While you may have heard horror stories from friends who suffered from the blistering heat and oppressive humidity during a summer pregnancy, being pregnant in winter creates its own set of concerns and problems.
Juggling holiday obligations, navigating icy sidewalks, and staying healthy during cold and flu season are just some of the challenges you may face if you’re pregnant during the winter months.
At The Association for Women’s Health Care, our OB/GYNs have the professional experience and expertise necessary to help you handle any pregnancy issue that arises.
If you’re concerned about illness, the discomfort from dry skin, or a more serious medical issue, our compassionate team of providers provides the guidance and care you need to have the healthiest pregnancy possible at any time of year.
Surviving a harsh Illinois winter can be stressful for anyone. Here are some tips we put together for surviving a winter pregnancy.
It’s not unusual to get sick while you’re pregnant because your immune system is weakened, as it works overtime to protect both you and your unborn baby. At the same time, spending more time indoors close to other people in the winter months makes it easier to breathe in the virus of a sick friend or family member.
The more you do to stay healthy, the less risk you have of getting sick or having a prolonged illness if you become infected. Having a healthy body builds and supports your immune system, so you have the best natural defenses to reduce the impact of a cold or the flu.
You can reduce your risk of having a prolonged illness during your winter pregnancy by:
You know to drink water in warmer weather, but it’s just as important to stay hydrated in the colder months. Dry, cold outdoor air and overheated indoor air can increase your risk for dehydration, a condition that can increase your chances of preterm labor.
Water provides the fluids your body needs to produce extra blood and amniotic fluid. It’s also necessary for digestion and the absorption of vitamins and nutrients.
To maintain proper hydration, drink 10 8-ounce glasses of water daily. Snack on fruits and vegetables high in water content to promote hydration.
While cold weather can make it tempting to remain indoors in front of your TV, physical activity is important any time of year if you’re pregnant. Consider indoor workouts at home, swimming in an indoor pool, or walking on a treadmill at the gym.
Walk outdoors when ice or snow don’t pose the risk of falls. Try new ways of outdoor exercise, such as cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, as long as you can do so without overexerting yourself.
At any time of the year, dry skin is a common side effect of pregnancy, but it can become more intense during the winter. Dry, cold winter air contains less humidity and moisture than warmer air, so it increases your risk of dry skin.
Stay hydrated and use a humidifier in your bedroom to help your body maintain as much moisture as possible. To relieve itchy, dry skin, indulge in a warm oatmeal bath or apply a soothing moisturizer like coconut oil or cocoa butter.
While you may feel healthy, some activities that you performed effortlessly before pregnancy can threaten your health and that of your unborn baby.
Avoid these potentially risky activities:
Learn more about ways to weather a winter pregnancy. Contact our Chicago or Northbrook, Illinois, office to arrange a consultation.