The holiday season can be a stressful time for even the most organized woman. Add in the hormonal changes and fatigue associated with pregnancy and you may be tempted to draw the curtains and hide until the new year beckons. Here are some helpful tips on keeping your sanity and embracing the holidays with cheer.

Gift Giving Shortcuts

  • Shop online or through catalogs. Not only will you avoid the crowds, but you can also shop while kicking up your swollen feet.
  • Avoid going overboard on gift wrapping. Order the item prewrapped or use gift bags and tissue paper.
  • Purchase gift cards for last minute gifts.

Holiday Party Tips

  • Don’t be afraid to say no to party invitations. Friends, families, and coworkers will understand you need your rest, especially if you are in the last trimester and nearing your due date.
  • Schedule down time, days when you simply do nothing but rest and relax.
  • If you normally host the family holiday dinner, ask someone else to do it this year or hold a potluck so you are not doing all the cooking. And be sure to ask for help with the cleanup when everyone is finished.

Staying Healthy

  • Eat a light protein and drink water before heading out to a holiday party or dinner.
  • Chose wisely and in moderation. Enjoy all your favorite holiday foods but don’t use your pregnancy as an excuse to overindulge.
  • Be sure to avoid all of the foods that can be unsafe for you and your baby such as raw fish, traditional eggnog using raw eggs, unpasteurized cheese, and undercooked meats.
  • Instead of alcohol drink sparkling water, mocktails, or non-alcoholic beer.

Defining Those Boundaries

  • Avoid belly touching by carrying your plate of food in front of you. If your hands are empty, rest them on your belly as a barrier.
  • Politely let others know of your discomfort when they reach out to touch you or have your partner chime in on your behalf if you feel uncomfortable speaking up.

Keep it Comfortable

  • Avoid wearing panty hose and high heels. Chose shoes for comfort and safety.
  • Wear lose, comfortable clothing in layers that can be easily adjusted according to temperature.
  • Stake out a comfortable chair and avoid standing for prolonged periods of time.

Emotions in Check

  • If you find yourself weeping while watching It’s A Wonderful Life or getting teary eyed over your mother in law’s tales of your partner growing up, chalk it up to those pregnancy hormones and move on. Everyone will understand.
  • Take time to simply enjoy the little moments. That is where the true meaning of the holiday’s can be found anyway.
  • You will feel less emotionally out of balance with a good night’s sleep. Get plenty of rest and, if you need to, take a short nap during the day to feel energized for the evening’s festivities.
  • Reframe your expectations. Everything doesn’t have to be spectacular. If you usually make an extraordinary dessert for the family Christmas dinner, purchase one from the store this year. Scale back and enjoy yourself.

While the holidays can be a stressful time, they don’t have to be. Keep it simple, get plenty of rest, and know your limits. Then you will be able to lift a glass of sparkling water to toast a joyous holiday season.


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