Dealing With Ice, Snow, and the Cold During a Winter Pregnancy

Many of us are just beginning to experience the joys of winter weather — snow, ice, cold, sleet, wind, etc. When you’re pregnant during the winter season, there can be some additional considerations and concerns. Of course, there are perks, too — it’s much easier to cool off! Despite the change in temps, it’s important to continue spending time outside. Nature and natural light helps improve your mood and your well being, pregnant or not!

Consider the following few tips to stay safe, healthy, and happy this winter.   

Falls – Falling on the ice is never fun, but there’s often added worry when you’re pregnant. Take more precaution by wearing no or low-heeled, non-slip, rubber-soled shoes when walking out and about in the elements. Walk and move mindfully and slowly, especially when on ice. If you find yourself in a fall, try your best to tuck your head and roll onto your side or back. If you do fall and hit your abdomen, remember that your uterus is strong and designed to keep baby safe. It’s always a good idea, however, to call your care provider after a fall.

Regulating temperature – Your temperature runs higher than normal in pregnancy. In winter, the extra heat can be both helpful and frustrating as you move in and out of overly cold and overly heated environments. To deal with the fluctuations, wear thin, breathable layers including a short-sleeved shirt or tank top so you can easily peel off the layers and better regulate your temperature.

Skin care – Pregnancy and winter weather are like a one-two punch for your skin. You can expect extra itchiness, dryness, and cracking. Find a good lotion, cream, oil, and/or salve that’s low on harmful chemicals and apply regularly. Shorter and cooler (ie, not very hot) showers will also help preserve your skin’s moisture. Having a humidifier in your bedroom and around the house or your office can also help. 

Seasonal depression – Grey skies and extra cold temperatures can affect your mood. It helps to spend regular time outside in the fresh air and natural light (yes, even if the sky is cloudy). Your body and brain need sunlight to provide the required amount of vitamin D, which helps regulate your mood, strengthen your bones (by helping absorb calcium), and boost your immune system and neuromuscular system. Find shoes and clothes that make it easier for you to feel comfortable outside. Grab a friend who’s willing to walk with you in the winter — you’ll both benefit from the sunlight and social interaction! You can boost your vitamin D in the winter by taking a vitamin D supplement  

Driving safety – Heed ice warnings and venture out only when it’s safe, unless you absolutely need to go out. Make sure your tires are in good condition with tread that is not worn down. One of the best and easiest ways to keep yourself safe while driving is to wear your seat belt correctly and every time you get in the car. According to the March of Dimes, you should make sure both the lap belt and shoulder belt fit snugly; buckle the lap belt so it sits under your belly and across your hips; position the shoulder belt between your breasts and off to the side of your belly.

Germs – With the winter season comes cold and flu season. Not to mention Covid. While the cold weather does not cause viruses, the increased amount of time spent inside can. In pregnancy, your immune system is lowered. It’s important to take proper precaution by frequent hand washing with soap, good nutrition (a large daily doses of fruit and veggies), sanitizing surfaces, getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, regular exercise, getting the flu and Covid shots, wearing a mask in public places, and avoiding people you know are sick.

Hydration – With indoor heating and warm layers, you’re almost as likely to face dehydration in the winter as your are in summer. Make sure you drink water and other fluids regularly throughout the day during your pregnancy.

Nosebleeds – Some people are prone to more nosebleeds during pregnancy and indoor heating can dry out your nose and increase nosebleeds, too. Using a humidifier can help counteract the dryness. Rubbing salve on the inside of your nose can help lubricate and moisturize dry membranes. 

Exercise – Dreary, super-cold winter weather can be extra demotivating when it comes to exercising. But if you can force yourself to get up and exercise, it will help boost your mood, blood flow, energy, and general motivation.

Don’t let the winter weather get you down — with some forethought and planning, you can help yourself stay safe and feel good! 

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