If you follow me on Instagram or have read my previous blog posts, you know that this is not my first pregnancy. However, when I was pregnant with Jasper we lived in southern Illinois. In addition, Jasper is a July baby, so the majority of my previous maternity wardrobe consisted of shorts and short-sleeved tops. July in southern Illinois can easily reach the upper 90’s, if not breaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Since we moved to Alaska, in January of 2017, the hottest it has ever gotten was 82…
This time around is completely different. My due date is early April. Winter in Alaska lasts well into March, if not April. I distinctly remember there still being snow on the ground mid-April of last year. So my wardrobe from my pregnancy with Jasper is almost useless. In addition, there are other factors that come into play when pregnant in Alaska, compared to Illinois. There are three things you will definitely need if you are pregnant in Alaska:
My main concern being pregnant in Alaska was the high potential to slip and fall on ice. December 2017, there was a couple inches of ice encasing every outdoor surface. However, this year we got a lot more snow a lot earlier. So thankfully the snow put a good barrier between my shoes and any icy surfaces. However, there is still the risk for slipping.
There are stores in the Anchorage area that will put studs in your shoes. These studs offer extra traction. From what I understand, almost any shoe can have studs added to it. In addition a sporting good store in Anchorage, Skinny Raven offering the service for free to pregnant women and those over 60 years of age! (If you do not fit into these groups they charge $10 to stud your shoes). 99% of the time during the winter I wear my Bogs boots. So I got these boots studded at Skinny Raven and this extra protection is what I use for extra traction when doing my everyday chores (grocery shopping, getting the mail, taking out the trash, etc.)
However, my “good” spikes I use for actual hiking. These spikes are my favorite and I feel completely confident walking almost anywhere in them. However, they are heavy and loud. I sound like a dog with it’s collar jingling whenever I wear them. So I reserve these for long distances, where I may be walking faster or on more unstable surfaces than your would find while walking into a store. In addition, I would think these spikes might do some real damage to the floors of some businesses, which I don’t want to do. These spikes were given to me, and they don’t have a brand listed on them. However, they are very similar to, if not the same as the OuterStar Traction Cleats that you can find on Amazon.
I have to admit, I am part of a April 2019 birth group on social media. While these groups can get catty or cause unneeded anxiety due to comparing yourself, your pregnancy, or your child with other people, you can also gain a lot of useful information from them. In my group a number of ladies were looking for suggestions for maternity winter coats. I had commented on the fact that my snow pants were no longer fitting. At which point a couple ladies asked where I lived, because they hadn’t owned snow pants since they were 10 years old. I had to laugh, because before I moved to Alaska, I would have said the same thing. However, if you do live in Alaska, you know the necessity of snow pants if you plan to spend any amount of time outside during the winter, And we spend a lot of time outside.
While the ladies on my mom board could not help me, the ladies in my hiking groups could. They all told me I needed the same thing, an insulated skirt and a good pair of fleece lined maternity leggings to go with them. They said that the skirts zip from both the top and the bottom, therefor you could unzip the top of the skirt to meet your baby bump needs! I had always wanted an insulated skirt (they are seriously a fashion item in Alaska) and now I had a legitimate reason to get one!
I do use my insulated skirt. However, once entering my eighth month I had to start using a belly band in addition to the skirt. This was due to me having to unzip the skirt so much that it would not longer stay up on it’s own. I also do still use my snow pants, along with my belly band as well. Insulated skirts are useful and fashionable (in Alaska). However, you can’t kneel in them without getting your legs wet from the snow. It’s just a fact that sometimes, when you have a three-year-old, your going to need to kneel in the snow.
In this aspect I really lucked out. My normal winter coat is trench style. It belts at the waist and then flairs out. Because I chose this style, it has accommodated my bump very well. However, to my disappointment I also don’t get the giant basketball belly while pregnant. So for other women, even a trench style coat like mine may not work throughout their entire pregnancy.
If you aren’t so lucky to have a coat that will fit you throughout your pregnancy, there are maternity coat options. However, I feel that a maternity coat is a waist of money. You will only use it for a short time and then what? It sits in your closet until your next pregnancy, or you sell it for a fraction of the cost you paid for it? If I had needed to purchase something to help my winter coat fit better during pregnancy I would have purchased a jacket extender instead. These can continue to be used after baby is born to enable you to wear baby while baby is protected by the warmth of your coat.