Winter can be a challenging time for everyone. Dealing with all the snow and rain, keeping spirits up in spite of gray weather, and simply getting from one place to another can be difficult. For those who are pregnant during winter, there are a few special considerations for dealing with winter weather and changes.
1. Think about your exercise routine. If you are currently taking daily walks outside (good for you) or traveling to the gym on a regular basis, you will need to have an alternate plan for the days when it is too cold to get outside or too dangerous to get on the roads. If you are going to continue doing outdoor walks while is cold, be sure to get the appropriate gear to keep yourself safe: good, warm clothing that you can wear in layers, including a winter hat, ear protection, gloves, a scarf and durable shoes with very good traction.
For the days when you might be stuck inside or stuck at home, planning ahead makes all the difference. Buy a few pregnancy work-out dvds that you can pop into your player so you will have something new to do for your exercise routine at home. Or purchase a set of light weights, exercise band, exercise ball, or other portable piece of equipment and look into a routine for using those on your home-exercise days. Of course, if you have a treadmill, you can get your cardio done on that.
2. Stock up on healthy, essential food items. You don’t want to run out of nutritious food because the grocery stores are closed, the roads aren’t safe, or you simply don’t feel like braving the winter weather to make a food run. So plan ahead and get some nonperishable items that will carry you through winter days. Try to keep a balance of carbohydrates and proteins, so your body gets the nourishment it needs, and steer away from high-sugar items. Canned soup, whole grain crackers and peanut butter, frozen meals, and frozen fish are all good options.
3. Buy a good coat that is thick and durable. Make sure that it fits your pregnant body. This might be your biggest winter investment, but it will be worth it. Shop at a maternity store if you need to, to find a coat that will accommodate your belly without overwhelming your arms and upper body. Get winter boots that have very good traction, as well. It’s much easier to lose your balance when you have a pregnant belly preceding you, so get all the help you can get with your footwear.
4. Get your car ready for winter. Have it inspected. Get any needed minor repairs done. Be sure the battery is in good shape. Check and/or change the oil and fill up the antifreeze and window cleaning solution receptacles. Check the air pressure in the tires, and be sure that you have a spare tire with the necessary tools for a tire change (as well as a working set of jumper cables) somewhere in your car.
5. Plan for emergencies, especially if your due date falls during the winter time. For example, if you start going into labor while there is thick ice and/or snow, how will you get to the hospital? It doesn’t have to be an emergency if you plan ahead; do you have a neighbor or a friend with a four-wheel drive vehicle, or can the hospital come pick you up and transport you? Look into your options, call in a few friends as your back-ups, and write down your emergency plan. Chances are you won’t have to use it, but it’s nice to know you are prepared just in case.
6. Stock up on baby necessities early, if your due date falls during the winter time. You may not be able to go run last-minute baby preparation errands, so make a good, detailed list of everything you need for your nursery and either do your shopping around town while the weather is still fair or do your shopping online and have the items shipped to you.
7. Chase away the winter blues. Those gray days of winter can be depressing for anyone, and pregnancy is an especially emotional time of hormonal changes and general uncertainty. Set coffee dates with friends. Have a girlfriend over to watch chick flicks, eat popcorn, and do manicures together. Make a big pot of soup and invite the neighbors over for a quick dinner. Plan a romantic at-home date with your husband. Write letters to long-distance friends and family members. Start working on those digital photos, the baby blanket you want to knit, or some special project that has just been waiting for you. The more focused you are on the people around you and the fun projects and work you have going on, the less the winter blues can get to you.