For those of us living in the Northern climates winter can be, shall we say, challenging. For those of us who find ourselves pregnant during the winter months it can be down right miserable. Have no fear though. There are some great ways to ensure that this winter is not going to get you down! I’ve been pregnant twice over the winter months in Canada and I have come to realize that if you can’t beat’em you just have to join’em. Embrace winter by following these tips and suggestions.
- Buy a maternity jacket, a jacket in a larger size or a belly extender for an existing jacket.
Winter is cold. Very, very cold. There is nothing worse than being already uncomfortable and then adding extreme cold to the mix because your favourite winter jacket no longer fits. Some maternity jackets are lovely, but are also pricey. If you can find a good one on sale or second hand it is well worth it. Another new option is a belly extender. There are half a dozen or so on the market these days, many of which are made here in Canada. These clip into your own winter or fall jacket and make room for your growing tummy. Some can also be used after baby’s arrival and convert your jacket into a babywearing coat, which is in my opinion the best and most sensible option. I chose the Belly Coat because it was made here in Toronto, could clip into any jacket (not just one jacket, which most zip-in options are limited to) and can be flipped around for babywearing as well.
- Invest in a great pair of winter boots with LOTS of tread.
It may seem obvious, but when your centre of gravity is already challenged, the last thing you need is to be slipping and sliding around on snow and ice. Yes, heavy duty winter boots can be a bit bulky and heavy, but it is a far better option than landing in emergency because you have fallen flat on your back and spurred premature labour. Sorel, Kamiks and even some Bogs offer some more fashion forward options for winter and will keep your toes warm, toasty and securely fastened to the ground.
- Moisturizer, moisturizer, moisturizer.
Winter is dry. Pregnancy can be even worse. Pregnancy in the winter is when your body resembles a shedding snake. Find a good quality paraben-free and sulphate-free moisturizer that you can use on both your belly and hands and maybe even face. Some people swear by extra virgin coconut oil, which is easily and readily found these days and can be used for about one million other things as well.
- Outsource holiday meals.
Last Christmas we ordered our Christmas dinner in and I did not feel even remotely guilty. The idea of my kitchen being tossed into chaos by other people trying to cook and clean was just too stressful for me. Plus, at the end of the day, it is only one day. Our family totally understands and supports the decision to simply have the meal catered. Many hotels, restaurants, specialty food stores and some major grocery chains offer full holiday meal packages that include appetizers, salads, turkey with all the fixings, as well as desserts. Why not just spend a tiny bit extra and only have dishes to attend to.
- ASK FOR HELP
So this may seem like a simple one, but I think most moms these days would agree that we all try to do everything and be everything. Let’s face it: we just can’t. Be realistic about schedules. For example, my son currently swims Tuesday nights at 5 p.m. Starting in January it will be Fridays at 6 p.m so that his daddy can take him to swimming. I’m not prepared to bundle up a newborn in the dead of winter and sit in a sweltering pool for an hour. I also have my wonderful and fabulous in laws coming to stay with us for a month to lend a hand with our older child. If you don’t live near family, enlist your neighbours, friends and heck, anybody else who seems keen! Get a local child to shovel for you. Order groceries online for a few months. Do what you have to do, but don’t try to do everything.
Enjoy your pregnancy and your newborn. Embrace being housebound for a little longer than you would be in the spring. Sometimes it is nice to be home and warm and just relax. Isn’t that what winter is really all about anyways?
Was there anything specific that helped you survive winter while pregnant? What made your life easier and saved your sanity?