The worst part of being very pregnant in the summer is feeling constantly sweaty. Like, my thighs are stuck together. My belly feels stuck to my pelvis. There’s a pool of sweat under my boobs. I just want to take a shower now! And then again in one hour. But otherwise, life’s pretty good: maxi dresses make for easy breezy fashion, you don’t have to worry about a coat that fits over your bump and flip flops are great for swollen feet and slip right on!
One of my greatest daily struggles this winter with a belly heavy with twins? Getting my socks on.
While this will be my last pregnancy (I pinky swear promise!), it is my first over the winter. And I don’t mean the kind of winter that makes lizards fall out of trees. I mean the kind of winter where snot freezes as soon as it exits your nostrils. Winter pregnancies pose a unique set of problems, but luckily there are solutions that do not involve hibernation. (Though honestly, that’s what I’d prefer to be doing.)
How to stay warm
The jacket extender is a most genius invention. There are a few brands on the market now—all made in Canada, of course—and they all work the same way: they attach to your regular winter coat to make it both a maternity coat AND a babywearing coat. There are some stunning maternity coats on the market that transform from regular coat to pregnancy coat to babywearing coat and back again, but they aren’t in everyone’s budget. A coat extender can cost less than $100 and should work with almost any coat with zippers. My personal favourite is the MakeMyBellyFit extender.
If you want to spend even less money, and depending on how cold it gets where you are, a large shawl or poncho is a great solution. On milder winter days, I wrap myself in my fleece poncho from Costco (which I also use for babywearing). You might even be able to get away with wearing your regular winter coat (unzipped) with a large shawl or poncho on top to cover your belly.
Some very fashionable wrap-style winter coats will also cover your bump and will continue to be a functional part of your wardrobe once baby arrives.
Get pull-on winter boots. If I struggle putting socks on, imagine having to put on and lace up winter boots. Nope. Nope. Nope. I have a pair of boots with handles that I can pull on easily. Now that my belly is ginormous, I also have a stool at our entrance so I can sit down to put them on.
How to stay healthy
Winter is not only cold … it’s also cold and flu season! Colds and flus hit pregnant ladies harder, and we are restricted in what we can do to get relief. There are definitely some over-the-counter meds that are fine to use, but always check with your care provider first. If you aren’t sure or simply want to avoid medication altogether, here are some totally safe ways to get relief from cold and flu symptoms:
- Get your flu shot: it is definitely recommended for pregnant women!
- Put a humidifier next to your bed.
- Clear those sinuses with a neti pot (absolutely saved my sanity when my sinuses where killing me a few weeks ago).
- Soothe a cough and sore throat with caffeine-free teas, or make hot water with lemon, honey and ginger.
- Get mucous moving (out) by steaming your face over a bowl of hot water with a towel over your head (pinnacle of glamour).
- Heat up a microwaveable rice bag and place it on your shoulders or back to soothe muscle aches.
- Ask for help. I know it’s not always possible, but especially if you have other children to care for, accept help so that you can rest!
How to stay safe
No one likes to fall down, but obviously falling is something us pregos need to particularly avoid.
When it’s icy out, take special care! For one, for goodness sake Lindsay, hold the railing! (I am very clumsy. I have taken a couple of nasty spills this winter.) Salt or sand the walkways in front of your house. If it’s really bad where you are, you can buy grips (also called ice cleats or crampons) that attach to the bottom of your winter boots to give you good traction on treacherous terrain. (Like the grocery store parking lot.) Also … put those snow tires on and drive carefully! Precious cargo on board!
What are your tips for surviving pregnancy during winter?