Two days ago I woke up to a world transformed by snow. It really shouldn’t surprise me; I was born in Canada and have lived here my whole life. And yet, every year I am caught off guard by the first snowfall. My husband rushed out before dawn, cursing all the way, to get the snow tires put on. My kids ran outside in their boots and pyjamas, deliriously happy and so very Canadian. And I stood in my warm kitchen, drinking coffee and silently praying I would find all of their mitts, hats, neck warmers and snow pants, and that they would all (please please please God) still fit. They made it to school with all their things (even if my eldest was wearing mismatched ski mitts), Matt got the winter tires on, and we all survived. Somehow.
Being pregnant in the winter can be an even greater challenge than finding two matching mittens before the school bus arrives. So in honour of the snow and ice, here are my five tips for you parents-to-be as you gestate through the winter months.
1. STAY WARM.
If your usual winter coat doesn’t fit, you have options! If your partner is bigger than you and has a spare coat, go for it. If, like me, your partner’s spare won’t cut it, check out Make My Belly Fit and Kokoala to make your existing parka accommodate the extra winter passenger, and if you are due for a coat upgrade anyway check out The M Coat. The best part? All of these choices can be used to wear your baby in warmth and comfort after they are born!
2. WEAR PROPER FOOTWEAR.
Good warm boots with grippy soles are a must for Canadian winters. And bellies aren’t always the only parts that expand in pregnancy so if your toes are feeling the pinch, get some roomier booties. FYI, Black Friday sales are even a thing in Canada (and that’s this week, so hurry)! Also, if your feet are no bigger than a 12-year-old boy’s, check out the kids’ section of your local shoe store. I tell you, it is a game-changer for the small-footed.
3. WALK LIKE A PENGUIN…SERIOUSLY.
It’s not graceful, and certainly isn’t speedy, but slow and steady seems to keep those penguins from falling. Here’s how: Walk Like A Penguin. *If you do fall this winter, please please please go to your care provider and get checked out.
4. WEAR YOUR SEATBELT. REALLY!
I know it’s annoying and not always comfortable, but wearing your seatbelt can save your life and your baby’s. Always wear the lap portion under the belly and use the chest strap. No swooping it behind your back. And wherever possible, leave the driving in poor conditions to someone else.
5. LASTLY, DO WHAT INA DOES.
When it’s really nasty out, curl up with a book, your current Netflix binge, or a craft (unless you’re me, and allergic to crafting), and drink Ina Garten’s Mexican hot chocolate. Trust me. it’s everything good in a cup. It works almost as well with coconut or other non-dairy milk if that’s how you do, and so worth the fiddly steps. Because she is a goddess and every recipe she writes is divine.
Happy wintering, lovely readers. Be safe, warm, and cozy.