Advice and tips to help you enjoy a stress free Christmas during pregnancy.
Christmas can be a wonderful time to celebrate with family and friends, however for a Mum-to-be it can end up being stressful and exhausting and leave you feeling like your missing out on the socialising you usually enjoy. All is not lost - with some careful planning you too can enjoy a very Merry Christmas (although perhaps with a little less sherry than usual!!!)
Here are our tips to help you navigating the festive season....
- Although the festive period is always packed with opportunities for socialising, make sure you take some time out to relax. Have a nice bath, watch a film, do some yoga or cuddle up with your partner - however you do it just remember to take some time out, your baby will feel the benefits.
- Your body is doing twice as much work as usual and late nights can leave you feeling exhausted (especially if you are having trouble sleeping anyway), short cat naps in the afternoon will leave you feeling refreshed and revitalised and will benefit your baby as well as your body.
- If you are travelling this Christmas, remember to take your pregnancy notes with you in case you need to receive any medical attention (or go into labour!)
- Get someone else to do the work for you - if you are having family or friends to stay don't be afraid to ask for help. Whether its with the cooking or tidying up wrapping paper you shouldn't expect to be a domestic goddess just because you're expecting (if anything you should be the one sitting with your feet up!).
- If you are in the initial stages of pregnancy and aren't yet ready to share your exciting news, the key is in preparation. Don't be afraid to skip big nights out if you are feeling nauseous and exhausted (food poisoning is always a good excuse) and to avoid making people 'suspicious', think of a good reason as to why you are avoiding alcohol before you go out and stick to it throughout the Christmas period.
- Professional opinions differ as to whether it is safe to drink alcohol at all during pregnancy. While some recommend that you abstain completely, others believe it is ok to enjoy a glass on a special occasion - more than this can be very dangerous for your baby and frequent drinking can severely impair development. However, if you choose to enjoy a glass of champagne over Christmas the choice is entirely yours and you shouldn't be made to feel guilty about it.
- As usual you should drink lots of fluids (although avoid too many sugary or caffeinated drinks), especially if you are eating salty foods or standing up for long periods of time as this can help prevent water retention.
- If you are suffering with nausea even at the thought of rich Christmas food, you should try drinking lemonade or ginger tea to settle your stomach. It is important that you keep eating even if you do feel sick as your body needs nourishment to share with your baby. Try to eat something every 3 hours to keep your energy levels up, dry crackers or cereal may be palatable if you can't manage anything else. Additionally, citrus smells can help reduce the feeling of nausea.
- All the rich food available during the Christmas period can really make you appreciate your stretch-waist trousers! However, although this is definitely the time of year to indulge, you do need to keep an eye on what you are eating.
- Fill up on lots of healthy vegetables and fruit - these will nourish your baby and help to counteract the effects of too much rich food.
- Turkey is also a very healthy option as it is low in fat and rich in protein, plus the dark meat will top up your iron levels. Ensure that your turkey is cooked thoroughly before tucking in so as to avoid food poisoning.
- Make sure you have some indigestion remedies on hand to relieve the effects of overindulgence.
- During pregnancy you should always avoid unpasteurised, blue or moulded cheeses, foods which contain uncooked egg (some icing, meringues and home made ice cream can catch you unawares), cured meats and pate, this also applies at Christmas.
By ensuring all of your food is cooked properly, avoiding smoky atmospheres and taking plenty of time out to rest and recuperate you should be able to survive the festive period and who knows, you may even have an absolutely wonderful time!!!