With Christmas just around the corner now, many of us will have already begun preparing for the festivities. Whether it’s shopping for that perfect gift, or unearthing the Christmas tree from the attic upstairs, the holiday season is both a fun and tiring time of year. For those of you with new babies on the way, however, Christmas-time can pose some special challenges.
In this week’s article, we offer some practical Christmas tips for mums-to-be. From prenatal diet tips, to shopping advice, these tips should help ensure your holidays are as festive and stress-free as possible. Take a look.
Food & Festivities
For most of us, Christmas is deeply connected to food and drink. Being pregnant doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the culinary festivities of Christmas. It does mean, however, that you need to be a little more vigilant about what you eat and drink.
Most of the foods traditionally associated with Christmas - like turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, and Christmas pudding - are perfectly safe to eat during your prenatal months. Because heartburn is a common ailment suffered by many pregnant women, however, try moderate all those rich foods on offer with vegetables and leafy greens from time to time.
Not only that, but be careful when eating certain types of foods. Always make sure that any type of meat or poultry - such as turkey or chicken - is cooked all the way through before eating. Additionally, before tucking into that Christmas pudding or cake, ensure that the icing or topping doesn’t contain raw eggs. Many other Christmas-time desserts - such as merengue, homemade ice-cream and mousse - contain raw eggs, so it’s important to check ingredients before consumption.
Similarly, when that cheese board comes out, be careful to avoid any unpasteurised or mould-ripened cheeses, as these can possess certain types of bacteria.
When it comes to alcohol, needless to say, it can get a little tricky. Although there is some disagreement among health care experts about whether or not small amounts of alcohol are safe during pregnancy, the safest approach is generally to avoid alcohol altogether.
Sticking to mineral water can get a little dull, of course. To help you get into the festive spirit, maybe try out some non-alcoholic cocktails. Why not make yourself a virgin Pina Colada, or a non-alcoholic strawberry daiquiri, or some other fun beverage? Sometimes, something as simple as cranberry juice mixed with a squirt of lime can liven up the occasion. Give it a go.
Don’t Overburden Yourself
Let’s be honest with ourselves. Although the Christmas period can be a wonderful time of year, it can also be a little stressful. From shopping for gifts, to decorating the house for visitors, it’s only natural to get a little overwhelmed at times. Add the fact that you’ve got a baby on the way, and everything suddenly become a whole lot more difficult.
In order to stay calm, rested and without stress, acknowledge your limits. Get as much help as possible with all the traditional Christmas activities. Ask your partner, or a friend, or relative to help pick up some of your Christmas shopping. Or, better yet, do most of your shopping online - and have your gifts delivered directly to your door.
When it comes to decorating, keep things simple. Do you really need to decorate the whole house? Why not just get a tree and a few simple decorations, and have a friend or relative come over one afternoon, and help you put it all up. Or ask your partner or spouse to take care of all this.
When it comes to Christmas dinner, the same applies. Plan well ahead and ensure that you don’t get stuck with all the work. If you have a large family, why not divide the duties among a few family members: one person does the brussel sprouts, another takes care of the turkey, another does the mashed potatoes. Who says it all has to be done by one person?
Take Care of your Back
Back pain or back injuries are quite common during pregnancy. That’s why it’s important to exercise caution when doing certain physical activities.
If you decide to go shopping for gifts or for food supplies, bring someone along who can help you lift heavy items. Don’t try carry or lift heavy objects on your own.
Similarly, if you decide to decorate your house, don’t go rooting around in the attic or shed alone. Get someone to assist you when bringing that tree down or when assembling it.
Get a Little Exercise
With all the rich foods and delicious desserts on offer, it’s only natural that you’ll over-indulge a little. But this can cause some unwanted side-effects. From heartburn, to low energy levels, eating too many heavy foods can have an immediate impact on your well-being, not to mention your long-term health.
Not only that, but occasional, moderate exercise has been shown to help reduce stress and anxiety levels. Given some of the associated hassles of Christmas-time - from troublesome relatives and in-laws, to shopping for gifts - this can be a major life-saver. Taking a little time out every now and then, for some moderate, pregnancy-safe exercise, will help you stay happy and healthy for the holiday season.
We hope these help!