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Pregnant women need extra care during the winter season. This is because pregnancy has already caused immense hormonal and physiological changes and seasonal changes could be hard for them, leaving women susceptible to cough, cold, skin problems, pain and infections.
However, not all pregnant women may face the harshness of winters as some may also feel relieved due to the cooling effects on their bodies. This largely depends on the geographic location.
In this article, we will discuss a few effective pregnancy care tips during winters. Remember, with the right kind of winter care during pregnancy, you can ensure to have a safe gestation and delivery.
1. Wear Thermal Dresses
Thermal dresses are among the best and well-accepted ways to show promising results in improving health and keeping us safe during winters. For pregnant women, the need to wear layers of clothes increases to keep themselves warm and maintain a proper blood supply, which often tends to lower as the temperature drops. Make sure to take extra care of your hands and feet as blood supply may frequently decrease at these extremities. 
2. Install A Humidifier At Home
Humidifiers are devices that add moisture to the air. A cold environment in winters may cause air to dry and hold less moisture, thus lowering the humidity. This may lead to problems like dry skin, scratchy throats, itching, dry hair and chapping, along with chances of infections and allergies. A study has shown that humidifiers can help maintain the relative humidity indoors (between 40-60 per cent) and reduce the risk of respiratory infections, asthma symptoms and allergies. 
3. Boost Immunity
Seasonal changes may affect immunity in many ways. According to a study, factors like an increase in infectious diseases, less physical activities and high food consumption during winters can cause elevated cholesterol and sugar levels, which may negatively affect immunity and lead to increased deaths during the season. Pregnant women are prone to low immunity during winters. This is why they need to take extra care of their immune system by maintaining hand hygiene and eating foods rich in vitamin C. 
4. Keep The Skin Moisturised
Pregnancy may bring significant skin changes due to changes in metabolic, endocrinological, vascular and immunological factors. Also, as aforementioned, winter may increase drying of the skin due to low humidity. All these factors together can cause multiple skin problems in pregnant women which needs to be treated at the earliest to avoid complications. Moisturiser is the best way to create a skin barrier from cold. Apply moisturiser around 3-4 times a day, especially after bathing and make sure to use unscented and hypoallergenic ones. Some may opt for baby products as well if they have an extra sensitive skin type. 
5. Drink More Water
Pregnancy increases the need for general fluid to support fetal circulation, maintain blood volume for both mothers and the baby, prevent pregnancy constipation and also support amniotic fluid. As per a study, around 8-10 glasses of water are recommended for pregnant women. Though we often feel less thirsty during winters, experts suggest women drink the recommended amount of water when pregnant during winters. 
6. Get Flu Shot
Winter brings a lot of infectious diseases, at a time when immunity is also considered to become low. Influenza vaccination is the primary step to prevent the risk of influenza-related illnesses in pregnant women who are prone to the infection and its complications. It is also safe for both the mother and baby. This is why, experts suggest never missing on yearly flu shots, and if you are pregnant, make sure to take the shots after consulting a medical expert. 
7. Don't Avoid Daily Physical Activity
Any form of physical activity at least for half an hour is best to decrease the risk of gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, low back pain, caesarean delivery and urine leakage, says a study. High-intensity exercises must be avoided and rather aerobic exercises such as walking and swimming are to be carried out. Experts also suggest drinking water before and throughout the exercise to prevent dehydration and overheating, which may lead to complications. 
8. Eat Healthily
Pregnancy often tends to increase the appetite of a woman and make them eat more, while winters may add to it and cause them to go off track with the diet. The coldness and increased appetite, together, may cause pregnant women to eat unhealthy foods, leading them to an increased risk of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Avoid consuming unhealthy food items and make sure to add nutrition like folate, iron, calcium and vitamin C to your diet. 
9. Don't Miss Appointments
Winter often makes people lazy and cause them to miss essential appointments. Antenatal care is very important as it benefits both the mother and the baby by assisting in screening, diagnosing or managing the risk factors and improving pregnancy outcomes. Experts suggest never to miss pregnancy appointments and keep supplements and medicines handy. Though going out during winters can be distressing, make sure to do it with extra precautions like scheduling it earlier and carrying extra winter clothes.
10. Stay Indoors As Much As Possible
Apart from essential works like doctor's appointments, pregnant women must try to stay indoors as much as possible during the winter season to prevent complications such as cold, cough and infections that comes with cold temperature. Regarding physical activities, indoor exercises such as yoga can be a good option.
Winters can be difficult for some expectant mothers while good for others. If you are staying in areas where winters are extreme, make sure to follow the aforementioned effective pregnancy care tips to stay healthy during the season.
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