We’re now in the thick of the holiday season, one of the busiest times of the year.
Being pregnant at the holidays will affect all sorts of things, right down to the activities you can and can’t do. It’ll steer your choice of food and drink, entertainment and plenty of other things, too.
But rest assured, there are time-tested strategies to help expectant moms negotiate this season with just a little more ease.
If you’re expecting, here are 10 tips to help you manage your holiday happenings:
1. Get some rest
There’s a reason this is first on the list. This busy time of year is likely to tire you out, so plan accordingly. Plan for naps.
Plan your activities so you’ll have time to get the rest you and your growing baby need. Naps don’t happen unless you make time for them. If you have lots of activities to tackle, you need to also make a point to schedule time for rest.
2. Maintain your exercise plan
We know it’s good for pregnant women to exercise. Cardio can be accomplished through a gym class, a nice brisk walk or simply by following some online classes. It’s best to look for exercises led by someone who specializes in pregnancy. Yoga is especially great for muscles—it helps prepare them for labor.
3. Take time for yourself
Personal time means you get a chance to get off your feet and do something that relaxes you—read, take a bath or a shower, listen to some music or do something you enjoy. It might be something as simple as a little downtime to drink hot chocolate and look at the lights.
4. Plan family meals
The holidays can be filled with sweets and goodies. You can enjoy some treats, but be aware of the amount of sugar and carbs you’re consuming.
Make sure you’re still eating healthy foods. This also means thinking ahead for snacks. Many women tend to eat more frequently when they’re pregnant, which is normal. If your location has lots of holiday treats on hand, however—a work function or a family gathering, for example—you’ll want to plan your snacks accordingly so you have healthy options.
5. It’s OK to say ‘No’
Does this mean you can’t attend holiday functions? No, but maybe you can say no to other things. You don’t have to be the main cook at Christmas dinner. You can also ask folks to bring an easy dish to share this year. This is one of the best times to ask other people for help.
6. Ask for help
This is something that is hard for many, but usually there are others around us who would like to help, but they simply don’t know what they can do to lend a hand. This can also help you prepare to feel comfortable to ask for help after baby is born.
Focus on the things that are most important to you—and make these your priority. Maybe it’s family gatherings, certain foods, church services, decorating and so forth. In the future, you can add other things back in.
With a new little one coming along, you may also start making new traditions with your family.
8. Avoid alcohol
Even if this was part of your normal holiday happenings in the past, it’s now time to stay away from it. Plain and simple.
9. Manage your schedule
Schedule your OB appointments ahead, because with the holidays doctors aren’t as readily available. Also, find out where to call if you have any concerns.
Next year, your life will look very different with a new little one as an addition to your family. Take time to enjoy the holidays. While this year can be different, look at the excitement you’ll have in the years to come.