SAIL THROUGH YOUR WINTER PREGNANCY
Winters can be a little daunting on you. Try these expert tips, and we assure that you will be able to breeze right through the colder months
Expert tips to breeze through the colder months
Pregnancy has its ups and downs all year round, but ask any mum who’s been there, and she’ll tell you that every season comes with its own unique set of challenges. If you’re finding yourself with a baby on board this winter (as in, right now), you’re in luck. These expert tips will help you survive — and even thrive — throughout the frigid months ahead. Stay warm, mumma!
The dry air can wreak havoc on your pregnancy glow. These tips from Dr Jaishree Sharad, celebrity cosmetic dermatologist and CEO, Skinfiniti Aesthetic and Laser Clinic Mumbai, will help you deal with the winter skin woes.
For the face Cleanse, moisturise and use a physical sunscreen which contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Chemical sunscreens may not be a good idea. Also, avoid night creams. Just use a moisturiser or coconut oil or almond oil on the face at night. Pigmentation may occur on the face due to hormonal changes. To fight it, have foods rich in folic acid. Incorporate leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli, citrus, beans, peas, avocado, seeds, and nuts into your pregnancy diet to promote an even skin tone. Make sure to eat vitamin C rich foods to reduce pigmentation.
For the hands Moisturise your hands twice a day. Avoid hand sanitisers. Wash your hands with a handwash instead and immediately apply coconut or almond or olive oil on the damp skin to hydrate the hands.
For the body Use a mild shower gel instead of soaps. Very high body temperatures during early pregnancy may affect the development of the baby’s nervous system so it’s best to avoid saunas during pregnancy. Also, limit the warm showers to no more than
10 minutes, and not more than once a day. Dry skin can get itchy and flaky during winters. So make sure to moisturise your body and not just the face. Be sure to moisture your skin properly especially after bath to avoid itchiness and stretch marks. If the skin is feeling extra dry and tight, use ingredients like evening primrose, jojoba, borage seed and oat kernel oil in your moisturiser, all of which are rich in gamma linoleic acid.
For the bump Use vitamin E oil or hyaluronic acid-based creams or lotions to prevent prominent stretch marks.
Dr Bandita Sinha, gynaecologist, Hiranandani Hospital and Fortis, Vashi, shares tips to stay in the best of your health all winter long.
Get a flu vaccine: When you are pregnant, your immunity is low and so you are prone to various infections. It is not just safe, but it is recommended that you receive the flu vaccine in the second and third trimester of pregnancy. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in the year 2015 reported that the risk of foetal death was nearly twice as high for women who were not vaccinated as it was for mothers who were vaccinated. If you have not already done so, schedule a shot right now. Also, avoid over the counter drugs and take only those medicines that are recommended by the doctor.
Dress in layers: The thermometer may read in single digits, but if you are an expectant mum your body temperature is on the rise as more blood flows through your body. Add or remove layers so that you don’t freeze or overheat as you make your way through the day.
Try herbal remedies with caution: Winter colds are a drag, and while you may turn to herbal remedies to fight off the sniffles, there is not enough research on the effects of echinacea on pregnancy that deems it safe. So you may not try those herbal remedies.
Stay hydrated: While summer is often associated with dehydration, the lack of humidity in winter air can draw every last bit of hydration out of your body. Dehydration could lead to a decrease in amniotic fluid and also cause repeated urine infection and dry skin. So make sure to drink a minimum of eight glasses of water a day. Coconut water and homemade soups are also great options. Did you know proper hydration also prevents preterm labour?
Power up: A long brisk walk in the morning or in the afternoon can be a great way to keep your heart rate up. But if the weather is uncomfortably frigid, maintain a fitness routine by doing some light exercises and prenatal yoga (under guidance). It keeps the body flexible, strengthens the immune system and helps fight illnesses like common cold and flu. Regular exercise can also prevent swelling and leg cramps, high blood pressure and diabetes.
Don’t fear the doctor: If something does not feel right, it is better to be over cautious than to completely ignore the symptoms. Even if you usually tend to downplay sickness, remember you are making decisions for two now. Winter is notorious for the frequency of stomach bugs, and of course the flu and cold season. So take precautions and if you need your doctor’s note to stay at home and rest, go ahead and take one.
Protect yourself: Keep a safe distance from sick people. Also, keep yourself clean as this will help protect you from many diseases. Getting enough sleep is also important for the proper growth of the baby.
Invest in a pair of all-weather boots: The wedge booties and platform heels may be stylish but a comfortable pair of boots possibly half a size larger than your normal size if you are experiencing swelling – will keep your legs and feet warm and help stabilise you on a slushy morning.
Take it easy: Pregnancy is tiring. So take advantage of the short
days by curling up with a blanket and some hot chocolate. Kick your feet up, put on a good movie, and silence your phone. Once the baby’s here, there’s going to be a whole lot less time for days like this, so enjoy it while it lasts!
Pregnancy care during winter should ideally comprise measures to elevate immunity levels by consuming the right kind of food in the right quantity. So it is imperative that you eat a variety of foods from all the food groups. The quantity of calories you need for your body depends on your daily physical activity, weight before pregnancy and current weight. In the first trimester, you usually do not need extra calories. In the second and third trimesters, you should eat at least about 300 extra calories daily. Stay on track with your health and your growing baby’s development by adding these healthy eats to your daily diet recommended by Niyati Likhite, dietician, Fortis Hospital.
Foods to eat Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, as they are rich in antioxidants which helps in boosting immunity. Eat lots of vitamin-C rich fruits like orange, sweet lime, melons, amla, and banana, which ensures better iron absorption. Also, consume more dark green, red, and orange vegetables like broccoli, spinach, lettuce, and cauliflower greens, carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash, and red pepper. Iodine is an important mineral needed for the production of thyroid hormone, which is vital for the growth and development of the baby. Inadequate iodine intake during pregnancy increases the risk of mental impairment and cretinism (severely stunted physical and mental growth) in the newborn baby. Seafoods, eggs, and iodised salt are good sources of iodine. Eat foods that are rich in iron such as lean meat, beans, green leafy vegetables, and fortified cereals. Eat at least 3- 4 servings of milk and milk products to meet the increased requirement of calcium and protein. Eat 8 to 10 servings of grains and pulses to meet the additional calories for baby’s development. Constipation is commonly observed during pregnancy even during the winter months. Fiber-rich foods such as beans, grains, and seeds (flax seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, sabja, and pumpkin seeds) can aid in the smooth running of the bowel movements.
Foods to avoid Salt and sugar should be consumed in moderation. Blood pressure tends to rise during the winter months so salty and processed foods should be best avoided. Processed foods can also increase the risk of excess weight gain. Foods and drinks that are high in saturated fat, added sugar and salt are not a necessary part of a healthy diet and should be limited. It can be tempting to grab that hot cup of coffee when it is freezing outside but limit your intake of caffeine to avoid possible health problems. Also avoid tea, cola and energy drinks. Avoid fish high in mercury, uncooked or raw foods, undercooked foods, raw and processed meat, raw eggs, raw sprouts, unpasteurised milk, and its products as they may increase the risk of bacterial infections.