Winters are a time of relief from sweat and heat. Though the pleasant weather and ample fresh food choices make it a great season for pregnant mothers; winter problems demand some extra vigilance and care to stay protected and safe. There are multiple physical and hormonal changes that a woman undergoes during pregnancy, such changes coupled with changes during winters, such as the increase in susceptibility to infections and allergies or dryness of skin can lead to additional stress if unattended. Understanding the changes and requirements during pregnancy in winter can help one take the required steps to stay safe and protected says Dr Mamatha Neeli MBBS, DGO, DNB Consultant Gynecologist & Obstetrician, Ankura hospital for women & children, Kompally, Hyderabad
Give a healthy start to your day
Giving your day a healthy start builds the momentum for the rest of the day. Winters are a time when you may want to curl up in your bed till late, but even if you are tempted to do so, remember that your pregnant body has different needs to stay healthy. Some exercise or yoga which can be safely carried out during pregnancy and a nutritious breakfast at your regular time are recommended to give your day a perfect start.
Drink plenty of water even if you don’t feel thirsty often
One may not feel thirsty very often during winter, but if you are an expecting mother your body needs to be adequately hydrated for you and your developing baby to stay healthy. “Consumption of eight to ten glasses of water is necessary to maintain good hydration in pregnant women,” says Dr.Mamatha Neeli, Consultant Gynaecologist & Obstetrician at Ankura hospital for women and children, Hyderabad. Healthy drinks such as fresh fruit juices, coconut water, or hot homemade soups can also be consumed to stay hydrated. Even though one may be tempted to consume hot beverages containing caffeine during winter, it should be avoided or kept at a minimum due to its overall ill effects during pregnancy.
Take a Flu shot and protect yourself from infections
Any illness during pregnancy can stress your body additionally and can have harmful effects on your growing baby and should thus be prevented at all costs. Flu is common during winters and one should thus eat healthy food, follow good personal hygiene, wash their hands regularly and take a flu shot to stay protected from it. “As per the Center for Disease Control flu vaccine is safe for both, the mother and the developing baby and is recommended to be taken during pregnancy to stay protected,” advises Dr. Mamatha Neeli
Consume a balanced diet and boost your immunity through diet
Apart from taking adequate steps to prevent illness, boosting your immunity through food can help you stay healthy and fit. The availability of plenty of vegetables during winter can give expectant mothers a variety of options to choose from. Consumption of small, frequent meals and a balanced diet rich in nutrients and fiber is well-known during pregnancy. Adding foods that can boost your immunity can help you fight off infections, not just during winter but at all other times of the season too. Foods such as Indian gooseberry, ginger, green leafy vegetables, fresh fruits, yogurt, and dry fruits can help immunity boost.
Keep yourself warm
Extreme temperatures can be harmful to both the mother and the developing baby. Since the pregnant body is more sensitive to weather changes and can catch infections like the common cold easily it is advised that the expectant mother keeps herself warm at all times during winter. Wear warm comfortable clothes and avoid spending long hours outdoors during cold weather to prevent any illness.
Use plenty of emollients for dry skin
Apart from the skin changes induced by pregnancy hormones, winters too can have additional effects on the skin, thus making it more dry and itchy. A pregnancy belly with stretched skin and possibly stretch marks can also begin to itch more during the winter season. Usage of plenty of emollients frequently is recommended to keep skin problems during winters at a minimum. Warm baths followed by the usage of moisturizers or oils such as coconut oil can help in keeping your skin supple. Avoid the usage of strong scents and very hot water for keeping your skin healthy.
Apart from all the winter care, stay physically active and exercise regularly to stay fit and to keep pregnancy problems at a minimum. Ankura hospital for women and children wishes all expectant mothers a happy and healthy pregnancy!