There are definitely some A+ perks about being pregnant in the winter, like completely embracing comfy layers and the abundance of holiday sales making it way more affordable to stock up on must-have baby essentials. Plus, morphing into a walking, talking furnace during your winter pregnancy can actually serve you well when the temps take a chilly dip! But being pregnant in the winter can make it slightly more challenging to stay healthy and active. (Looking at you, cold and flu season, and icy sidewalks!) Challenging, of course, does not mean impossible! If you’re wondering how to stay healthy and active during your winter pregnancy, look no further. Here’s all you need to know.

Winter Pregnancy: How to Stay Active in the Winter

The truth is, it can be way easier to stay active during your pregnancy in the spring, summer, and fall when the weather is lovely and there’s no fear of slick ice patches or snow piles taking you out! Fortunately, there are some wonderful stay-active indoor options—and outdoor options—perfect for winter pregnancies.

  • Walk the treadmill. Taking a brisk walk is a great workout that doesn’t strain your joints or muscles…and taking it indoors keeps you away from slippery sidewalks.

  • Take a hike! If you’re itching to be in nature, please do! Simply make sure you wear proper boots to reduce your chances of slipping and falling. And consider relying on a walking stick for help keeping your balance.

  • Find an indoor pool. Swimming and water aerobics are not summer-only activities! Water exercise not only supports the weight of your growing bump, it’s easy on the joints and back, too.

  • Ride a stationary bike. Thanks to your growing belly affecting your balance, tooling around outdoors on a two-wheeler while pregnant can be dangerous—ice patches or not. It’s safer to get the same workout stationary.

  • Find a class. Prenatal yoga and Pilates classes are designed to be bump-friendly, ensuring you avoid poses that may be unsafe, like lying on your belly or flat on your back after the first trimester.

  • Work out at home. There’s no shortage of prenatal exercise programs and videos available on fitness apps and online. For help zeroing in on what’s right for you, check out these pregnancy-safe cardio, strength, and Barre options—plus some prenatal yoga

  • Try these snowy activities. Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are generally considered safe to engage in during pregnancy. Just make sure you’re wearing a pregnancy-friendly winter coat that actually buttons to keep your bump warm!

Remember to always consult your healthcare provider before starting any new form of exercise while pregnant—and continue to check in as your pregnancy progresses.

Winter Activities to Avoid During Pregnancy

Because your center of gravity is changing, some winter-specific activities need to be put on ice until the baby arrives, including downhill skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating. Sadly, hot tubbing is in that mix as well. Hot tub temperatures exceed 101 degrees Fahrenheit, which can be harmful to your baby’s developing nervous system. More physical activities to put on hold during your winter pregnancy include Hot yoga and Pilates, contact sports, horseback riding, scuba diving, water skiing, and more.

Winter Pregnancy: What to Eat in the Winter

When you’re looking to load up on nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables, like fresh strawberries, eggplant, cherries, melon, and more during your winter pregnancy, you may be left feeling disappointed during your next trip to the grocery store. That’s because none of these eats are in-season during the winter! But that doesn’t mean you don’t have yummy and nutritious options! In fact, there are so many delicious and in-season choices right now, including:

  • Apples

  • Avocados

  • Bananas

  • Beets

  • Brussels Sprouts

  • Carrots

  • Collard Greens

  • Kale

  • Kiwifruit

  • Leeks

  • Oranges

  • Pears

  • Pineapples

  • Sweet potatoes

  • Turnips

  • Winter Squash

And don’t sleep on frozen fruits and veggies! These items are picked at peak ripeness and jam-packed with the same level of vitamins and minerals as their fresh counterparts. Some frozen fruits and veggies, like broccoli and blueberries, even contain more nutrients since fresh produce can lose vitamins and minerals over time. 

Winter Pregnancy: The Risk of Dehydration

During pregnancy, your blood volume increases exponentially, which means you need more water now than ever before. But since you’re not getting parched in the summer sun, staying properly hydrated during your winter pregnancy should be easy-peasy, right? Not so fast! The drying effects of arid indoor heat can cause dehydration without you even noticing it! 

To ensure you stay properly hydrated during pregnancy, drink 64 to 96 ounces (8 to 12 cups) of water every day. It’s smart to avoid too much caffeine, eat lots of hydrating fruits and vegetables, and keep an eye on your urine output. You want to pee a lot and you want that pee to be almost clear. All of the above will not only help ward off dehydration, it’ll aid your digestion, encourage the formation of amniotic fluid, and help nutrients circulate throughout your body. It’ll also help you side step urinary tract infections and constipation—both of which are more likely to occur in pregnancy.

