Surviving the Holidays Pregnant: 6 Need-To-Know Tips
The holidays are a stressful time for most people: from buying and wrapping gifts to preparing the perfect holiday dessert. Then, without a break, we’re getting ready for New Year’s Eve.
But when you’re pregnant, you have a whole new set of stresses. Apart from preparing for your baby, you’re trying to get all of your holiday chores done while enduring morning sickness and fatigue. Not easy!
We’ve outlined 6 tips designed to help you beat stress and get back into the holiday spirit!
If you’re like everyone else during the holiday season, you have a lot to do and you’re stressed. From choosing, buying and wrapping presents to fulfilling all your holiday obligations, it doesn’t seem like there’s enough time. But now that you’re pregnant, you’re getting fatigued easier and the anxiety is piling up.
Instead of putting pressure on yourself, ask for help. If you already have a large family, delegate tasks. Ask your children to help you clean or decorate. Ask your partner to help out with cooking.
Consider making a list of the gifts you’re getting everyone this year. Instead of heading out to crammed shopping centers, ask your partner to bear the crowds for you. Make him a deal: If he buys, you’ll wrap. Another option is to buy all of your gifts online and have them delivered. Staying away from the crowds this year is an instant way to lower your stress.
If you’re hosting a holiday or Christmas dinner, aim to do less this year. Instead of doing everything yourself, assign each attendee a dish to prepare or something to bring. To make it easy for yourself, you can contribute a small side dish or something you can cook ahead of time. Since everyone knows you’re pregnant, they’ll understand why you’re doing less and will be willing to help out more.
In the season of giving, you’ll probably notice many friends and family members offering help. Instead of sheepishly declining, take them up on their offer! Whether it’s cleaning the kitchen or cooking you a meal, you should reserve all the energy you can. Accepting a kind deed has two purposes: It takes a load off you and it makes the other person feel happy, too!
You may also consider hiring some professional help over the holidays.
- If you can afford it, hiring a house cleaner once or twice can help save some time. This is ideal before or after hosting holiday or New Year’s parties.
- If gift wrapping isn’t your favorite hobby, consider using the gift-wrapping services offered in malls.
- Instead of baking holiday treats, support a local bakery.
Make Relaxation a Priority
With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, the last thing you probably think about is relaxation. But that’s exactly the thing you need. Your body is going through many changes, leaving you fatigued and sometimes with mood swings.
It’s okay and expected that you take things easy. Schedule time throughout the week—maybe a few evenings a week or a weekend—where you don’t have to worry about anything. Plan ahead of time a relaxing activity. It may be tempting to use this “free time” to get more holiday work done. But remind yourself that once you’re rested, you’ll be able to get things done quicker.
Relaxing holiday activities could include:
- Getting a prenatal massage
- Attending a prenatal yoga class
- Having a romantic stroll with your partner in a Christmas market or holiday-decorated part of town. Visiting these areas on weekdays will mean less crowds.
- Having a Christmas movie marathon
- Crafting some ornaments
- Having a chat with your partner over some hot chocolate
- Decorating a gingerbread house with your partner
Say No Thanks
You don’t need to attend every holiday party. In fact, if there’s ever a reason to miss out on a get-together, pregnancy is the excuse.
If you’re someone who feels obligated to show up to every work, friend and family holiday party, try saying no. If you don’t want, you don’t need to give a reason. Simply saying, “Sorry, I’d love to but I can’t this year,” should suffice. You could also say, “I’d love to, but I’m choosing to take it easy this year with the holiday parties. This pregnancy has made me pretty exhausted.”
Even if you’ve already committed to holiday plans, don’t feel bad cancelling if you need to. Everyone understands that pregnant women get morning sickness, aches and other symptoms that make bedrest a good option. For this reason, it’s unlikely that people will get upset if you cancel.
