Pregnancy is delightful for some, with giddy anticipation of the new family member on the way. For others, pregnancy is physically challenging and wrought with many emotional distractions. Either way, the holidays present unique situations for all pregnant women, no matter how far along you are.
Here are a few strategies that you will likely want to employ to make your holidays flow as smoothly as possible.
One of the hardest things about the holidays can be the parties, the gatherings… the obligations. If you’re not feeling up to it, don’t accept invitations to every party you’re asked to attend. Going to three different places on Christmas Eve may sound like fun months in advance, but dragging yourself around on the day in question — whether you’re suffering from morning sickness, severe fatigue, round ligament pain or bladder fetal kicks — can just be too much. Pencil yourself in to fewer engagements than usual, or opt out completely if you’re not feeling up to it. Family members can — or should — understand that pregnancy can make it harder and more exhausting to cart yourself around.
You’re likely not going to be able to wear the cute holiday cocktail dress you wore to parties last year, so you’ll have to consider what you’ll be wearing to the festivities this year. There are tons of options in maternity wear these days, but make sure that you consider comfort first. Loose, breathable (and stretchy!) cotton is excellent for pregnant women, and make sure you dress in layers — because, as you know, you may be freezing one second, only to be breathing fire the next. And don’t forget your footwear. Pregnancy can make you a little swollen, so choose your most comfortable shoes to wear while you’re out and about.
Pregnant women often have to pay close attention to what they eat. “I was in my first trimester during the holidays last year,” shared Emily, mom of three. “I made it a point to eat tiny meals frequently, because overindulging had a terrible effect on my tummy, and skipping meals made me nauseated.” Moms in their second or third trimester reported that they tried to avoid foods high in salt because it contributed to their water retention problems. “I swelled so badly at a party last year that the drive home was a huge uncomfortable nightmare,” explained Anna, mom of one.
Holiday gatherings are delightful, but they are also prime spots to pick up bacteria and viruses, which definitely should be at the top of your “do not want” list. Take your prenatal vitamins every day, wash your hands constantly and drink plenty of water. Get into the sunshine for a little bit each day to boost your vitamin D production and ask your doctor about supplementing if you don’t get outside enough.
The holidays are lovely and fun, but if you overdo it, it can be more uncomfortable than you’d like. Keep yourself healthy and slow down if you need to. Shop online instead of fighting the crowds, and make your health a priority. And remember — next holiday season, you will have another family member, and the holidays will never be the same again.
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