Winter presents challenges such as altered humidity and low temperatures along with the onset of diseases such as influenza, the common cold and the dreaded COVID-19. While our basal metabolic rate increases to maintain our body temperature, we need to make ourselves strong enough to fight these diseases by boosting our immunity. And while the season may worsen some conditions for pregnant women, there is no need to worry! Dr. K. Birundha, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist and Infertility Specialist, Kauvery Hospital, Bengaluru shares some tips for managing pregnancy in winter.
Stay well hydrated
The problem in winter is that you do not feel thirsty, which can lead to insufficient water intake. “Dehydration can lead to urinary tract infection (UTI), which is harmful during pregnancy. UTI during pregnancy can cause premature birth, low birth weight, fetal growth restriction. As such, sufficient water is a must during pregnancy,” advises Dr. Birundha. you can supplement your water intake with fluids like soups and milk, but limit tea, coffee and carbonated drinks as they make you dehydrated.
Get a healthy and balanced diet
Iron-rich foods like spinach, dates, beets, kiwi, pomegranate are recommended during pregnancy. In addition, citrus fruits like orange, lemon, apple are good for improving your immunity, which is a must to fight flu and other such diseases. “The daily calorie requirement is more in the winter, so maintain your diet and body temperature by including lentils, eggs and other protein-rich foods in your meals. Pay attention to your intake of vitamins, minerals and micronutrients that are essential during pregnancy as they help strengthen your immunity and are good for fetal growth, ”says Dr. Birundha.
Skin Care And Hair Care
Winter causes the skin to lose moisture and natural oils, and abdominal stretch marks tend to get worse this season. Avoid itchy skin and cracks by using skin moisturizer and nourishing olive oil. Dr. Birundha adds: “It is just as important to maintain the moisture of the hair and scalp in winter. Hair gets dry easily and hair loss is a common problem during pregnancy. Choose hair products with natural ingredients, free of parabens and other chemicals. Also avoid coloring your hair during pregnancy, as most of the dyes have chemicals like PPD, which allow the dye to bind to the hair shaft, resorcinol, ammonia, parabens, etc. These chemicals can enter your bloodstream through the hair follicle, causing serious problems such as allergic reactions and birth defects. “
Wear warmer clothes that keep you comfortable. Poor circulation can lead to cold hands and feet, further causing pain and swelling. So wear gloves and socks to keep your extremities warm.
Finally, combat COVID-19 in the winter by following general precautions such as social distancing, use of masks, and hand sanitizer. Avoid attending public gatherings such as weddings, funerals, going to malls. “COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for pregnant women. This will help reduce the severity of the disease,” says Dr. Birundha.
Read more: Your guide to safe training during pregnancy