Winter Pregnancy Survival Guide

It's easier than you think to stay comfortable and healthy when you're pregnant during the winter months. Here's everything you need to know about maternity fashion, protecting your skin, and more.

The Weather Outside Is Frightful

woman wearing coat with fur hood

Augustus Butera

First-time mom Sasha Emmons was pregnant with her daughter, Chloe, during the brutal winter months in New York City. She was in the latter part of her pregnancy when snow and ice storms hit the city. "We had a lot of snow that winter," she said, "and I did find it a little scary trudging ... with my big belly."

Dr. Sara DuMond, a mom and pediatrician in South Carolina, agrees that it is more dangerous to be pregnant in an area with wintery conditions, because of possible injury, but also because of "the sneezers and snifflers."

Extra cautious, Emmons took her time traveling to ensure no harm to herself or her little one as she braved the streets. She learned her lesson after being stuck outside wearing heels in the snow, waiting for a train that never came. After that day, she went out and purchased rubber snow boots, which she says, "Were the most sensible boots I have ever owned." In addition, she made sure to always wear shoes with good traction.

A few perks of winter pregnancy that she noted, however, were that her internal thermostat made her rarely cold -- "They don't call [your pregnant belly] an oven for nothing." Additionally, she experienced very little swelling of her ankles and fingers, due to the cold weather outside.

Tips for Weathering Winter

  • Get fresh air.
  • Don't stay in bed, although the coziness can be tempting.
  • Avoid saunas and hot tubs, although the heat can be attractive.
  • Get an influenza vaccine in second or third trimester, when your immune system is weakest, to avoid seasonal viruses.
  • Avoid many winter sports, because of risk of injury.
  • Take pressure off of your back by carrying less, because during pregnancy ligaments become softer and looser.
  • Don't shovel or attempt to clear snow, as it requires too much twisting and back use.
  • Enjoy a warm cup of hot chocolate or a nice herbal tea.
  • Sip a "mocktail," like the Mock Sangria, which is 1/2 gallon grape juice, 2 cups orange juice, 2 cans lemon-lime soda, 1 sliced orange, 1 sliced lemon, and 1 jar drained cocktail cherries. Combine grape juice, orange juice, and soda in a large pitcher. Add orange slices, lemon slices, and cherries and serve over ice.
  • Keep warm.
  • Ask for help if you're too tired to cook, clean, or run errands.
  • Take frequent naps.
  • Clear your calendar of all unnecessary activities.

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