When you’re pregnant, every new season is exciting. Pregnancy brings many changes in your habits and your lifestyle, and you might be surprised how changing temperatures affect your day-to-day life.
A winter pregnancy means you won’t be dealing with hot summer temperatures while pregnant, but it can bring up a host of other questions. How will you dress warmly and comfortably? What can you do to avoid getting a winter virus? And how will you navigate those holiday parties?
A. Michael Coppa, MD, and our obstetrics team are here to help. We specialize in comprehensive prenatal care, and we’re experienced in helping women survive winter pregnancies and prepare for the arrival of their babies in the new year.
Dress in layers
Being pregnant can elevate your body temperature slightly, which may make you feel overheated more easily. If you run hot, that cold winter air might feel good, but you should regulate your body temperature so you don’t get too cold.
Be prepared for temperature changes by dressing in light layers and carrying an extra sweater. Layers make it easier to adjust your clothing if you feel too hot or too cold.
Depending on the weather this season and how far along you are in your pregnancy, you may not need to find a heavy winter coat that feels comfortable over your growing belly.
Find ways to get active
Cold, dark winter days can make snuggling up on the couch seem extra appealing, but stay active, especially when you’re pregnant. A sedentary lifestyle can make pregnancy symptoms worse and contribute to unnecessary weight gain.
Instead, find ways to get active this winter with pregnancy-safe exercise. Walking is a good way to get exercise, and you can walk indoors on a treadmill or outdoors (if it’s not icy). Another popular indoor exercise option is prenatal yoga.
Colder temperatures make it less likely that you feel overheated or thirsty, but you can still get dehydrated, even if you’re not sweating. Dry, cold outdoor air and dry forced air indoors can pull moisture from your body and contribute to dehydration.
Get in the habit of drinking plenty of water throughout the day, no matter the season. Ask Dr. Coppa or a member of our team how much water you should be drinking based on your body type and activity levels.
Get your flu shot
If you haven’t received your flu shot this year, it might not be too late. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone over the age of six months get a flu shot every year, because it’s the best prevention against the flu.
Being pregnant increases your risk of severe illness from viruses, including the flu and the common cold. Along with getting vaccinated, practice good personal hygiene, wash your hands, and avoid large crowds.
If you haven’t gotten your COVID-19 vaccination yet, ask us if it’s recommended for you.
Don’t forget to enjoy the holidays
Finally, remember to enjoy the winter holidays. Being pregnant during the holiday season means skipping that New Year’s Eve champagne toast, but it’s still a very special time to celebrate with family and friends.
Take the opportunity to spend quality time with your partner, family, and friends before your new baby arrives. Prioritize sleep while you can, and don’t be afraid to ask loved ones for help with gift shopping, decorating, and cooking.
Do you still have questions about surviving the winter while pregnant? Book a consultation with Dr. Coppa at one of our offices in Smithfield, Cranston, and Providence, Rhode Island.