The holidays are behind us, and the cold, blistery winter season complete with snow squalls, icy sidewalks, and slush are in full force. Being pregnant this time of year can be a challenge no thanks to itchy, dry skin, cold and flu germs, and slippery surfaces!  Read on for our winter pregnancy tips to keep you and baby warm, safe and healthy.

Exercise – Walking outside is a great way to get in some exercise while pregnant, but slushy and icy sidewalks aren’t exactly appealing (or safe). Just because you can’t get outdoors, doesn’t mean you can’t keep moving. Sign up for a prenatal yoga class at your local gym, or workout at home to a prenatal workout DVD like Denise Austin’s Fit & Firm Pregnancy.

Safe Footwear – Icy sidewalks mean it’s important to wear proper footwear! Invest in warm, flat boots that offer a lot of support around the ankles and soles with grip. If the weather is especially bad, avoid going out alone when possible.

Warm Outerwear – Your growing bump might add some warmth, but you still need to bundle up like everyone else when the temperature drops! Thankfully, there are a lot of maternity coat options available that are both stylish and have the ability to grow with you through each trimester.  This convertible coat by Canadian Spirit can be worn throughout pregnancy and after, so you don’t need to worry about buying a coat for every stage you’re in.

Comfortable clothes – Forget heels and tight dresses, when you’re pregnant in the winter you want to be comfortable. You can still be stylish, but buy jeans with stretch (many maternity jeans are very fashionable), black pants for work and invest in a lot of warm, cozy sweaters and socks.

Rest – Body aches are common throughout pregnancy, especially during the third trimester. Take the pressure off by resting regularly. Put your feet up whenever possible, take warm baths, use a hot water bottle to relieve muscle tension and use back support such as an Obus Forme while sitting for extended periods of time.

Skin – The winter months are notorious for causing skin to dry out and become flaky and itchy. When you’re pregnant, itchy, dry skin around the belly can feel unbearable. Avoid hot baths and showers which can suck out more moisture, and use natural oils from avocado or almond and a good, unscented moisturizer daily.

Illness – The cold weather plus your pregnancy can be hard on your immune system. Any illness you contract could last longer than if you weren’t expecting. Continue taking your prenatal vitamins, drink plenty of water and, if you are feeling uncomfortable, take an over-the-counter medication that is considered safe during pregnancy such as Tylenol.  If you have any questions or concerns about your health, consult with your doctor and use your sick days to take proper care of yourself.

Flu shot – To help prevent illness get your flu shot. If you have any questions about the flu shot or where to obtain one, visit the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care website.

Just because the weather outside might be frightful, doesn’t mean you can’t take delight in your pregnancy. Keep warm, stay safe and make your health a priority as you prepare for the upcoming arrival of your little one.