During the recent snow storm that covered a large part of the Northeast, a pregnant teenager died while she was shoveling her car, against the advice of her family. She was 18 years old, 8 months pregnant and suffered from several heart conditions.
Doctors remind us that snow and winter weather can be potentially harmful for pregnant women, if they are not cautious and pay attention to their body’s needs.
Pregnant women need to wear the right shoes, and take certain precautions in order to have a safe pregnancy during winter weather and especially during and after snowstorms.
These are some tips from the experts:
1- Wear the correct footwear and walk slowly: slippery sidewalks and roads are dangerous for everybody, but in particular for pregnant women. Walking slowly and with the appropriate shoes (no heels please) is VERY important. It is also a good idea to walk with a companion to hold on to, in case she needs to cross a snowy path or walk through a slippery area. Pregnant women need to wear shoes that help their balance and protect their bodies from falling.
2- Avoid driving in bad weather conditions: many accidents happen due to the snow, so it is recommended that pregnant women not travel during a winter storm and avoid roads that are still being cleared from the snow.
3- Wear seat belt: if the pregnant woman is in car during a storm, the way she uses the seat belt can save her and her baby’s life. This means placing the lap belt under the belly and the shoulder strap on the chest, between the breasts.
4- Avoid winter sports: even snow tubing or sledding can be potentially harmful for the mom and the baby. Falling onto the belly can affect the baby, even if the mother feels no pain. She should wait till next season to fully enjoy playing with the snow and practicing winter sports with the family.
5- Ask for help when shoveling: if the mom doesn’t have someone to help her shovel, she needs to take breaks, as much as she can, and drink water. Paying someone else to do it is a good idea, even if she has to spend the money.
Remember, if you are pregnant and the roads and sidewalks are still covered with snow, ask for help. Your balance is not the same when you are carrying a baby in your belly.