If you’re pregnant during Christmas, it’s wonderful…and occasionally a little stressful at the same time.
I was pregnant during Christmastime, and while it was incredibly exciting, I also found it challenging. There’s so much going on during this time of year. It’s cold and it’s icy. Wine is flowing (but not in your glass), schedules are full, and your to-do list feels impossible to accomplish. You’re tired and stressed. Depending on how far along you are, you may feel as though you could give the big guy a run for his fat suit. Ho. Ho. Ho.
So how do you enjoy the holidays when you’re expecting? How do you make the most of being pregnant during Christmas?
Here are 8 ways to ensure you have a truly merry Christmas during your pregnancy!
1. Make the Most of the Holiday with a Christmas Pregnancy Announcement
Okay, first of all, there is no better time than Christmas to announce your pregnancy (okay, maybe Halloween). Talk about an excellent way to give the soon-to-be grandparents the perfect gift! Not only is it a unique experience, but it’s super special (especially if you’re not sure what to get them. Haha).
There are many cute ways to share the big news. The classic “Grandma & Grandpa” shirts (like this adorable “promoted to grandma” tee), mugs (“world’s greatest grandma/grandpa” of course), or embroidered baseball hats are always fun and simple.
You could also stop the show at Christmas dinner by wearing a shirt to let everyone know your news. This “best gift ever” shirt is a great way to share your joy. If you have children already, put on a “big sister” or “big brother” shirt and see how long it takes everyone to realize you’re expecting!
Christmas cards are another great way to share your announcement. Stage a cute photo and use a service like Snapfish or Shutterfly to print easy and beautiful holiday cards that will brighten everyone’s holiday.
2. Indulge in Your (Healthy) Holiday Favorites
As I’ve discussed before—FOOD tastes AH-MAZING when you’re pregnant. I swear it’s even more delicious than usual. Bonus: you have a totally acceptable excuse to indulge a little too. After all, you’re eating for two, right? (I hated when people told me that!)
Now, of course, you should follow pregnancy nutrition guidelines. Best pregnancy food practices mean steering clear of the soft-ripened cheeses (sorry brie and gorgonzola lovers), raw fish, processed meats, and questionable leftovers. There will be plenty of time to enjoy those foods after your baby arrives (well, maybe not the questionable leftovers).
For quick reference, avoid these foods while pregnant during Christmas:
- Soft-ripened cheeses
- Processed/cured meats
- Rare meats
- Raw fish, oysters, and shellfish of any sort
- Foods with alcohol (unless you’re very sure it’s been cooked off)
- Leftovers and items left on the buffet table
- Spicy, fatty, and heartburn inducing foods (like onions)
As for what you CAN enjoy? Well, pretty much everything else! Bring on the peppermint, the chocolate, baked goods, the yummy holiday roast, mashed potatoes, pasta, and more. Keep in mind that heartburn is often a constant struggle when you’re pregnant, so avoid going overboard (but don’t miss out)!
3. Eat Without Guilt
You may beat yourself up over the holidays because the food is AH-mazing, abundant, AND it’s incredibly hard to resist when you are pregnant. In fact, I would almost say it’s basically impossible to resist!
Now, of course, you know eating sugar for every meal isn’t healthy, mainly because those nutrients are going to the baby. I’m sure no one has to tell you that, because you’re likely hyperaware of your eating! I went through hyperawareness too. Then there was the guilt (OH THE GUILT!) because I felt so enormous.
Time for a reality check: you are supposed to gain 10 pounds per trimester. It’s okay and TOTALLY NORMAL!
So, go ahead and let yourself eat a gingerbread cookie or two (or heck, go nuts with THREE). Try to make healthy choices for the most part, but life is too short, and pregnancy is too short to skip out on fantastic food. Food tastes best while you’re pregnant, so don’t beat yourself up and WISH you had a bite of your Aunt’s signature Christmas cookies. If she bakes them once a year and they’re your favorite, GO FOR IT!
4. Feel Free to Skip the Parties (Guilt-Free!)
Speaking of avoiding the guilt, remember it’s perfectly okay to embrace the power of NO this holiday season. You’re pregnant. A lot is going on in your life. You’re preparing your house for a baby. You’re likely dealing with body weirdness and feeling a bit off, even if it’s early in your pregnancy.
Tell yourself right now that you don’t need to say yes to every invitation, every activity, and every commitment. You can turn down invitations for parties, sit home in your cozy jammies and watch It’s a Wonderful Life with a box of tissues. IT’S TOTALLY FINE! Do whatever helps you feel nourished and cared for this holiday season (after all, you’re growing a freakin’ human being)!
However, if you do need to head out to a party, plan your wardrobe enough ahead of time to order something you feel terrific wearing. The WORST situation during pregnancy is to get ready for a party and end up frustrated and in tears because nothing fits, and you feel like a giant beach ball (been there!). Splurge a little on an outfit to help you feel your best.
Wear a stretch LBD (love this little number, that looks great on everyone)! Or channel your inner goddess in a flowy maxi dress, that will get you feeling all earth mama. This sexy little dressy look is perfect for pregnancy during Christmas, and you’ll still feel HOT. If dresses aren’t your jam, consider leather-look leggings and a flowy, smart-looking blouse. Add a chunky statement necklace, and you’re ready to par-tay!
Don’t forget to add morning sickness remedies to your purse like Lifesavers Wintergreen Mints, which I find even helps soothe heartburn in a pinch (bonus breath mint)! For other morning sickness remedies, check out my Amazon list here.
