Navigating Winter Hazards During Pregnancy

January 1, 2018 — Leave a comment

Winter can really be treacherous in some parts of the country – even when you’re not pregnant, but especially so for those pregnant mamas.  There are three main areas that the pregnant mama will have to navigate – weather hazards, germ hazards, and well, wardrobe hazards.

Weather Hazards
Ice, snow – you know where this is going.  How many times do we hear about people falling on the ice and getting injured?  Pretty much every time there’s ice, right?  Your center of gravity changes when you’re pregnant, so you’ll need to take extra care in making sure you don’t fall.  The following are a few tips to help keep you on your feet.

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Image courtesy of pampers.com
  1. Footwear – You’ll need to make sure you have a good, stable pair of rubber-soled shoes or boots. This is particularly useful, even when there isn’t ice and snow as good traction will help you step with confidence.  If you have to trek through ice and snow pretty regularly, we may want to invest in some ice traction slip-ons that you can put over your shoes to help prevent slipping.  Above all, ditch the high heels.

If you do slip, try not to worry too much.  Typically baby is well protected in your womb.  Baby is probably just fine, but you can call your doctor if you need a little peace of mind.  But, if you sense decreased movement or other changes like bleeding or water breaking, definitely call your physician.

  1. Avoid the Ice and Snow to Begin With – When the weather is really bad, you should try to avoid going out altogether. It’s just best not to tempt fate and risk unnecessary injury.  Many local grocery stores have home delivery fees.  This is an excellent time to take advantage of this service.  You can also shop for your baby gear online.  In fact, this is a really good idea, because you can read reviews before you buy.
  2. Ensure You Have a Good Hospital Route – If you’re near the end of your pregnancy, or even if you’re not, you’ll want to make sure you have a good route planned out for getting to the hospital. When you make your plan, have a couple of backup plans in your back pocket, too, as you never know if a certain road is too icy or hazardous to navigate.
  3. Roadside Service Plan – If you really are not able to avoid driving this winter, you may want to have a roadside service plan that you can call in the event of a break down or other emergency.
  4. Don’t Shovel Snow! – Shoveling snow is really back breaking work and this is certainly not the time. You don’t want to risk getting hurt or going into premature labor.

Germ Hazards
Ugh!  Germs and illnesses are rampant this time a year.  Most illnesses are just giant nucenses, but they become a bigger problem during pregnancy when many cold relief drugs are off limits.  But, there are lots of ways to navigate this hazard, too.

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Image courtesy of parenting.com
  1. Prevent – Almost all OB/GYNs recommend that pregnant women get a flu shot once in the second or third trimester. Remember that pregnant women have a somewhat suppressed immune system, making you more susceptible to getting sick.  Although it’s not a sure thing, a simple flu shot will go a long way to preventing the flu.
  2. Wash Your Hands Regularly – You should do this anyway, right? Yes!  But, pay careful attention to this right now.  It will help you stay healthy.  Wash up after each bathroom break, before eating, after grocery shopping or anytime you come into contact with sick people.  You can also carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your purse.
  3. Take Something – Yes! If you do get sick, don’t be afraid to take something to help relieve some of the symptoms.  Just make sure you follow your OB/GYN’s instructions.  My doctor always gave me a booklet in the beginning that listed all the safe drugs for every scenario.  There’s really no need to suffer when a little simple relief for you won’t hurt baby at all.
  4. Hydrate – Yep. That one again.  Water just makes everything better.  Drinking plenty of water while pregnant will help to keep your skin from getting too itchy, which tends to happen when it expands.  Winter makes that even worse.
  5. Moisturize – Water won’t do it alone, though. Have a good moisturizer on hand and lather up – often.  Cocoa butter works great for stretching skin, too.

Wardrobe Hazards
Okay this one isn’t as much of a “hazard”, but it can be a point of stress for expecting moms.  For me, it was hard to justify spending good money on an oh-so-temporary wardrobe.  With my first pregnancy, I didn’t worry quite so much because I was sure that I would be using all of these pieces again.  Little did I know that there would be nine years in between my first and second and trends tend to change a little bit in that span of time – and I felt like it was a lot!  But, when I was pregnant with my second, I knew she would be my last, so I tried to make do with what I had from the first go-around.

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Photo courtesy of fitpregnancy.com
  1. Winter Coat – To buy a maternity winter coat or not to buy a maternity winter coat? They’re so expensive and used for such a short time – especially in warmer climes, so really should you buy one?  I think that all depends on your situation.  My first baby was born in December, so of course I was at my biggest when it was really starting to be coat weather.  I didn’t buy a coat for this pregnancy.  I really ended up only needing a coat for about 2 short weeks.  In the late part of the fall, I just layered up.  After that, I wore a looser fitting coat.  It just wasn’t worth it for that short time.  I was only in my first and early second trimester during the winter months of my second pregnancy, so I got away with not buying one again.  Phew!  Some people will just have to suck it up and buy one, though.  If you spend the better part of the winter waddling through your third trimester, it might be worth it to have a good maternity coat.  Or maybe just use an extra coat of your husband’s! 😉
  2. Layer Up – For the rest of your wardrobe, invest in a few pieces that are very versatile. A pair of leggings, a good pair of maternity jeans and some long shirts or tunics will get you through almost anything that you’ll need.
  3. Compression – A pair of compression tights or leggings will round out any good wardrobe. You can dress them up or down, but they also give you the awesome gradient compression qualities.  Gradient compression will help to energize your legs and promote good circulation.
  4. Support Band – A good Preggers Maternity Support Band is another great addition to any maternity wardrobe. The band helps to support your belly and ease back discomfort.

Remembering these few tips will help tremendously in navigating through these winter hazards.  Being pregnant during the winter months may sound dangerous and scary, but I think I’d honestly take that over suffering through the heat of summer at 9 months pregnant!

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