Even under normal circumstances, winter — with its never-ending string of holidays and social obligations — can be stressful. Even though you have a new bun in the oven, you may still feel like you have to make and bake pies in the family oven, host get-togethers, and travel to see your loved ones.
Our knowledgeable and compassionate OB/GYNs at Columbia Fertility Associates, want to help you and your growing baby sail through the winter with ease. Between your doctor appointments and the holiday rush, check our list of winter tips for you and yours.
Host virtual get-togethers
Traveling in the time of the pandemic is dangerous for anyone, but is especially troublesome for pregnant women and their developing fetuses. Although a Zoom get-together isn’t the same as an in-person gathering, with a little creativity, you can:
- Mail decorations and favors to your virtual party goers
- Share the “same” dinner across the country (or world)
- Invite a holiday-themed performer to join you
- Attend a religious service together
Zoom also offers holiday-themed backgrounds that make you feel festive, even in the midst of a business meeting.
Boost your immune system
The combination of coronavirus and the flu isn’t a gift you want to open this year. Pregnant women’s immune systems are already taxed by the demands of pregnancy. Your heart and lungs also have to work harder than ever.
When you get a flu shot, you reduce your risk of being hospitalized for the flu by 40%. If you forgot your shot or were delayed, it’s better to get the shot a little late than to take the risk of coming down with the flu while you’re pregnant.
When you’re pregnant, it’s also important that your doctor administer an injectable vaccine (a flu shot) and not one that you inhale through the nose. A nasal vaccine increases your risk for respiratory problems.
Also be sure you’re eating a healthy, whole-foods diet, sleeping and exercising regularly, and taking sufficient vitamin D. Your doctors can recommend supplements, dietary tweaks, and lifestyle changes that keep your immune system strong all winter long.
Stay warm and safe
Dressing in layers that are easily shed or re-bundled helps you regulate your body temperature, especially as you move from chilly outdoor spaces to overheated indoor ones. Be sure to cover your head with a hat when outdoors, wrap a scarf around your neck, and wear gloves or mittens, too.
As your feet expand with pregnancy, you might not fit into your favorite leather boots (and if they have heels, you shouldn’t wear them anyway!) Invest in a pair of rubber pull-over boots with gripping soles.
Boots also give you extra traction and reduce the risk of slipping on snow and ice. Reach out for handrails and helpful arms to steady yourself when on stairs or slippery patches.
Keep moist — inside and out
Winter skin tends to be dry and itchy. As your tummy expands with each passing day, your skin is stretched thinner than usual. It needs extra care to feel moisturized and comfortable.
Dry, thin skin is also more susceptible to stretch marks. Consider using coconut oil, cocoa butter, or a special moisturizer designed to counteract stretch marks to keep your skin well-hydrated. Also avoid hot baths or showers, which dry out your skin.
Drink plenty of healthy fluids, such as plain water and fruit-infused flavored waters. Staying hydrated keeps your kidneys healthy and your skin, too.
Indulge in mocktails
Eggnog. Champagne. Endless glasses of wine.
If alcoholic beverages have been an important part of your winter holiday season up until now, ’tis the time to get creative. Search online for recipes to make yummy mocktails such as:
- Rosewater and lemon spritzer garnished with rose petals
- Mock bloody Mary with tomato juice, lime, and tabasco sauce
- Mockarita with frozen strawberries, honey, and lime
- Alcohol-free eggnog with milk, whipped cream, vanilla, and nutmeg
A bonus is that trying out different drink recipes helps you keep up those all-important hydration levels.
Give yourself the gift of “me time”
Just because it’s winter and the holidays keep rolling around, you don’t have to get stressed out or feel that you need to make the season extra special. You and your baby need rest, too. Be sure you take time to relax and reflect, so you can decide what your best winter looks like this year.
And if pregnancy still seems like a far-off dream, call the nearest office or use our online form to contact our team at Columbia Fertility Associates for an infertility consultation. At our offices in Washington, DC; Bethesda, Maryland; and Arlington, Virginia, we love helping give singles and couples the gift of a new baby — no matter what the season.