Alas! It’s the time of year for indulgence, staying up til late with friends and getting slightly merry. Unless you’re expecting of course! Here are my best tips to survive Christmas when you’re pregnant.
Let’s face it, a few things are going to be different and several will bug the hell out of you!
Well-meaning comments can make your skin crawl, and for Pete’s sake if someone passes that veggie souffle over one more time….!
So if you’re already in your third trimester, you might have gotten used to declining the drinks by now.
Still, it can be difficult to see everyone having fun but you, the hopeless preggo in the room.
And if you’re in the first trimester and you’re not ready for people to know the news…yeah that can be complicated.
Let’s say you don’t want anyone to know:
- Say that you’re abstaining from alcohol this year to support a friend (and get your friend in on it too!)
- Claim that last year’s sherry is still giving you a headache
- Quickly slide out of the way discreetly as the drinks approach – see below for reference
Say you’re past your first trimester, but people still can’t tell you’re showing – now what?
- Have a pre-talk with your spouse about if you’re ready to share the news
- Tell them you’re driving and have a 0% alcohol policy at the wheel
- If all else fails, discreetly slide out of the way
Avoiding alcohol can be tricky because as a society we use it as a social beverage – it’s something that people identify with to draw them closer together.
When you’re creating life in your belly though, it’s a little sacrifice to make for your baby. If it’s getting you down, you can always choose some non-alcoholic cocktails to make and offer your guests (or take with you in a flask!)
Stay strong mama, you got this!
2) Un-pasteurized food
Ah, now this is a tricky one – especially if you don’t want everyone at the meal to know…
Pronounce yourself vegan, that could work! You might miss out on the turkey though, so there is always that.
Lactose intolerant could also be a good cover-up.
Or you could just make everyone spit out their champagne by announcing that you’re not going to eat anything un-pasteurized cause you’re pregnant.
To be clear, that might mean:
- Soft cheese with white rinds (goat’s cheese)
- Raw seafood & fish
- Unpasteurized milk
- Raw or partially cooked eggs
Full the full list of what to avoid eating during pregnancy, go to this source.
As you can see, that might mean avoiding a shrimp cocktail starter.
Good news is though, you can eat sushi, as long as it has been slightly cooked and frozen beforehand (the freezing kills any lurking bacteria). Just skip the sushi with raw tuna fish, for example.
Look, I know you’re a wild party animal at heart, but you might not have it in you this year.
Pace yourself energy-wise, if you start strong with lots of energy and excitement, remember that the hustle and bustle may tire you out and you could need some alone time for a few minutes.
If you’re going over to a friend’s house, you could ask if you could use a spare room to lie down if you need to at any point.
I used to get low blood pressure, so now and then I’d have to lie down with my feet up until I felt better.
Listen to your body, you know best. If you’re going as a couple, agree on a cue (you can make it secret if you like) to get up and go when you’ve had enough.
It’s really important for your partner to be on the same page with that.
Oh – you may want to skip the heels for some trendy pumps – you’ll last longer and do less harm to your lower back in the process.
While you’re here, would you like a thought journal?
Another thing to watch out for is filling your agenda with lots of friend dates with the people you haven’t seen in a while or want to make the most of while you’ve got more time.
Remember to take care of your mental energy too, and things will go a lot smoother.
Take one meet-up at a time, and don’t forget to schedule time for you.
Play the host by all means, but keep things low-key and agree to make your partner in charge of gently kicking people out when it’s time.
Meet up only with special friends and people who will adapt to your rhythm.
5) Keep things simple
Please note – simple does not mean boring!
I just mean, you might need to cut back on your usual traditions, if that means cooking Christmas dinner for two hours on your feet.
Get a hand in the kitchen – invite a friend to help you cook. Grab a stool and peel veg sitting down to take the weight of your feet.
If you find yourself standing for a long period of time, gently bend your knees and tuck your pelvis under whilst widening the stance of your feet.
This will engage your legs rather than putting pressure on your back.
If you usually do things from scratch, consider getting some store-bought versions of your favourite sauces or cake mixtures if you know they will take time to make.
And make sure to eat as you cook, that’s very necessary when you’re preggo. Lol.
6) Bump touching
Feel free to hang a sign up in the entrance of your door with ‘Don’t touch the bump’ if you’re hosting.
No, I’m kidding – do what you want, but do make it clear who you do and don’t want getting close enough to give it a feel.
Pregnant women are like magnets (I remember) which is ironic, cause it’s probably the time in our lives where we most want to be left alone and unbothered.
Nevertheless, prepare yourself for any bump-fondlers beforehand.
The best advice I can give you is to stay away from circles of drunken people that are more likely to get up in your personal space.
Then there’s family of course, be gentle but assertive if you decide you’d rather not.
7) Get comfy
There’s no time like Christmas to get in from an outing with friends all dolled up, only to rip off your bra once you make it through the door.
So get yourself those comfy jammies that you’ve had your eye on in the maternity section -you deserve to be comfy mama!
I’m talking, fleece-lined, baggy but pretty pj’s that you can live in those days where you don’t have to go anywhere.
8) Carry snacks and enjoy
Just in case you do end up turning up to parties where there are plateaus of food that you can’t eat, it’s a good idea to take something with you.
If you’ve got a travel to the place anyway, you may get peckish in the car.
Cereal bars, nuts and dried fruit are great for this.
And yes, mama, don’t forget to enjoy yourself! Although you may have swollen feet, a huge belly and the urge to neck down that glass fo champagne, know that you’re not the only one!
Take courage in the fact that next year you’ll have your little babe in your arms, this is only a fleeting phase.
Enjoy the time with family, soak up the love before you become a mama – or if it’s your second time, enjoy being a family of three.