Fall Pregnancy Survival Guide

It's easier than you think to stay comfortable and healthy when you're pregnant during the autumn months. Here's everything you need to know about holiday handling, maternity clothes, and more.

Comfort Essentials and Tips

Are you pregnant and wondering how best to handle your growing belly bump during the fall season? Read on for advice on surviving and enjoying your autumn pregnancy.

Tips for the Autumn Months

Feel nervous about venturing outside because of the fickle weather, and the possibility of catching a cold or the flu? Are you lacking ideas on how to be more comfortable during these autumn months? Follow these tips on how to stay cool and stay healthy despite the chill in the air.

pregnant mom holding belly and leaning on crib

  • Always carry a warm cardigan and/or lightweight jacket in case the weather gets crisp.
  • Carry an umbrella so that you are not drenched by the seasonal rain showers: Wetness = coldness.
  • Take advantage of the season's plethora of apples (which pack a fiber punch) and enjoy a hot apple beverage -- with no caffeine.
  • Sip a mocktail, like the Apple Cherry Cider, which is simply 1 quart of chilled sparkling apple juice and 2 quarts of chilled cherry cider mixed together and served over crushed ice.
  • Set aside "me" time -- get a massage, treat yourself to a manicure/pedicure, or just take a relaxing bubble bath.
  • Clear your calendar of all unnecessary doings.
  • Sleep! Take advantage of shorter daylight hours by taking frequent naps and turning in earlier.
  • Ask for help if you're too tired to cook, clean, or run errands.

Sneezes and Holidays

Flu Season

"Fall is similar to spring, in terms of milder weather, which is a positive [during pregnancy]," says Dr. Sara DuMond, a pediatrician in South Carolina. "A pregnant woman gets to spend the summer while in her second trimester when energy level is the highest." However, as the leaves begin to change colors and sweaters are removed from their summer storage, cold and flu enter the picture. Dr. DuMond warns pregnant women of the threat of developing a cold or flu.

Chia-Ling Tung, MD, an ob-gyn affiliated with Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City stresses the importance of pregnant women (in their second and third trimesters) receiving flu shots. "Pregnant women are slightly immunosurpressed," she says, because their bodies are hard at work growing babies. Their natural responses to fight off illnesses are compromised. The Centers for Disease Control recommends getting the vaccine in October or November to best protect yourself and your growing baby from the cold and flu viruses. If you do not receive a flu shot, you are more at risk of developing pneumonia or having other severe symptoms.

Holidays Are Upon Us!

Autumn is a season known for its holidays -- Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the preparation for Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. It can be stressful and taxing on your pregnant body, so follow these tips to ensure a more enjoyable holiday season:

  • Expect some amounts of stress, but plan ahead to keep stress at a minimum.
  • Try to arrange holiday dinners or parties at someone else's house but agree to be a part of the planning and preparation.
  • Have your children, or a friend's children, help with a specific aspect of preparation, such as cookie making.
  • Prioritize! Do you need to decorate the lawn with glowing ghosts for trick-or-treaters this year?
  • Keep your holiday traditions and find ways to make them easier to do and enjoy.
  • Stock the pantry with extra Halloween candy.
  • Stock the freezer with frozen appetizers for those unplanned guests.
  • Keep a box with a few presents -- such as gift cards, stationery, and bottles of wine -- for unexpected gift givers.
  • Dress in what you feel most comfortable in, even if it is a pair of black stretch pants and a red wool sweater.

Autumn Maternity Fashion Pointers

Autumn is a wonderful time to be pregnant because you get to wrap up in warm, snuggly sweaters, but don't have to wear a heavy winter coat. To be stylish and comfortable in the fall and celebrate your pregnant body, institute some of these tips and tricks:

  • Pick fall colors -- olive, brown, gold, pumpkin, and pink.
  • Invest in a great pair of jeans and a crisp white button-down top.
  • Choose leopard, all the way -- meow!
  • Try to find clothing with Lycra or spandex.
  • Go with stretch twill: it's 90 percent cotton and 100 percent comfy.
  • Wear a wrap sweater with pants, over dresses, and paired with skirts.
  • More and more athletic brands are introducing cute track suits and separates. Buy ones with stretch a little larger than you normally do, and then mix and match.
  • Don't forget slip-on shoes -- no pregnant woman should bend over to tie her shoe.
  • Accessorize with a great handbag and shoe.
  • Choose flats -- ballet shoes, slipper flats, slides with flat, pointed toes.
  • This fall is all about prints, prints, prints, whether geometric or plaid.
  • Mix knits of all kinds for comfort with tweeds for fall flair.
  • Don't forget the power of a pair of great hoop earrings!

Originally published on AmericanBaby.com, October 2006.

This quiz is for entertainment and/or educational purposes only. All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professional, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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