Having a child is a time for many changes in the body that bring on their own challenges for women. Pregnancy sees changes in hormones, diet, mood, and many other things over the nine months women are carrying new life. Many external factors can affect how women deal with pregnancy, including the weather. Winter, for example, can affect pregnancy in a number of ways.
Pregnant patients in the Arlington, TX area can rely on the experience and care of Dr. Joan Bergstrom and the team of doctors here at Women’s Health Services.
Here are some ways to make winter pregnancies safer:
Avoiding a fall is good advice at any time of year, as it can mean harm for mother and child. In the winter months, the risk of slipping and falling is increased from ice, snow, and other wet conditions. To avoid these hazards, wear low heeled non-slip rubber-soled shoes in inclement weather. Step carefully and mindfully, and if a fall does happen try to tuck your head and fall on your side or back.
During pregnancy, women maintain a higher temperature. This is a benefit in winter, but it can also be an inconvenience. Moving in and out of cold weather when pregnant women are bundled up can result in overheating. Wearing thin, breathable layers that can be easily removed will help to avoid getting too warm and staying comfortable.
A common problem in cold weather is the outbreak of different viruses like colds and the flu, and pregnant women have a lower immune system. In addition to taking normal precautions (washing hands, keeping a distance from sick people, cleaning surfaces) getting a flu shot will help keep mother and child healthy.
The grey skies and chilly winter weather can also affect mood. To avoid seasonal depression, some routine time getting out in the sunlight (even if it’s grey) and fresh air can help. It can give the body the vitamin D it needs to regulate mood, absorb calcium, and boost the immune system.
Winter can not only dry out the skin, but indoor heating and warm layers can dehydrate the body. Drinking water and other fluids regularly can help counter the discomfort of overheated homes and stores. Also, be sure to moisturize the skin, especially around the belly, and avoid hot showers.
Winter pregnancies can be complicated, but taking some basic precautions can help to make life much easier. If you’re pregnant and need help navigating the cold months, make an appointment with Dr. Bergstrom and Women’s Health Services for advice and care.