The holidays are here and you’re expecting, making this year’s festivities that much more special! As wonderful as pregnancy can be, it does come with some special considerations. But just because you can’t indulge in a champagne toast on New Year’s Eve or eat all the holiday treats, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the season. Here are some helpful tips for enjoying the holidays while pregnant.
- Be mindful of certain foods. What would the holidays be without all of the decadent food? When you’re expecting, you can still enjoy a special meal while keeping in mind some key food-safety rules. Bacteria in raw or undercooked foods can present harm for you and baby, so it’s best to steer clear of some common holiday foods:
- Homemade eggnog may contain raw or undercooked eggs which could put you at risk for being exposed to salmonella bacteria. This doesn’t mean you have to give up this treat completely. Fortunately, most store-bought eggnogs are made with pasteurized eggs and are safe during pregnancy!
- Soft cheeses (like Brie, Camembert, feta) may contain raw milk which could contain listeria. Luckily, hard cheeses (like cheddar, Parmesan, Gouda) are completely safe.
- Charcuterie or preserved meats (like pepperoni, salami, prosciutto) should be avoided as they can contain Nitrates, which are chemicals that can negatively affect baby’s development. But, you can still enjoy the fruits and nuts on that yummy charcuterie board!
- Raw seafood (think oysters, sushi, smoked salmon) can contain listeria or other bacteria harmful to you and your little one. If you’re going to enjoy seafood, make sure it’s fully cooked first.
- Say “cheers” with a mocktail. Just because you can’t toast the champagne, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a festive drink. These days there are so many delicious holiday mocktail options! From a zero-proof cran-raspberry martini to a non-alcoholic Moscow mule, this list of pregnancy safe mocktails from The Bump has got you covered. Remember, no amount of alcohol is safe to consume during pregnancy.
- Plan ahead for travel. Travel is generally safe for uncomplicated pregnancies, and may be best suited in the second trimester when early pregnancy symptoms have subsided. However, once you reach the 36 weeks mark, we recommend staying close to home. If you’re planning travel this holiday, you’ll want to keep these tips in mind:
- Take plenty of breaks. When you do travel (whether by car, bus, plane or train), be sure to take breaks to stand up/walk around at least every two hours to promote circulation in your legs.
- Drink adequate fluids so you do not get dehydrated.
- Always wear a seatbelt. If traveling by vehicle, the shoulder belt should sit between your breasts and the lap belt positioned under your abdomen, as your baby grows, put over your hips. If traveling by plane, you can wear your seatbelt under your bump and across your lap.
- Make time for rest. You’re carrying a little one inside you, which means your energy levels may be depleted more easily. Make sure to set aside some “me” time to relax and unwind amidst the holiday rush. Laying down to rest if you feel tired is important. Preserving your energy will ensure you can be there for the ones you love.
- Put your health first. This holiday season there are a number of viruses circulating including influenza, COVID-19, and RSV. It’s important to ensure you are up to date on vaccinations including influenza and COVID-19 and that you continue to wash your hands regularly. If you know a friend or family member may be sick, it’s best to avoid contact and stay away from crowded settings.
And most importantly, be sure to soak up this special time with loved ones, and your little one on the way! Our team at Axia Women’s Health wishes you a happy holiday, and we look forward to continuing to support you throughout your pregnancy journey in the New Year.