With the holiday season in full swing, expecting parents and families are busier than ever with last-minute shopping and preparing for gatherings with loved ones. The hustle and bustle of the “most wonderful time of the year” is quite stressful, particularly for pregnant women. Here are some helpful tips to make sure that you and your baby have a safe and joyful holiday:
- Rest, relax, repeat: Rest and relaxation are especially important when expecting. Swollen feet, fatigue, forgetfulness, and cravings are some very common yet treatable pregnancy symptoms. While doctors suggest for pregnant women not to get massages or use excessive fragrances, there’s nothing wrong with taking time to yourself to rest for 30 minutes to an hour after a long day at work or errands.
- Travel wisely and safely: The holidays are the busiest times for retailers, restaurants, and airports. The inevitable rush of traffic to your airport will be stressful as it is for all travelers, particularly expecting mothers. Most airlines have restrictions for pregnant women to travel under an OB-GYN’s permission to ensure the safety of both the mother and the baby. The risk of carrying germs is greater on planes than any other source of travel. Additionally, the risk of blood clot increases for pregnant women while flying. Physicians often suggest avoiding air travel a month prior to your date to avoid any complications. If you do choose to travel, make sure that you clear your plans with your doctor and provide necessary documentation.
- Spend the holidays at home: There’s nothing like spending the holidays at home with loved ones. The stress of long-distance travelling, weather patterns, and meal preparation will only aggravate fatigue, exhaustion, and dehydration common during pregnancy; so what better way to spend the holidays than at your own home?
- Have fun – responsibly and in moderation: The holidays come with some traditions that are not safe for pregnant women, especially alcohol and unpasteurized products. That doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy yourself! Try some pasteurized non-alcoholic sparkling cider and non-alcoholic eggnog. There’s also “soynog” for those who are lactose intolerant or want to avoid dairy while pregnant. Excessive amounts of certain foods such as red meats or carbohydrates benefits neither the mother nor the baby, increasing the risks of gestational diabetes.
Most importantly, have a wonderful and safe holiday season!