If you volunteer at the soup kitchen or make bake sale cookies every year, ask yourself if you feel up to it. It’s okay to tell people that you’re taking a year off of volunteering while you’re pregnant.
It can be stressful looking for a new outfit for each holiday and New Year’s party. Even more stressful? Wearing the uncomfortable clothes.
If you’re not far along in your pregnancy, it may be tempting to try to squish into your holiday dresses. While this is a great way to save money, it can leave you feeling uncomfortable the whole night.
Instead, make smart choices about your holiday attire. Maternity clothing can be expensive, especially if you’ll only use the dress once or twice. Search second-hand stores or online maternity resale websites. Also scroll though eBay or online classifieds for options.
Here are a few stylish but comfortable outfit options to look out for:
- An extra-large or maternity dress with a lower neckline but flowy waistline
- A pair of stretchy leggings paired with a festive or elegant long shirt
- A long, flowy or stretchy maxi dress
When you’re at home baking holiday cookies or just relaxing, choose sweatpants or a pair of loose holiday pajama pants. Feeling unrestricted and comfortable during this time will help keep your stress levels down.
Eat Small Portions
The holidays provide ample opportunity to indulge on rich foods and delicious desserts. While it’s okay to treat yourself and give into some cravings, be mindful of what you’re eating. Instead of eating a whole dessert or several appetizers, sample a small portion of each food.
When you’re trying to be comfortable with a baby belly, the last thing you want to deal with is bloating or heartburn. These issues will only increase discomfort and fatigue—turning the holiday party into a drag.
While you may be busy during this time, don’t forget to take your prenatal vitamins and keep a healthy, balanced diet.
You should also be mindful of products that contain unpasteurized milk to avoid listeriosis (an infection harmful to your baby). Holiday products to look out for include cheeses, eggnogs and cookie dough. When in doubt, read the ingredient list. If that’s not possible, choose another food instead.
Mocktails Are a Pregnant Lady’s Best Friend
Eggnog and rum. Wine with dinner. Spiked Christmas punch. The holidays are filled with alcoholic drinks that can leave you feeling a little left out.
Luckily, there are many delicious and alcohol-free options. If you’re going to a restaurant with friends or family this holiday, research and make reservations at a place that serves mocktails. If you’re attending or hosting the party, plan ahead by choosing recipes and buying ingredients.
Below are a few mocktail recipes that are elegant yet require only a few ingredients.
Holiday Mocktail Recipes
- Cranberry juice
- Pomegranate juice
- Club soda or flavored soda
- Limes and cranberries for garnish
Fill a tall glass with ice. Fill halfway with cranberry juice and halfway with pomegranate juice. Top with club soda. Garnish with a lime wedge and a few floating cranberries.
- Sparkling white grape juice
- Raspberries or cranberries for garnish
Pour sparkling white grape juice in a flute glass. For an elegant look, top with a few floating cranberries or raspberries. Perfect for a holiday toast or New Year’s Eve.
Mocktail Holiday Mimosa
- Sparkling white grape juice, ginger ale or flavored sparkling water
- Orange juice
- Strawberry for garnish
Fill a flute glass halfway with your carbonated beverage of choice. Fill the remainder of the glass with orange juice. Cut a strawberry in half with a slit to garnish the mimosa.
Pumpkin Pie Martini Mocktail
- 1 oz. canned pumpkin pie filling
- 3 oz. half-and-half cream
- ¼ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- Whipped cream
- Rim: Brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice
Rim martini glass with a mixture of brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice. In a cocktail shaker, shake all ingredients except whipped cream. Pour into martini glass and top with whipped cream and a dash more of pumpkin pie spice.
How are you surviving the holiday season pregnant? Comment your tips below! If you have any pregnant friends, be sure to share this post to help them through the season, too!
P.S. Have you added a fetal doppler to your Christmas wish list? These at-home, handheld devices allow you to listen to your baby’s heartbeat at home—ensuring you that he or she is okay.
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