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How to cope during a winter pregnancy.

NSW Government
Thanks to our brand partner, NSW Government

There is a very good reason that October is the most popular birth month in Australia according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Sure, it conveniently coincides with a little bit of New Year’s celebration activity (if you know what I mean) but more importantly, your second and third trimesters are experienced during winter. From someone who’s been there, if you can plan it: have a winter pregnancy.

My now seven-month-old daughter was a winter pregnancy. She was my first, so I didn’t really think about it. Experienced mums, however, kept coming up to me and saying things like, “oh, you’re so lucky, you’ll be pregnant in winter” and “thank God you won’t have to be pregnant in summer”.

I figured they were trying to be nice, I mean, it’s not like I could change my due date. That was until the last week of my pregnancy when summer came early and I have never hated life so much.

There will come a day when you can no longer button up any jacket you own. Image: iStock. 

Think of your pregnant belly as a hot water bottle. Permanently attached to you. Handy in winter. Not so much in 30-degree heat.

The other best bit about having a huge belly in winter are the stretchy dresses that emphasis your bump (and conveniently make everything else look smaller… except your boobs, sorry, there is no solution for those two). If you aren’t the “show off your bump” kind, then baggy wintery clothes hide the bump without looking like you’re trying to hide the bump. Okay, so there will come a day when you can no longer button up any jacket you own, but by that point your permanently attached hot water bottle means you won’t need a jacket.

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There is one thing that is horrible about being pregnant in winter (and no one warned me).

Germs. Everywhere. On the bus. In the office. At home.

The more pregnant you are, the more your immune system takes a nose dive. If someone sneezes on the other side of the office, you’re going to get sick. You can anti-bacterial all you want, you can wash your hands, you can drink all the orange juice you can handle, winter means flu.

Being sick while pregnant is absolutely horrible. Image: iStock. 

Eh… I hear you say, what’s the big deal? I get the flu every year. Well, as a pregnant woman you are not only more likely to get the flu, you are at a greater risk of severe illnesses from the flu. In the worst case, it can be life-threatening to you and your bub.

During my nine months, I had the cold three times. I was sick for three weeks each time and there was nothing I could take besides my pregnancy multi-vitamins. All I could do was rest… daytime TV gets boring very quickly. That was just a cold, I couldn’t imagine how much worse it would’ve been if I had the flu.

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Thankfully, I developed an annual flu vaccine habit before I was pregnant, and once I got the okay from my GP, I immediately got the flu vaccine which is free in NSW (so I could spend more money on jackets that wouldn’t close).

"I developed an annual flu vaccine habit before I was pregnant." Image: iStock.

The thing about the flu vaccine is that it didn’t only protect me from getting the flu while pregnant. The protective antibodies in the vaccine are transferred across the placenta protecting my bub for the first six months of her life (when she’s at her most vulnerable from getting sick and can’t be protected).

The same thing applies to the whooping cough vaccine, but the protection you get from it fades over time. This means you need to be vaccinated during each pregnancy at around 28 weeks to ensure that your baby is protected when they are most vulnerable.

Oh yes, and the other best bit about being pregnant in winter is that the 3am feed is done in the balmy summer nights. Winning.

Have you even been pregnant during winter? Did you love it or loathe it?

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