The Pregnant Gal's Guide to Weathering the Weather

by Della H. Harris

Keep cozy during your pregnancyYour adorable baby bump does more than just look cute. It's your private heating system (or so the tale goes).

But what about your first trimester when you're freezing? You certainly don't feel like you have your own built-in furnace.

Because the "staying warm and comfy" challenge changes with your stage of pregnancy, we've separated our information into two sections.

During the first weeks of your pregnancy, you'll sense how your wee baby seems to take all your available energy and warmth from you.

Your tips will change as your pregnancy progresses. In no time your bump will seem to give off enough heat to warm a stadium. Okay, maybe not warm up a whole stadium, but it sure can feel like that some days.

First Trimester Tips

You're on the couch, wrapped in a blanket and shivering. The rest of your family strips to shorts and tank tops, sweat dripping off their brows. Is the thermostat turned too high? No matter what, you feel like you can't get warm enough. Sound like you? Try these tips to get on the road to cozyville.

Dress in Layers

Start with a camisole, pile on layers and end with a cozy wool sweater. If you get too hot, peel off a layer or two until you're comfy again. Natural fibers like cotton, linen and wool allow your body to wick moisture outward so you don't feel damp and chilly.

Toasty Toes

Are you being accused of having popsicle toes? First trimester moms commonly complain about crazy, icy, cold feet -- the kind that work better than an alarm clock at rousing your snoozing spouse.

Warm soaks: Fill a pan with warm water and allow your feet to soak in it for around fifteen to twenty minutes. This warms you up, promotes circulation and offers quite a relaxing experience. Besides, who can't do with a little relaxation time?

Fuzzy socks or slippers: Take advantage of those woolen boot socks you found too hot two month ago or those toasty slippers. Loose footwear will keep your toes toastier than tight socks and shoes.

Get moving: You don't need to enroll in a gym or practice daily workouts. Walking, swimming or running for just 15 minutes a day helps get blood moving. Can't make it off the couch? Try ankle rolls and sitting heel raises.

Factoid: Dr. Alexander Nachnamen, a German researcher discovered that pregnant moms carrying boys are more likely to suffer from bad blood circulation...and icy cold feet.

Maternity Coat, Maybe

Is a maternity coat cost effective for you? If you decide you don't want to spend the bucks for three weeks of bad weather in January, try one of these options:

  • "Borrow" your husband's down jacket -- assuming your hubby's bigger than you are
  • Dress in soft, warm sweater layers, the outer one waterproof
  • Add a belly warmer

Getting Outside

When the temps drop into the teens and lower, you'll want gloves, warm socks, a hat and should snow strike, boots. Your best bet offers arch support, sports a flat heel, stretches and has room for warm socks or swelling feet.

If you can't bear to give up the heels, look at shorter wider heels that won't put as much strain on your legs. If you have trouble finding good boots with enough arch support, you can purchase add-ins that go inside of your shoes and boots.

What about Uggs®? Lorraine Jones, from The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists says Ugg boots are unsuitable for daily wear in pregnancy because they don't provide your feet with the necessary support.

Second Trimester Heat Wave

Your wee bump now becomes a reliable source of warmth. Don't be surprised if your partner starts snuggling up on those cold wintery days.

There might be days where it's your turn to wear the shorts and tank top while your family looks like the living room is an arctic explorer's camp site. You're roasting. They're freezing. What's a mom-to-be to do?

Dress in Layers

Layering on the clothes allows you to add or remove pieces (mostly remove) so you stay comfortable. Opt for natural fibers.

Reasonable Room Temps

You're probably perfectly comfortable in the 62 to 65° range. The rest of the family might prefer 68° or higher. Compromise. Wear a loosely fitting tank top and hand out sweatshirts for the rest of the group. You could always try to convince them this "isn't going to last forever..."

Humidify and Hydrate

Drink plenty of water. We know that you can only drink so much but, staying hydrated lessens the possibility of headaches, preterm labor, encourages an ample supply of amniotic fluid and combats dry skin.

Keep your air moist, too. Adequate humidity combats dry skin and helps prevent pregnancy stuffiness.

We'd love to see your tips in the comments. What helps you stay comfortable during icy winter days?

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