The Dry Skin Battle
Caring for already-dry skin, due to extreme temperatures, requires extra attention during wintertime pregnancies. Applying moisturizing lotions on hands and body offers relief for cracked skin. Use a moisturizing lotion immediately upon exiting the bath or shower, advises Dr. Green.
Dr. Angle recommends such favorite products as Cetaphil and Lubriderm. "Putting Vaseline or Aquaphor on one's hands and then putting on gloves can help heal irritated hands while sleeping at night," she adds.
Dr. Valfer likes Aveeno in the bath to prevent or treat dry skin. Another product aimed at expectant mothers is Mustela 9 Months Ultimate Hydration, a hypoallergenic lotion that is designed to improve skin comfort and help calm irritation.
For those moms-to-be who develop skin conditions such as Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy (PUPPP) and pruritis gravidarum, which create a rash or cause excessive itching, simple lotion and moisturizing baths may not do the trick. In these cases, a trip to the doctor is warranted, says Dr. Green.
Some Like it Hot
Who doesn't like the idea of soaking in the tub when it's cold outside? While Dr. Angle says that warm baths are "absolutely fine" during pregnancy, both she and Dr. Green caution against hot tubs and saunas. "They may look especially inviting," says Dr. Green, "but they should be avoided, especially in the first trimester," due to evidence of increased risk of birth defects and possible miscarriages.
Donning a cozy, warm sweater is a treat on a cold winter's day, but for many pregnant women, the extra layers may not be necessary. "After 28 weeks, women may find that they feel warmer than they typically are when not pregnant, so they may not want a heavy wool sweater," says Dr. Angle.
Dr. Green seconds this notion. "For most women late in pregnancy, the core body temperature goes up as much as a whole degree, so they may find that they do not need as much clothing as they usually do." He recommends wearing layers of breathable materials, so clothing can be shed easily if desired. Dr. Valfer also sees the value in dressing in layers to adjust to the changing temperatures, as well as the body's changes to the same temperature.
As far as accessories are concerned, wearing a hat is essential to sustaining body heat when outdoors. And for putting one's best foot forward, a comfortable shoe with a low heel and good traction to prevent possible falling, especially on icy surfaces, is key.