Stay cosy, safe, well and comfortable over the chilly season. Here are our cold weather survival tips to keep you and your bump on tip top form.
As your bump grows and the weather gets colder, you might be wondering how best to stay well this winter. Follow our pointers on how to protect yourself and your growing baby.
Keeping cosy starts with a well-stocked winter wardrobe. You don’t need to blow the bank. We’ve got plenty of inventive, low-cost ideas to see you through the season as snug as a bug in a cardigan. See our winter pregnancy fashion article here, but in summary:
- Layers are a good idea as many mums-to-be say they fluctuate between being too hot or too cold.
- Look out for long stretchy vests to cover your bump. Wear with existing jumpers, cardies and shirts or blouses.
- Use a scarf as a way to keep your neck and bump covered with non-maternity coats and cardies.
- Borrow from friends and find second hand ‘steals’ at an NCT Nearly New Sale.
Keeping cosy also involves warming hot drinks, warm baths and toasty homes. Here are our tips on these:
- Think about decaffeinated tea and coffee. Pregnant women are advised to limit caffeine to no more than 200mg a day (NHS Choices, 2018a). Hot chocolate, herbal teas or warm lemon drinks are good alternatives.
- You might have enjoyed taking a hot bath before your pregnancy. But now you’re pregnant it’s important to avoid making the bath too hot. Keep the water below 35°C as raising your core body temperature could be harmful for the baby (NHS Choices, 2018b).
- Keep the thermostat at a temperature that keeps you comfortable. But remember it’s also important to stay hydrated, especially if you’re loaded with layers with the heating on. You’ll need to drink at least 1.6 litres of water a day (Tommy’s, 2017).
Avoid arctic conditions. If you’re pregnant during winter it’s important to wrap up warm and minimise your exposure to extreme cold, especially in weather conditions like snow and ice. Have a ‘snow day’ and stay inside to avoid hazardous conditions and the chill factor.
Get grippy. As there’s more chance of slipping in icy conditions if you do venture out, make sure you have suitable sturdy footwear with grippy soles. Read more about footwear tips in our winter pregnancy fashion article here.
Strengthen your defences. A healthy diet is important to get the right balance of nutrients for you and your baby (NHS Choices, 2017). You’ll also need to keep your immune system in balance so you don’t succumb to winter bugs.
During pregnancy the immune system – the body’s defence against infections – is weakened. This makes pregnant women more susceptible to infections (NHS Choices, 2018c), which is why many pregnant women (politely) keep their distance from people with coughs or colds.
If you’ve already got the dreaded lurgy, then read all about what you can and can’t take to get well again here.
It's also worth reading up on and considering the Covid-19 vaccination, as the Royal College of Gynaecologists & Obstetricians (RCOG) and the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) recommend it during pregnancy.
Ditch the itch. Lots of mums-to-be find they have an itchy tummy as the skin stretches to accommodate their growing baby (NHS Choices, 2016). This can be heightened in the winter months when skin is dry. Dry skin can also worsen when you’re switching between chilly winter air and warm central heating.
Try to use a moisturiser in the morning and the evening (NHS Choices, 2016). It doesn’t need to be an expensive pregnancy brand, the basic ones do the same job. You could also try a skincare oil.
Drinking lots of water helps too so it’s important to remember as you might not feel as thirsty as in hot weather. Chapped lips can be a problem in winter, so remember to use lip balm.
From comfy skin, to being just comfy. Try to enjoy the season as much as you can. Don’t forget winter is actually the perfect excuse to stay indoors without feeling guilty. Snuggle under a blanket with your feet up, relax with a hot chocolate and look after yourself!
Our support line offers practical and emotional support with feeding your baby and general enquiries for parents, members and volunteers: 0330 021 6488.
We also offer antenatal courses which are a great way to find out more about birth, labour and life with a new baby.
Make friends with other parents-to-be and new parents in your local area for support and friendship by seeing what NCT activities are happening nearby. To find out when an NCT Nearly New Sale is happening near you, search here.
Public Health England information on the flu vaccine.
NCT Nearly New Sales
NHS Choices (2016). Itching and intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/itching-obstetric-cholestasis-pregnant/ [Accessed 6 Nov 2018]
NHS Choices (2017). Have a healthy diet in pregnancy. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/healthy-pregnancy-diet/ [Accessed 6 Nov 2018]
NHS Choices (2018a). Should I limit caffeine during pregnancy? Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/pregnancy/should-i-limit-caffeine-during-pregnancy/ [Accessed 6 Nov 2018]
NHS Choices (2018b). Is it safe to use a sauna or Jacuzzi if I’m pregnant? Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/2402.aspx?CategoryID=54 [Accessed April 2018]
NHS Choices (2018c). Why are pregnant women at higher risk of flu complications? Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/3096.aspx?CategoryID=5 [Accessed April 2018]
Tommy’s (2017). How much water should I drink in pregnancy? Available at: https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/im-pregnant/nutrition-pregnancy/how-much-water-should-i-drink-pregnancy [Accessed 6 Nov 2018]