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Monday, December 3, 2018

Surviving the holidays while pregnant

Pro tips from the professionals

Pregnant woman in front of Christmas tree
Let’s face it— the holidays are often hectic. But to-do lists that grow long with events and errands can be especially stressful for women who are pregnant and already carrying an extra burden (literally).

It is possible, however, to relieve some of the stress and still enjoy the season’s festivities.

The first step is to banish guilt. If you’re pregnant, you have a built-in excuse to focus on your health and comfort, and that of your baby. Take advantage of the opportunity to give yourself a free pass to let go of the activities and expectations that are too much. If baking relaxes you, the annual cookie swap may be an event you look forward to. But if not, let it go. Listen to your body.

Here are four additional tips for expectant moms looking for more comfort and joy this holiday season.

Enjoy a silent night (or two)
You need extra sleep during pregnancy and will soon be dealing with the ‘round-the-clock demands of a newborn, so include downtime in your holiday schedule. Depending on your personal needs, that may mean taking a nap before an evening out, saying an early goodnight or skipping a few events altogether.

Indulge, but with care
You will be more comfortable if you eat smaller amounts more frequently as opposed to large, multi-course meals. Take small portions of the items you like the best and pass on the rest.

Skip anything with alcohol, and avoid foods that make you uncomfortable, like rich or acidic foods if you get heartburn. Foods high in sodium, like a holiday ham, can make you bloated and uncomfortable. Balance holiday treats with nutrient-rich foods your body, and your baby, really need.

Be prepared
Hydration is very important during pregnancy as your body naturally demands more water. The cold, dry winter weather and additional holiday activities can raise your risk for dehydration. Keep water and healthy snacks on hand, whether you are home or on the go.

Comfort is key
Your body is going through a lot of changes, so be kind to it. Loose-fitting or elastic-waist clothing will allow you to breathe more comfortably. Your feet may swell or even increase a size during pregnancy, so comfortable flat or low-heeled shoes are advisable. They will also provide more support for your back and pelvis, which are strained when you wear heels.

Take the opportunity pregnancy provides to put your feet up and enjoy some of the holiday season’s simpler pleasures, from your favorite holiday songs or movies to quiet time with loved ones under twinkling lights.