5 Tips For A Safe and Healthy Winter Pregnancy

pregnant mom in winter coat

Being pregnant is one of the most exciting and delightful events in a woman's life. I see this every day in my practice. I also see the anxiety and yearning to have a safe and healthy pregnancy and outcome.

Midwestern winters can be very harsh and being pregnant during these cold dreary months can be hard, but it's easier than you think to stay comfortable and healthy. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy a very exciting time in your life:

1. Remember to stay hydrated
    Just because it's not hot outside, you may think dehydration is not going to be a problem, but winter air can be really dry, and when you are going into overheated stores and homes you probably will find yourself hot and sweaty. So remember to drink more water than you think you need to.

2. Get your flu shot
    During the cold winter months, almost everywhere you go people are sick, sneezing and coughing. Make sure to keep your distance and wash your hands frequently. Also make sure to get the influenza vaccine to help prevent you from catching the flu.

3. Stay active, but be safe
    Physical activity can help to ease pregnancy pains and aches, but during the cold weather months, you may find yourself sitting on the couch more than you should. It's cozy and comfortable, I don't blame you, but you need to be active. Try swimming in an indoor pool or walking on a treadmill at the gym. Don't exercise outdoors because the sidewalks and roads are slick and being outside for an extended period of time in freezing temperature can be dangerous for you. Please avoid all risky winter sports as well, such as snowmobiling, skiing, ice-skating, etc. Physical activity is important, though, don't neglect it!

4. Be careful walking outside
    Ice and slush are everywhere, almost always. So be careful on the sidewalks and in parking lots. Everyone needs to be more cautious, but pregnant women are more prone to falling since pregnancy changes your center of gravity. If you fall, call your OB/GYN, just to make sure everything is okay with you and your baby.

5. Avoid itchy, flaky skin
    The winter months are notorious for causing dry skin. When you are pregnant, itchy dry skin, especially around the belly, can be unbearable. Avoid hot showers and use a good unscented moisturizer daily.


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

SwedishAmerican Obstetrician & Gynecologist Tarek Harb, MD, FACOG, sees patients at SwedishAmerican Obstetrics & Gynecology in Rockford and at SwedishAmerican's Stateline Clinic in Rockton. To make an appointment, please call (779) 696-2750 (Rockford) or (779) 696-9000 (Rockton).