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How to survive Christmas during pregnancy

Being pregnant at Christmas is exciting, but there can also be a whole lot of pressure at this time of year. 

While the impending arrival of your newborn baby will make the festive season feel that bit more special, you’ve got loads of other things to think about too. 

From buying and wrapping presents to all of the festive socialising, it’s going to be difficult to remember to take care of yourself. 

Here are some top tips for surviving Christmas during pregnancy. 

Don’t forget to check out my post on coping with pregnancy during winter and how to prepare for a Christmas baby if you are due in December or early January. 

There are also some gorgeous Christmas baby name ideas here.

Find exciting alternatives to alcohol

Christmas is a time for partying, which means there is a lot of booze flowing. 

It can be really hard being the only sober one at a party, or on Christmas Day. Help make being tee-total exciting for you by finding some delicious mocktail recipes. 

For a delicious sparkling berry mocktail, just mix sparkling berry water with fresh pomegranate juice, a handful of cranberries and sprig of thyme to garnish. 

Eat little and often

If nausea is an issue for you, then stick to smaller portions spread out across the day. 

It’s hard to resist the big Christmas lunch, but if it’s going to leave you feeling sick and with heartburn, then try to split it into two meals rather than having one huge plate. 

Steer clear of any foods that really trigger your nausea, and avoid any of your heartburn triggers too. 

Keep sipping water throughout Christmas Day, when it’s likely you’ll be eating a lot more, to avoid constipation. 

Get the shopping done as early as possible

The last thing you will want to be doing on Christmas Eve is making a panicked trip to the shops. 

Avoid the stress by getting your shopping done early. 

Start by making a list right now, don’t put it off until a week or two before the big day!

Write down every person who you need to buy presents for and have another list for cards. 

Now get thinking about gift ideas, and if you do need to go to the shops then go there with a plan. Try to do as much of your shopping online as possible to save you walking around shops with the Christmas crowds. 

Do wrapping in stages 

Make sure you wrap the gifts in a comfortable position. It can be easy to end up hunched over a pile of gifts and wrapping paper on the floor. However you’ll find this will exacerbate any back ache you may have. 

Use a table and sit on a chair with good back support. Do the wrapping in batches, spending 20 minutes or so each time. 

Spread it out over the course of several days. 

Have emergency gifts 

There’s always one person who you never expected to buy you a present, who goes and gets you one.

Avoid being left red-faced, or having to make a mad last-minute dash to the shops, and have a stash of emergency gifts wrapped and ready to go. 

Choose nice but general gifts that can be given to anyone. For example, candles, a nice set of toiletries, pretty notebooks, pouches, picture frames and kids’ toys. 

Have some extra Christmas wrapping paper too just in case. 

Don’t offer to host

You may absolutely love cooking Christmas dinner. But being on your feet in the kitchen all day when in your third trimester or when you have serious nausea is not a great way to take care of yourself. 

If it’s an option, enjoy Christmas Day elsewhere, so that you can put your feet up and relax. You deserve it!

Be careful of the nibbles!

Christmas is a time when snacks and tasty cheese boards are everywhere. But you need to keep in mind the foods you should avoid when pregnant. 

There are some cheeses that pregnant ladies should avoid due to the risk of listeria bacteria which may harm your baby. 

Hard cheeses such as cheddar are fine. Mouldy cheeses such and roquefort should be avoided. Soft cheese like brie are also not recommended for pregnant ladies. 

When it comes to cold meats, you are OK to eat cooked meats, but cured meats such as salami and prosciutto should be avoided as they may contain harmful parasites. 

If you’re in doubt, always Google what’s being given to you so that you can check it isn’t going to be harmful for your pregnancy. 

Think about boozy desserts 

Lots of festive desserts contain alcohol as a key, or minor, ingredient. 

Christmas cake, trifle and Baileys chocolate cake are delicious, but they do contain alcohol. Of course cooking does burn off alcohol, but you don’t know how long things have been cooked for, or how much of the original ingredient was used in the making. 

Having said that it is highly unlikely a slice of cake is going to do your baby any harm. It’s really down to you to make the choice. 

You may want to avoid things such as brandy butter however. 

Be safe with leftovers

Tucking into Christmas leftovers is almost as appealing as the festive meal itself. But be wary of use by dates on packaging, and make sure any leftover turkey is stored in the fridge. 

Getting food poisoning is not great at the best of time, but your body is particularly vulnerable when you’re pregnant. 

You risk becoming dehydrated, and also causing harm to your baby. If you do get food poisoning, speak to your doctor for advice. 

Eat leftover Christmas turkey within three to four days to be safe. 

I hope these tips will help you have a very merry Christmas during your pregnancy!

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How to enjoy Christmas when you're pregnant