We’ve all heard some “it was so hot” stories recounted from friends who believe that the summer of their pregnancy was the hottest on record. Those stories do make for great guilt trips to jokingly tell children as they grow up.
But is being pregnant during the winter months any easier than the summer? Our expert OB/GYN, Dr. Brandon Lingenfelter, says it really depends on who you ask. Dr. Lingenfelter shares his tips for surviving a winter pregnancy — so bundle up mama-to-be and take heed.
Is it the heat or humidity?
Let’s set the stage a bit by talking about perception of temperature. There are no two people who perceive temperature in exactly the same way. You can fact check that one by thinking back on the last argument you had with your partner over the temperature of your bedroom.
That being said, an expectant mom has a whole host of other issues related to temperature. Did you know that it’s not uncommon for a pregnant woman to have a slightly elevated body temperature? This may lead you to the conclusion that being pregnant during colder months may present fewer challenges than during the summer. Not so.
Drinking water and other fluids sounds like something that would be more important when it’s hot outside. However, staying hydrated during the colder winter months is just as important. The only difference is that sometimes it’s harder to remember to drink enough when it’s not sweltering outside.
Keep in mind that soups and moist foods like fruits have water in them and can help keep you hydrated.
Stay active, but be careful
Although there will be days when binge-watching your favorite Netflix series may be the activity of choice, explore different types of exercise that you can do on a regular basis. It will be great for your overall health as well as your mental health.
Look for gentle activities like yoga, stretching exercises, swimming, or walking on a treadmill. Even if you typically enjoy winter sports, avoid activities like skiing or snowboarding. And if exercise wasn’t part of your prepregnancy life, you’ll want to discuss an exercise regimen with Dr. Lingenfelter beforehand.
Practice good hand hygiene
When the temperature goes down, people tend to cluster inside where the flow of germs seems to increase. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that being vigilant in good handwashing techniques is a good habit to have. Remember to wash your hands often and try not to touch your face.
Wet your hands with warm water, apply soap, and lather it up. Lace your fingers and gently rub all surfaces for at least 20 seconds. Don’t forget the backs of your hands and between your fingers. Rinse, dry, and then repeat throughout the day.
Get a flu shot
Getting sick is never any fun, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pregnant women are at a higher risk for developing more severe symptoms, and maybe even being hospitalized, if they get influenza. Immune system changes during pregnancy are the culprit behind the increased risk.
Getting a flu shot protects both the you and your developing baby. Like anyone else, some pregnant women may get minor side effects from a flu shot like headaches or muscle aches. But rest assured that flu shots are considered safe during pregnancy.
For more tips on weathering through your winter pregnancy, make an appointment for prenatal care with us. Use the online booking tool here on the website, or call our office in Princeton, West Virginia.