Staying Warm and Cozy
Pregnant women are at an increased risk for hypothermia as the temperature drops. Keep your home heated and use a humidifier to counteract the dry air. When you go outside in winter, the CDC recommends wearing:
- A hat and scarf
- Gloves that cover your hands and fingers
- Water-resistant coat
- Waterproof shoes
- Warm socks
- Clothing in loose layers
Pregnancy and flu season
Pregnant women are more likely to suffer from complications if they catch the flu than those who are not pregnant, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These complications can be dangerous for both you and your baby.
The best way to protect yourself is to get a flu shot. These vaccines are safe for pregnant women and can reduce your risk of getting the flu by up to 60 percent. They also allow you to pass on protective antibodies, which can keep your baby healthy for several months after birth.
Have a plan for labor
If you are close to your due date during winter, it is a good idea to have a plan for when you go into labor.
Pack a hospital bag ahead of time, and make sure you have winter clothes, such as snow boots and a waterproof coat. Keep at least half a tank of gas in your car at all times, have warm blankets on hand for the drive, and plan out the safest and quickest route to the hospital.
If you go into labor during a snow or ice storm, it may not be safe to drive. Call an ambulance instead, and stay warm and hydrated while you wait for it to arrive.
You can also prepare emergency supplies for a home delivery. The Journal of Perinatal Education recommends:
- Clean towels and disposable gloves for delivery
- A bowl for the placenta
- Alcohol wipes, an unused razor blade, and a clean shoelace for the umbilical cord
- Hot water bottle and receiving blankets
- Diapers, cap, and warm clothes for the baby
- Suction bulb to clear the baby’s airways if necessary
- Sanitary pads and cold packs for yourself
- Warm, protein-rich to eat after birth
- Blankets for everyone
If you are worried about being stranded at home while you are in labor, talk to your doctor about planning for an emergency home delivery.
February 01, 2018
Janet O’Dell, RN