We are nearing this year’s holiday season. I’m sure everyone is gearing up for the wintry weather, holiday shopping marathons, family meals, and many more festivities. If you are pregnant for the holidays, you may be second guessing the yearly downhill sleigh ride. You don’t have to miss out on all the fun, but you will have to be a bit more cautious on a few things. The holidays can be a stressful time for anyone whether they are pregnant or not. Don’t let the holidays pressure you into doing anything you don’t have energy for and don’t do anything that is too much for you. Down below are our top 5 things to avoid this season and their alternatives.
1. Hosting the holiday family meal.
Think about how much work goes into hosting a dinner. Meal planning, food prep, cleaning the house before guests arrive, cooking, then serving, and oh yea cleaning after the guests leave. This can be a lot for a person that’s not pregnant, let alone someone who is in their third trimester or close to their due date. We can’t do it all and be pregnant too.
Instead: If possible try to get out of hosting. Between the swollen ankles, possible heart burn, and the ever-growing belly catering to multiple people sounds far-fetched. If you can’t get out of it, try to swap with a family member. This way you can host next time. If that fails, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Let family & friends help with chores, meal planning, food prep, cooking, & serving. Take breaks when you need to and make sure to kick your feet up. Stay hydrated and don’t exhaust yourself.
2. Eating for Two
This is a huge myth that has been passed from generation to generation. We aren’t eating for two people when we are pregnant. Eating too much can cause low energy, heart burn, extra weight gain after delivery, and even nausea. Your baby isn’t a full-size adult, so it doesn’t require as much food as we do. So, it’s okay to say no to the extra slice of cake. Enjoy the holiday meal in moderation.
Instead: Eat a high protein snack or small meal before the family dinner or party. This will help you to feel less tempted later on. Fill your plate with more vegetables and less starches & breads. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself and indulge in that pumpkin pie. Just be mindful of your servings and take things in moderation.
3. Raw and Under cooked Food
Stay away from anything raw or undercooked for this holiday season or any season while you’re pregnant. You’ve heard this from your doctor and probably your mother too. Raw/undercooked foods may contain bacteria that can only be killed by heat. This includes, but not limited to sushi, steak tartare, raw oysters, etc. Being as though eggnog contains raw eggs, it is best to avoid it whether it is spiked or not. Make sure to check the label to find out if it is eggnog that has been pasteurized before you drink it
4. Don’t travel to far from home.
This is one is mainly for pregnant women in their last trimester or close to their due date. Traveling takes you away from your doctor and the hospital you plan to deliver in. If you are in the 1st or 2nd trimester still travel with caution. Long distance traveling can be painful. Sitting for extended periods of time in a car, on a plane, or on a bus can increase your risk of blood clots in the legs. It can also cause excessive swelling as well.
If you must travel: Take sitting breaks to walk around if it’s possible. If you’re doing a road trip make sure to locate any rest stops or pull over areas, so you can stretch your legs. If you are taking an airplane, contact the airline ahead of time and let them know you are pregnant. They may ask for a doctor’s note to make sure you are able to fly while pregnant. Depending on the airline you are using, you may even get some special treatment!
5. Marathon Shopping
For some of us it’s not the holiday season until Black Friday arrives. Discount sales with some of the cheapest prices you’ll see all year round. Some people even get a rush going store to store fighting through the long lines and crowds. If you’re pregnant, especially if you are in your 2nd or 3rd trimester, this can be difficult to deal with. Standing or walking for too long can cause your feet, ankles, and hands to swell. Bigger stores can have rowdy crowds that hold no regards for the young, old, pregnant, or sick. The risk of being knocked down, elbowed in the stomach, or getting pushed is dramatically increased with this situation.
Instead: Do your shopping online. You’ll still get great discounts and sometimes save more money. You’ll also have the convenience of getting your items shipped directly to your home. If you do decide to go marathon shopping, pre-plan which stores you are going to. Bring plenty of water with you and make sure to wear comfortable clothes & shoes. If at all possible, wait until the afternoon when majority of the foot traffic has died down.
Have Fun, But Be Safe
No matter what happens, make sure to enjoy the holiday season. The holidays are for having fun and spending time with family & friends. Don’t stop yourself from having a good time, but be mindful of doing anything that may harm your pregnancy. You may not be able to go sleighing or snowboarding, but you can take part in the other festivities. I hope these tips help you throughout this holiday season. Happy Holidays!!!