5. Indulge in the “Spirit” of the Season
Let’s face it, one bummer about pregnancy during Christmas is you can’t enjoy a glass of wine, a champagne toast, or a little spiked eggnog. I’m not going to lie—it gets a bit depressing. So, I get asked a lot, can you drink ONE glass of champagne or wine while pregnant?
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can result in fetal alcohol syndrome, but is there a clear threshold on the amount that is safe or harmful for your baby? The answer is no. However, I researched Harvard Health, which says, “Deciding to have a sip (or glass) of champagne at a special occasion during pregnancy may not be an unreasonable or unsafe choice.”
Still, the conservative approach to avoid alcohol during pregnancy is the safest bet! Harvard Health says, “It’s a choice each woman has to make for herself, ideally after talking with her obstetrician or midwife about this issue.” Wah-wah…BUT here’s the good news: there are literally TONS of drinks (alcohol-free) you can enjoy that still feel super-duper festive.
So, prepare ahead of time and snag a few bottles of AWESOME non-alcoholic wine and drinks. My favorite party sips during pregnancy:
- Fre Champagne Wine (Fre is an excellent non-alcoholic wine brand, so try all the varieties)
- Pierre Chavin Zero Rose Sparkling Non-Alcoholic Sparkling Rose Wine
- Seedlip (a non-alcoholic spirit)
- Non-Alcoholic Beer (like this fantastic variety pack)
- Bundaberg Ginger Beer
- Seltzer with a splash of juice
- Virgin eggnog
- Spiced cider
- Hot chocolate with a candy cane
Be sure to drink your beverage in a festive glass with all the garnish and cocktail accessories (cherries, limes, candy canes, heck, even a fancy umbrella). Somehow, it feels more festive and fun when you hold a pretty drink in your hand, even if you’re 100% sober.
6. Celebrate Being Pregnant at Christmas by Getting Festive
Christmas is a time of joy and festivity, but with hormones, heartburn, and your expanding bod, you may find you feel less-than-jolly. These blahs are compounded by cold weather, shorter days, and the winter blues. It’s essential to make the most of being pregnant at Christmas by embracing little activities to get you in the holiday spirit.
Take time to indulge in activities to help you feel festive and connected to those around you. Take your partner to the theater for a Christmas movie or play. Go to a holiday concert. Walk around your town and admire the Christmas lights and window dressings. Visit a nativity display. Go see Santa!
Do all the fun activities to help you feel the spirit of the season. Light scented candles, crank the holiday jams, put up your tree, and read a Christmas story.
Next year, everything will change when you get to see the holidays through the eyes of your new baby. Your life is about to look very, very different (in a great and wonderful way, of course). Enjoy your last Christmas with just your husband or family. The holidays are surprisingly beautiful and even romantic!
7. Do Your Christmas Shopping Online and Stay Off Your Feet!
Thank you, Amazon! Let’s face it, even if you weren’t pregnant, shopping during the holidays is a major drag. Ordering online is a total lifesaver. Take advantage of the convenience by doing all your shopping with a click.
Did you know you can grocery shop online too? Um, total game-changer! One of the BEST things I did during Christmas was order all of our dinner stuff (we were hosting!) on Instacart. (Another hot tip: don’t host Christmas while you’re pregnant!)
I used Instacart many times during my pregnancy because I was too exhausted or sick to go to the store, and it made life so much easier. Order groceries, household goods, and anything you need to save yourself trips out on icy roads. Don’t shop if you don’t need to!
One last word on holiday shopping. Many crafty mamas out there like to DIY their holiday gifts. While this is a great way to save money and give meaningful presents, don’t take on more than you can handle when you’re pregnant during Christmas. Once again, let yourself off the hook and don’t beat yourself up for giving everyone an Amazon gift card and calling it good. Take the PRESSURE off!
8. Host (or Move Travel Plans to Next Year)
Now, remember what I said above about not hosting Christmas while you’re pregnant? There’s one exception. If you’re in your third trimester, it’s pretty tough to travel during the holidays.
During your third trimester, your doctor will typically say no to travel, especially if there are six weeks or less between your travel date and your due date. Check with your doctor to be sure, though. I traveled right smack dab on the week six countdown and let me tell you—It was NOT easy. Review all the tips you can find for flying while pregnant, including:
- Drinking plenty of water
- Taking frequent walk and standing breaks
- Going to the restroom regularly
- Getting plenty of rest
- Eating healthily before travel
- Choosing a strategic seat
- Packing a travel survival kit
- Bringing along all emergency information and contact info for a backup OB/GYN
This might be the year to opt-out of holiday travel. So yes, it means you may find yourself hosting family, assuming they’re able to come to you instead. If this happens, don’t hesitate to take as much help as you can get.
Let go of the pressure to “entertain” everyone or be the perfect hostess. Don’t be afraid to take breaks or request quiet time. Heck, this is the one point you have an excuse to take a nap instead of driving all over creation, helping your mother-in-law find last-minute gifts. Take advantage!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Yes, even (and especially) if you’re pregnant! Make the most of this holiday season by taking plenty of time for yourself. Enjoy the holiday festivities, dress the part, and send out Christmas-themed baby announcements.
Don’t miss out on holiday food and pretty (non-alcoholic) drinks (mocktails FTW)! If you must travel or host, take all the help you can get. Do your shopping online and stay off your feet. Fit in plenty of time to relax and enjoy the quiet beauty of the season.
Next year, when you get to celebrate baby’s first Christmas, your whole life will have changed. Enjoy this season and make the most of being pregnant during Christmas!
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