Did you think a winter pregnancy would be easier than a summer one because it isn’t hot out? Eh… Not so much. During winter, our bodies have to adapt to the colder temperatures and drier air conditions. That’s right, winter actually carries out low humidity, which means that you are more inclined to dry skin, dehydration, scratchy throat and sinus problems — all woes that you want to avoid during pregnancy. And while we may layer ourselves in puffy coats, leggings, thermals, knee socks and uggs externally, it’s also important that your internal body temperature remains normal, especially during pregnancy. Here are six tips to help you stay hydrated during the colder months.
1. Drink Water! ALL.THE.TIME. Dehydration can cause problems ranging from lightheadedness to preterm labor. So invest in a reusable water bottle and keep it close by. You are supposed to drink approximately 10 cups (over 2 liters) a day. Drink even more if you are adding exercise or travel to the mix. And if you get tired of water, enjoy some tea, preferably decaffeinated.
2. Start your day with fruits: Since you have to stay extra hydrated during winter, you’ll have to ingest a. lot. of water. So you may get sick of it from time to time. Mix it up a bit and load up on water-rich fruits such as watermelon, pomegranate, and pineapple. It’s a good way to stay hydrated and eat healthfully.
3. Salt can help. Yes, you heard right! When you ingest salt, your brain tells the kidneys to hold on to water. What’s more, you need salt to bring in fluid from the intestine to the bloodstream. Foods such as saltine crackers (especially if you’re in the early months of pregnancy) and low-sodium chicken noodle soup will help retain water (versus losing it in urine) in your body as necessary.
4. Incorporate soups. Soups are the best way to incorporate fiber-rich vegetables, carbohydrates and protein into your diet all at once. Since the base of most soups contain water, this is also an excellent way to stay hydrated. As mentioned, chicken noodle soup could give you the right amount of sodium too keep water in your system.
5. Avoid caffeine. Coffee is a diuretic, which means you’ll lose fluids faster, so if you can, don’t drink coffee. But if you can’t imagine skimping on that cup of joe, be sure to make up for it with at least two 8oz glasses of water so that you’re replenishing your body adequately. Switching to pregnancy-friendly herbal teas is an alternate solution for that afternoon pick-me-up.
6. Use a humidifier. A humidifier is one of the best ways to keep your body moist when you are inside, especially in the winter when the air is drier and your heater is blasting. Your eyes and nasal passages will benefit from the moisture during this time, which can ultimately help prevent an oncoming cold or cough. There are many brands such as the Babymoov humidifier that allow you to set the humidity level in your room based on the current air flow.