Being pregnant isn't always a comfortable experience. There's the bloating, stretching, and aching. The cravings, mood swings, and hot flashes. When you're heavily pregnant during the cold months, it can be even more uncomfortable. It's not all bad news. There are some great perks to be expecting at the end of the year.
The holidays are more fun with a big belly to show off. The peace and stillness of the season is a welcome salve to the stresses that accompany waiting for a new baby. There are plenty of things you can do to get through winter. Check out our advice to make it into spring with a spring in your step.
Your wardrobe can become pretty challenging at the end of your pregnancy. You might be struggling to fit into anything very comfortably. This is not the time to try to stuff yourself into a winter coat. Many moms find the expense of a maternity coat a little hard to swallow. You won't be pregnant forever, despite how it feels. Instead, pile on layers and layers of snuggly clothes. Now is the time for cozy leggings, long sweaters, and scarves.
Proper footwear is important through every stage of pregnancy. You've probably experienced some weight gain while expecting. Your feet will need proper support. You'll want to ensure the sizing allows for some wiggle room in case your feet or ankles swell. Foot cramps are a common occurrence during this special time. If your feet get wet or cold it could exacerbate the problem. Having a weather-ready pair of warm winter boots can make winter much easier to bear. Make sure they have appropriate tread for your climate. You need to take care no to slip in ice or sleet.
8 Skin Care
Pregnancy can wreak havoc on your body and especially your skin. As your baby grows they can deplete the nutrition you take in. You may notice your skin begins to change during these months. Dryness, itchiness, and breakouts are all par for the course. The skin on your belly can be especially sensitive. During winter months skin dryness is far more common. You may find yourself even itchier if you don't take steps to care for your skin. t's important to find a gentle lotion and cleanser routine to keep your skin clean and hydrated.
7 Stay Hydrated
Drinking enough water is vital to anyone's health. Our organs rely on us to drink enough water to keep things running smoothly. While you're pregnant hydration becomes even more important. Staying well hydrated can keep your urinary tract healthy, prevent you from becoming constipated and even reduce your risk of early labor.
Winter is a sneaky season for dehydration. You may not feel the thirst you experience in the hotter months but the conditions are perfect to dry you out. Being indoors in heated spaces is very drying. Any kind of activity or sweating in warm clothing will also cause you to lose hydration. Be sure you're monitoring your water intake and keeping yourself as healthy as possible.
6 Tread Carefully
Accidental falls while pregnant are a big deal all year long. In winter the threat is increased 10 fold as the ground begins to freeze over. One misstep in a patch of ice could mean a trip to the emergency room for you and your unborn baby. Make sure you limit the amount of time you spend walking in icy areas as much as possible. If you can't avoid it minimize the risks with proper footwear. You could even ask someone to accompany you on walks. You'll want to spend a lot of time inside staying safe and warm anyway. The risk of a slip and fall is an excellent motivation to stay out of the snow.
5 Flu Protection
Both you and your unborn baby are vulnerable to the flu and its possible effects. The severity of the flu can be increased in pregnant women. You could suffer respiratory problems or cardiac issues. You want to protect yourself from these complications and stay as healthy as possible while you're expecting. 65% of pregnant women don't get their flu shot leaving them even more vulnerable to the seasonal illness. Get your vaccination to ensure you and baby stay safe and healthy.
4 Rest Up
Getting enough rest is absolutely essential during pregnancy. You need to give your body time to recharge and recover from the hard work of building a baby. Wintertime increases the need to get your shut-eye. Seasonal Affective Disorder might be making you feel some extra fatigue. Shorter daylight hours can also cause feelings of sleepiness.
This isn't the time to fight your body's need for rest. Let yourself sleep when you need it. Schedule extra time in bed and take small naps when you can. You don't want to overtire or exert yourself. This is the most important time to take care of your own needs. Taking care of mom is taking care of the baby.
3 Sip Tea
Cold weather makes us crave our favorite hot beverages. Caffeine is a hot button topic for pregnant women. 200 mg of the stimulant is perfectly safe for expecting moms. Ignoring this limit can double your risk of miscarriage so it's best to pay attention to your beverages. If you're dying for a little kick in the morning but limiting yourself to one cup of coffee seems too harsh, try switching to tea. You can safely drink up to 3 cups of black tea a day for a gentle lift. Tea is also a great way to help with hydration. Peppermint herbal tea can settle your stomach if you have morning sickness. Chamomile can help with sleeplessness and stress.
2 Holiday Cheer
The holidays are a special time of year for many people. If you love this time of year you may be thrilled to be pregnant for the season. Other expecting women may be sad to miss out on favorite foods or spirits that they would otherwise have at the holidays. No matter how being pregnant affects your usual traditions, try to enjoy the moment. This is a very special time of life and the happy memories will warm the holiday season every year after.
1 Embrace Cuddles
There are many aspects of pregnancy that are seldom talked about. It's easier to focus on the fun and excitement but it's equally as important to discuss the struggles and possible complications. One thing that many women experience during pregnancy and after postpartum is depression. The extended darkness and cold of the winter season can also make you feel a little down. It's important to get enough support during this time. Physical touch has been shown to lessen the effects of depression in pregnant women and everyone else. Cheer yourself and your loved ones up by spreading the love. Cozy up on the couch and watch Christmas movies. Take a little stroll hand in hand. Show the people you love that you care and accept all the love and support they offer back.