The holidays are officially upon us and so is your growing baby bump!
Pregnancy can be challenging, especially with the commotion of the holiday season. In addition to the normal complexities of growing another human in your belly, many people work longer prior to the holiday season, and have additional financial and emotional stressors during this time. Are you wondering how you will keep your spirits up and your stress down this time of the year?
From Cocktail to Mocktail, Keeping Your Spirits Up Without Spirits
‘Tis the season for family, celebrating old traditions and starting new ones, and giving as much as we can. With all the stress, many enjoy ending the day with a refreshing drink. When you're pregnant, though, you will need to be a little more careful what you fill your glass with. Consuming alcohol is generally a no-no during pregnancy, since there is no known safe amount of alcohol use during pregnancy. The good news is that there are many great holiday mocktails for pregnant women that taste just as good as their alcoholic counterparts, and take little-to-no-time to throw together. So this holiday season drink your eggnog without the rum (and use a pasteurized kind), swap your bubbles for non-alcoholic fizz, warm up with mulled apple juice in place of a traditional spiced wine or cider, and brush up on seasonal mocktails.
Better Ways To Destress
With holiday cheer and decorations everywhere, and your To-Do List growing exponentially, how will you destress? It is important to find ways to indulge in self-care during this time of giving, but how to actually make time to indulge yourself during the holiday season isn’t simple.
Before you find yourself in the thick of planning, shopping, cooking and celebrating this holiday season, don’t forget to step back and take a moment to pamper yourself physically. Whether you go for a quick pedicure, giving your sore feet and ankles some much needed attention or spend an hour getting a pregnancy massage, take the time to alleviate the physical aches and pains and stress that are often associated with pregnancy. If you do choose to spend a little more time and get a massage, make sure the massage therapist is trained in prenatal massage.
If treating yourself to a pedicure or massage aren’t in the budget this year, find simple ways to physically pamper yourself at home:
- Rest or take a nap when you are tired instead of pushing yourself beyond your limits
- Keep the house thermostat on a temperature that keeps you happy and comfortable
- Fill your home with your favorite smells with essential oils or candles
- Play holiday music as you prep
- Snack as you prep, keeping your blood sugar level and your belly satisfied
Hosting Tips So You Can Enjoy The Holidays, Too!
Whether you are hosting in your home or just have to squeeze into clothes that are getting tighter by the day and show up looking festive, being present and presentable are extra challenging while pregnant! Get your pen and paper ready and start making lists to keep your sanity through the process. If you are hosting, make a list of guests, recipes and ingredients, gifts, things to get done, and a timeline for the day of. Then break down that list into “early shopping” and “the day before shopping”. If you are going away, alter your list accordingly.
Everyone is entitled to a good time during the holidays, including you! Don't be afraid to enlist the assistance of others in order to complete your tasks and still have time to spend with loved ones and friends. During this time of year, we should remember to express our gratitude to our loved ones, especially if we are expecting a new member of the family.
If you are able to hire someone to clean your house before the holidays and to do the heavy lifting of getting your house holiday-ready, it may be worth the cost. Generally, heavy lifting is not recommended during pregnancy. No matter how much you do yourself or hire out, make sure to take time to get ready and breathe, reminding yourself what you have already accomplished. It’s important to take breaks, put your feet up, stay hydrated and enjoy the holidays!
Dr. Crystal M. Newby, MD is a physician at Kansas City ObGyn. She received her medical degree from the University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Medicine. Dr. Newby married her fellow Kansas native high school sweetheart and they have 3 daughters.