Winter Pregnancy: Ward Off Sickness

When you’re pregnant, your body is preoccupied with building a baby, which means some of its other duties may fall by the wayside. For instance, during pregnancy, it’s harder for your immune system to fight infections, making you more likely to get the flu, a cold virus, and other ills—and more likely to become very sick. But that doesn’t mean you’re destined to have a sniffly, sneezy, achy winter pregnancy! Avoid contact with people who are sick, eat a healthy diet, stay hydrated, and take these stay-healthy steps to help you steer clear of potential winter sickies:

  • Get the flu shot. It’s the “first and most important step” to protect both you and your baby against flu, notes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In fact, getting the flu shot reduces a pregnant person’s risk of being hospitalized with influenza by about 40%. You can get your shot during any trimester of pregnancy, but September and October are the ideal months to get vaccinated. Be sure to avoid the nasal spray flu vaccine, which isn’t appropriate for pregnant individuals. (Learn Dr. Harvey Karp’s take on getting the flu shot during pregnancy.)

  • Get your Covid vaccination/booster, too. Pregnant folks are more likely to get very ill from COVID-19 than those who aren’t expecting. Plus, if you come down with COVID while pregnant, you’re at increased risk of pregnancy complications that can negatively impact your growing baby. That’s why the CDC recommends people who are expecting stay up to date with their COVID vaccines. (Learn more about this important shot.)

  • Wash your hands—a lot! Every time you shake someone’s hand, wash your hands. Every time you use the bathroom, wash your hands. Covered a cough or sneeze? Make food? Eat food? Come in from outside? Wash your hands with warm, soapy water to prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria.

  • Get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can compromise your immune system, making you even more susceptible to illness. For help getting the ZZZs you need while pregnant, follow our pregnancy guide to better sleep.

  • Keep active. Exercise helps to bolster your immunity and manage your stress levels, both of which work to keep sickness at bay! Learn more about staying active during pregnancy.

Safely Treating Colds During Pregnancy

Most people catch two to three colds a year—and pregnant folks are no exception. Unfortunately, there’s no cure for the common cold, but there are some pregnancy-safe natural and medicinal strategies that can help you feel better, including:

  • Take a warm bath. Soak, relax, and breathe in the steam to help relieve congestion, but first read up on how to safely take a bath while pregnant.

  • Try a nasal saline spray. These safely relieve congestion caused by colds.

  • Put on a cool mist humidifier. Put one on while you sleep to add moisture to the air, which may ease your coughing and congestion.

  • Gargle warm salt water. Prepare 1 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, gargle, and spit to help quell sore throat pain.

  • Sip honey in hot water. Swallow a teaspoon of honey—or dilute half a teaspoon in warm water—for a cough and sore throat relief.

  • Consider these OTC medications. Avoid all multi-symptom cold and cough relief meds, especially those containing acetaminophen because it’s very easy to consume more than is considered safe while pregnant. Instead, talk to your healthcare provider about possibly using cough and cold medication containing Dextromethorphan (Robitussin), Guaifenesin (Mucinex), Pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine (Sudafed), acetaminophen (Tylenol), or menthol and phenol (Chloraseptic). It’s important to note that not all “pregnancy-safe” meds are safe for all trimesters—so contact your provider before taking any meds.


More Ways to Have a Healthy Winter Pregnancy:




  • March of Dimes: Exercise during pregnancy
  • UTSouthwestern Medical Center: Baby it’s cold outside! Tips to manage pregnancy during winter
  • UTSouthwestern Medical Center: Is it OK to use a hot tub during early pregnancy?
  • United States Department of Agriculture (USDA): Seasonal Produce Guide
  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Frozen Foods: Convenient and Nutritious
  • University of Chester: Antioxidants in Fresh and Frozen Fruit and Vegetables: Impact Study of Varying Storage Conditions
  • Massachusetts General Hospital: The Importance of Winter Hydration
  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG): The Importance of Winter Hydration
  • Intermountain Health: Winter Safety When You're Pregnant
  • UTSouthwestern Medical Center: UTIs during pregnancy are common and treatable
  • Cleveland Clinic: Pregnancy Constipation
  • MedlinePlus: Pregnancy and the flu
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Flu Vaccine Safety and Pregnancy
  • CDC: COVID-19 Vaccines While Pregnant or Breastfeeding
  • Piedmont: 10 ways to prevent the cold and flu
  • UTSouthwestern Medical Center: Which over-the-counter cold medications are safe during pregnancy?
  • Nationwide Children’s: Pregnancy, Breastfeeding and the Common Cold
  • Mayo Clinic: Warm-mist versus cool-mist humidifier: Which is better for a cold?
  • UI Health: Medications Safe for Pregnancy
  • Cleveland Clinic: Honey for Your Sore Throat and Cough
  • UNM Health: Which Cold & Flu Medication Is Safe to Take During Pregnancy?

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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.