Pregnancy is a challenging time on its own but combined with seasonal hardships, it can become even more demanding. Dehydration, low temperatures, and the common cold, all can make winter pregnancy difficult. Here are some challenges and winter pregnancy tips to help you make it somewhat smoother.
Dehydration in winter is a very common occurrence. When the outside temperatures are low, and you have heating systems indoors, you are likely to find yourself sweaty and dehydrated. Moreover, we do not pay the same attention to drinking water during the winter months, as we do during the summer months. For pregnant mothers, dehydration can pose something more than a problem.
Issues such as lightheadedness and preterm labor can all arise if a mother forgets to drink adequate water during her pregnancy. Andrew Ross, MD, in Colorado, tells his patients to drink about two liters more per day than they did pre-pregnancy. You can switch things up, and take water in the form of hot decaf tea, or green tea as well. If your healthcare provider approves, you can also opt for herbal brews.
2. Flu & Cold
Flu and cold are also a common problem in winter. Every year the virus strikes a multitude of people, not sparing anyone. Pregnant women are especially vulnerable to such viruses as the body’s immune system is down. Moreover, the body has to protect both the mother and the baby; it is not thus working at full capacity when it comes to protection.
Flu is not a dangerous condition in non-pregnant women, but it is rather uncomfortable and potentially dangerous for a pregnant mother. It is likely to create dehydration and disrupt the balance of the amniotic fluid.
The changes in heart and lungs during pregnancy make a pregnant woman more prone to developing serious illness from the flu, including illness resulting in hospitalization. One way to stay healthy and avoid the flu is to get a flu vaccine if your gynecologist approves so.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that pregnant women should get flu shots during any trimester of pregnancy to protect themselves and their babies from the flu. In fact, a flu vaccine protects a baby from flu after birth as well.
3. Outdoor Activities
It is difficult to be in the outdoors: According to gynecologists, Light exercise like walking is greatly recommended for pregnant women. Light exercise can help assuage the minor pregnancy aches and pains, and it is great for the positioning of the baby as well.
Additionally, immobility is bad for pregnant women due to poor circulation; pregnant women already have poor circulation, and if a woman is immobile, it will worsen the problem. However, it can be somewhat difficult during the winter months, when the weather outside is unfavorable. If you find yourself reluctant to go outdoors during the cold, try opting for indoor fitness classes for pregnant women.
One such activity can be prenatal yoga, which is great for the pesky back pains that can plague during pregnancy. According to Hetal Gor, MD, at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center in Englewood, New Jersey, yoga can also help teach you to control your breathing which is a pretty useful technique during the labor.
4. Winter Depression
Depression is another common issue in winter pregnancy as anxiety in the winter months is more common as compared to the summer. Pregnant women are generally more prone to depression than their non-pregnant counterparts, due to hormonal and physical changes. Mood swings also tend to be higher in pregnant mothers during the cold season.
A pregnant mother is, therefore, more likely to get depressed if she is dealing with loneliness. Activities such as reading, cooking, journaling can help you pass good time indoors during the cold. They help a pregnant woman stay busy, and reduce anxiety.
Light exercise in the indoors can also help release feel-good hormones, endorphins, and reduce anxiety. Pregnant mothers should try scheduling light activities for the outdoors, to combat loneliness and monotony.
Constipation can be a real problem during all three trimesters of pregnancy, but especially so during the third trimester. In winters, we generally tend to drink less often, and physically exert less often as well. Additionally, certain hormones increase during the last trimester that decreases the motility of the intestines.
All these factors affect the bowel movement, and pregnant mothers can, therefore, be affected greatly. To prevent constipation, mothers should eat healthy from the first day of pregnancy. They should also be vigilant about the intake of water, and fiber. Whole Wheat foods like bread, cereals, fruits, and vegetables should be incorporated into the diet for their fiber and nutritional content.
Exercise is equally important for keeping muscle tones and bowel movements regular. Supplements such as iron tablets can worsen constipation, and they should be avoided if possible, or changed to a different formulation after consultation with your healthcare provider.
We hope these winter pregnancy tips will help you take care of yourself and your baby. If you need professional help, do not forget to consult a gynecologist. At oladoc.com, you can find healthcare professionals of all kinds and book your appointment with the right one through the website, mobile app, or dedicated helpline 042 3890 0939.