrive in and what the weather will be like locally. Odds are, in the middle of winter, the baby stores will probably not be carrying short-sleeve onesies and cute miniature sandals. So you may want to skip the layette shopping for later in the season!
1 Stay In Bed All Day
Some days it’s super tempting to indulge your pregnant self and stay in bed all the live long day. But the thing is, staying in bed will probably only make you feel more lethargic and holed-up, so it could form a pattern that’s not healthy. Especially if the weather is bad or you’re snowed in, you might think Netflix and fuzzy robes are the way to go. But try and get out of bed and get something done—you’ll feel better about your day later if you do! And it doesn’t have to be anything big or rigorous, either—making yourself a cold lunch or reading a book on the couch counts as getting out of bed!