The right items are lifesavers when you’re outdoors in winter with baby in tow. Here’s advice from Ali Wing, founder of baby boutique Giggle, New York City resident, and author of the new Giggle Guide to Baby Gear. Wing’s top cold weather must-have might surprise you: “One of the most forgotten items is sunscreen,” she says. “People come in to the store in winter— ‘I can’t believe it, my baby got sunburned.’ ” What else should you have on hand for the cold weather?
• Sunscreen and sunglasses: “Winter sun can be strong, especially on a snow day,” Wing reminds.
• Winter bunting: If you live where it’s often cold, pick up a shell that zips from chin to toe so you can slip baby in and out of the stroller still bundled in warmth. For places with only a couple chilly days, look into a sleeping-bag style liner for your stroller.
• Rain or weather shield: The former is essential, but the latter is excellent in cold climes.
• Booties and mittens: “Have spares,” Wing says. “They’re the things you’re going to lose most.”
• Hats: The key to getting babies to wear hats, sunglasses, and the like: “Start them young,” Wing says. If your kid absolutely won’t tolerate them, use an umbrella or sunshade to keep the rays off.
• Cold cream: Shields baby’s delicate skin from strong wind and extreme cold.
Varicose veins are mainly a hereditary condition, but doctors actually see them two to four times more frequently in women than in men. The reason? Pregnancy. Your growing uterus, along with weight gain and fluid retention, all put extra pressure on the vein walls, which can accelerate vein damage.
Wearing compression or support hose controls leg swelling and stops blood from pooling in your leg veins. “If you have a family history of varicose veins, I would recommend hose because your chances [of getting them] are much higher,” says John Mauriello, M.D., an American College of Phlebology national board member who practices at The Vein Center in Bradenton, FL. “But anybody who’s experiencing swollen, achy, throbbing, tired legs during pregnancy should [wear] hose.”
Here’s more advice:
Avoid standing for prolonged periods.
Don’t cross your legs when sitting.
When resting, keep legs elevated above the heart to improve blood flow.
Keep yourself well hydrated.
Eat fresh fruits and vegetables; they help prevent constipation and, along with good hydration, can help you avoid another pregnancy-related vein complication: hemorrhoids.
Exercise daily; it can be as easy as taking a stroll. “Just by walking, you squeeze the blood back up into the heart and lungs from the legs,” Mauriello says.