Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What Time of Year is Best for Pregnancy?

The timing of a pregnancy is always interesting in terms of seasons. A winter pregnancy can be a fairly different experience than a summer one. The whole pregnancy may be nine months, but I'm talking specifically about the second half, maybe even just the last trimester, when everything is harder.

I have an April baby and a September baby so I have experience with both ends of the spectrum. The seasons of both final trimesters were as polar opposite as you can get.
I frequently hear women talk about how terrible summer pregnancies are. I was part of an online birth board with many women who were all due in the same month as me for both kids. I remember the heat being a common topic of complaint throughout the summer months on Hailey's September board. I certainly can understand why. Feeling overheated is a very normal, though annoying part of pregnancy. Throw in hot temperatures on top of that and be prepared for a lousy time. The heat also makes it harder to stay well hydrated - a must for pregos, and it encourages bloating. So why would anyone want to be pregnant in the summer?

I for one am a bit of a weirdo and loved being pregnant in the summer. I think growing up in Sydney Australia conditioned me to love the heat; something I lament that I live in Minnesota because of it. You know those days when it is hot and you have to air out your car before getting into it otherwise it is crazy hot? Instead of airing out my car, I jump in, quickly close the door, and relish the heat. I don't get a chance to do that much anymore because I have my kids to think about, but I still do it when I don't have them with me. For me, being pregnant in the summer was great. The only time I really felt overheated was when I exerted myself physically for too long and in the last trimester, I wasn't working out much.

The best part of a summer pregnancy is the clothes. How great it was to be able to throw on a big ol' maternity sundress and flip flops every day! That was my summer uniform and I loved it.
Me at 34 and 38 weeks pregnant with Hailey

Dresses are awesome when pregnant mostly because pants are so annoying. When you're belly is so disproportionately large, it is hard to find pants that stay on well, are comfortable, and look half way decent. Dresses take all that away and just drape over everything so nicely. Like many pregnant women, my feet swelled a little during my pregnancies. This meant that my regular shoes were a little tight. In the winter this was a pain because most of my shoes didn't fit so well. In the summer however, I was able to rock my old flip flops day in and day out without any discomfort.

Winter pregnancy had its perks too. The whole feeling warmer while pregnant thing worked nicely because it helped keep me from feeling as cold. I still was a huge freeze baby all winter, but slightly less so than normal. . . maybe. Luckily for me, that year long sweater dresses were in style in a major way so I took full advantage of that. I also lived in my Anne Klein black suede boots that I got for Christmas that year from my parents. They were a half size bigger than normal, and sooooo comfy. The boots pictured on the right are very similar to the ones I had but mine weren't above the knee. These boots continued to be comfy after being pregnant and were my go-to mom boot for the last couple of winters. I finally had to retire them after this last winter because I had worn them into the ground. Plus, Minnesota winters (snow, salty slush, sleet, etc) aren't too forgiving on suede so they had definitely seen better days.

In the end, I definitely liked the summer pregnancy better. The only down side in my opinion was that I was somewhat limited in what I could do. For example, our friends love camping and I had to skip out each time because I would not have gotten any sleep trying to sleep on the floor or even an air mattress. I couldn't water ski or enjoy fast boat rides on the river either. Everything had to slow down which was hard for me because I tend to want to go-go-go. Several friends thought I was crazy when I went tubing down the river (the slow kind, not pulled behind a speed boat) just a week or two before my due date. I remember a lady going up to my husband and asking him "you do realize that your wife is pregnant right?" I think he gave her a WTF look and told her he would keep it in mind.

Both kids were timed well in terms of birth months because both were born during transition months in our state. This meant that as itty bitty newborns, they didn't have to deal with extreme temperatures on either end of the thermometer.

Despite this whole blog post, I know that whenever Mike and I do decide on having a third, we won't be trying for any specific time. Pregnancy is short in the grand scheme of things, even if it doesn't feel that way at the time. Lucky for me, I now have a maternity wardrobe for both cold and warm weather and everything in between. If you are more of a planner than myself, and are wondering when is best, I think it really depends on you and also the area where you live. I may have been happy being pregnant in the summer, but I don't know if I could say the same if the high was regularly over 100 degrees.

Regardless of your timing, try to remember that you won't be pregnant forever. Sounds simple, but that is a difficult concept to imagine when you are newly pregnant and forty weeks sounds so long. It is even harder to imagine when you are in the last few weeks and each day drags on. I may need to come back and read this for a little reminder someday because I am not always the best at taking my own advice.


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  2. I was mostly pregnant during the winter. It was perfect for me esp Feb baby.. and I dont ever want to be 8-9 months preg in the middle of the summer. I feel for my sister who is due in a month. We were born and raised here in AZ and I prefer the heat to the cold, but def not preg in the middle of the summer.

  3. I'm sure I wouldn't want to be 8-9 months prego during an AZ summer either. Good luck to your sister as the really hot months approach.

  4. As a teacher, I think our first (born in May) had the best timing. I would have been able to have my 6 weeks of maternity leave, then have the whole summer to stay home with her.

    This one is due in August, with the start of the school year following 2 weeks later. That makes starting the school year off a little hard.

    But we'll see if I like the heat or the cold better! I did enjoy the cold and being a little extra warm during the winter... I'm not enjoying this 100+ degree weather we have today though at 30 weeks!

  5. It is definitely is a consideration for teachers. As much as it is an inconvenience with the school year, a new baby is so amazing and such a blessing that everything else will fall in place I'm sure. It would be nice to have a whole summer off after having a baby though.


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