The gifts are wrapped, the halls are decked and the turkey’s in the oven – or, is that a bun cooking in the oven?
When you’re pregnant at Christmas, there are a few more things to consider than in typical years. In fact, carrying your very own gift-wrapped cargo might leave you feeling even more festive than usual.
At the same time, that added consideration of tackling Christmas when you’re pregnant might mean a little forward planning is in order.
Of course, there are the usual changes that are a given: no eggnog and brie for you! But what else is worth bearing in mind to help you plan for Christmas when you’re pregnant?
5 tips to make being pregnant at Christmas easier
1. Create your own drinks menu
Christmas and alcohol don’t go hand in hand for everyone, but if you’re used to enjoying a festive tipple with friends then why not have some alcohol-free drinks on hand?
Mocktails, juices, smoothies and alcohol-free bubbles can make for a much more enjoyable treat than water but regardless of what you drink, ensure to stay hydrated, even if you’re busy.
If you have any questions or concerns about what drinks are on or off-limits to you, ask your GP for their recommendations.
Then stock up the fridge with you favourite beverages and get ready to say cheers!
2. Stock up on snacks
As important as it is to stay hydrated, you’ll also want to ensure that you have plenty of food options available. Eating little and often is a good idea if you’re struggling with indigestion.
Again, make sure to check with your GP or midwife what they recommend you might need to avoid but now is the time to say “No” to the obvious Christmas favourites such as soft cheeses, deli meats and prawns.
If you’re hosting Christmas lunch at your house, you’ll be able to add some of your pregnancy-friendly faves to your menu but if you’re going to be a Christmas guest elsewhere, tip your host off that there are a few things you need to avoid.
If you would feel more comfortable doing so, offer to take your own food along with you. Or at least cram a few healthy and delicious treats into a bag to take along with you, just in case you get peckish throughout the day.
3. Get ready for the unwanted advice (and the extra love!)
It isn’t a given, but you’ve probably already experienced the unsolicited “helpful” tips that are thrown your way when you’re sporting a baby bump.
Well-meaning friends and relatives may feel compelled to share their opinions on all aspects of what you should and shouldn’t be doing when you’re pregnant from what to eat to what Santa really should have gotten your newborn baby.
If it gets too much, find a way to manage the situation so that you can stay relaxed and happy. Decide if you’re ok to let the comments roll off your back or let them know you have it covered. Your baby, your way!
Christmas and gatherings are also a lovely time to celebrate an expanding family too! Your family and friends will be overjoyed at the impending arrival of your baby and you might like to take the time to celebrate and plan together for when that happens.
If you’re comfortable with being the centre of attention a little over the holiday, enjoy it. Let your loved ones spoil you, fetch you a drink, give your shoulders a rub and help you out, if they’re kind enough to offer!
4. Don’t overdo it
Christmas can be a busy affair with plans to visit friends and family, attend parties and events and shop until you want to drop. However, now isn’t the time to feel like you need to do it all.
If you don’t want to attend something, see someone or be somewhere, just say no. Choose only the occasions that you really want to be a part of and if you need to, don’t feel bad about cancelling, even at the last minute.
This might include long car journeys or plane rides and you might prefer, especially in the final months of your pregnancy, to stay close to your home.
Morning sickness, swollen feet or back ache can make travel hard work and uncomfortable so decide in advance if the journey is worth it, or even if it’s doable at all.
Perhaps your friends and family can visit you in the comfort of your home or meet you at a closer destination. That said, don’t overfill your calendar with hosting guests too much either. The work that might go into getting your home ready for guests could end up being even more tiring that if you were to go to their house instead.
It’s important for you to stay stress-free and as relaxed as you can and if that means letting someone down a little, so be it. Your friends and family will completely understand that your priorities are starting to shift now.
5. Put your feet up!
New parents have a lot in store for the first few months with a new baby. So, if it’s possible, take a little time to relax while you can.
Depending on where you are in your pregnancy, you might be finding that you tire more easily, need more sleep or can’t be on your feet for quite as long as before.
And when it comes to Christmas Day itself, enjoy this time together with your current family, and if you can, get an early night and leave the clearing up tasks to them!
The run up to Christmas can be a magical time and one to create some beautiful memories that you’ll treasure forever.
This time next year, your own precious cargo will be enjoying their very first Christmas with you. There is so much to look forward to and plan for when you’re sharing Christmas Day with your new baby!
We hope our guide to planning for and surviving Christmas will help you to make it a wonderful and relaxing day.