'Tis the season for billowing scarves, thick wooly mittens and mugs of hot cocoa. With another winter here, we're giving thought to facing these dipping temps and whipping winds – all while bundling up around a baby bump. Here are four tips to surviving your first winter as a mama-to-be:
Pregnancy has a way of zapping your skin of its moisture, all to ensure your little one has enough fluids as he or she grows. To battle the resultant flaky skin, be sure to stay well-hydrated. Consider adding a fish oil supplement to your diet, relying on its essential fatty acids to protect your skin from the inside out. Bonus: Research suggests taking fish oil while pregnant may boost your baby's brain development. Lastly, slather on a good quality shea butter to seal in moisture and keep skin soft.
This winter, while you have a little one on the way, focus on dressing in light layers. Many pregnant women report suffering from hot flashes – and if you're one of them, winter can be a tough time to navigate. Ditch the heavy, thick sweaters in favor of a long, thin t-shirt and cardigan combo. Add more light layers when chilly, and when your hormones kick in and turn on the heat, all you need do is peel off a layer.
Frozen sidewalks and a growing belly put you at higher risk for slips this season. Avoid a fall on the ice by investing in winter boots with good traction. Play it safe on stairs by holding onto the handrails. If you happen to take a tumble, take comfort in the fact that your baby is cushioned by amniotic fluid. Call your doctor and be sure to report any spotting or cramping you might experience.
See the light
For scores of people, the dark and gloomy days of winter kick Seasonal Affective Disorder into high gear. If you're someone who's struggled with this type of depression in the past, you may find your fluctuating hormones during pregnancy exacerbate your symptoms. Ask your doctor about light therapy, which relies on artificial light to boost your mood.
What's your best tip for surviving the winter months? Join our discussion below.