Staying healthy over the silly season

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You’d better watch out, you’d better not cry, you’d better be good, I’m telling you why, you are preggers over Christmas, that’s right…

Argh! Just… argh. In my five pregnancies, I managed to be with child over two Christmases. With the way I was breeding, I suppose it was statistically unavoidable. And I’ll tell you, the first time around was a minefield. You never realise how many events and parties happen over the season until you have to sausage yourself into some nice clothes and find shoes that still fit. I won’t lie, it was difficult. But there’s hope – I suffered so you won’t have to.

Here are a few tips and hacks I gathered that should lighten the load… (and boy, don’t we all need it!)

1. The food thing

Food is really the most central point of the whole season. Oh, people will tell you it’s the giving, or the time with family, and all of that is quite lovely, yes. But if I’m honest, Christmas for me is a never-ending fantasy of roast chicken, roasted potatoes and chocolate (you may replace these your personal favourite food choices). So, what to do?

Depending on your stage of pregnancy, you could be either hugging a toilet bowl, or feeling full after a lettuce leaf. If you’re in the first trimester, I recommend you find a favourite food that doesn’t make you feel ill and stick to it like your life depends on it. Dry crackers? Buy ALL the varieties! Arrange them on a plate! Keep them in your pockets, Instagram yourself with those Salticrax and own it! If there’s no food on earth that you can bear, stick to things that won’t be awful when they come back up. I’m not even joking, jelly, fruit etc. And make sure you take your pregnancy vitamins and try to have at least small amounts of all the basic food groups, even if it’s a couple of bites per hour.

“Although a marginal amount of activity is recommended during pregnancy, a full-on Christmas event is definitely off the cards for you.”

If you’re in your second trimester at this point, allow me to say congratulations! It’s the best trimester for food. You’ll hopefully have weathered the storms of morning sickness, and you’re not bloated enough yet to eat like a bird.

For my fully preggy friends, I’ll admit that I couldn’t avoid overeating, and instantly regretted it every time. In that case, Gaviscon is your friend! Drink it on crushed ice out of a martini glass and console yourself that it’s not much longer now. If you have more self-discipline than I did, try to stick to small portions throughout the day. Try to find that happy level where you’re not overdoing it, but you’re not starving yourself either.

2. The drinking

In the old days, it used to be fine for a pregnant woman to have a single unit of alcohol per week. However, it’s become frowned upon in recent years as studies have shown that even small amounts can be harmful. So, in the words of my toddlers’ favourite movie Let it go. This is the part where the first trimesters kind of beats the second and third trimesters, because they won’t want any. They won’t even want it in smelling distance, whereas the second and third trimesters won’t affect you – except that you may experience some serious festive drinkie fomo.

But there’s hope! Non-alcoholic (NA) beverages have come a long way and you get them in all kinds of formats now. NA beer, NA wine and NA sparkling coolers. There are also plenty of virgin cocktail recipes online. Pile those umbrellas high and enjoy!

Note: Make sure to check the labels of those non-alcoholic drinks as some contain a lot of caffeine. Also, avoid weird looking non-alcoholic “liqueurs” as they often contain flavouring agents that may be harmful while pregnant.

3. Not your party

I can’t stress this enough. DON’T be the hostess this Christmas. You have the rest of your life to do this and by next year, your baby will be old enough and you won’t be sleep-deprived. Hosting involves cooking, cleaning and running around. These are the unavoidable facts when you take on a lunch or Christmas event. You can’t do it, you shouldn’t do it, and nobody will blame you if you don’t.

Although a marginal amount of activity is recommended during pregnancy, a full-on Christmas event is definitely off the cards for you. Don’t let people talk you into it. Don’t let yourself talk you into it. Use the situation to your advantage. Go to somebody else’s party and find a comfortable seat. Then, have your loved ones bring you crackers and Gaviscon. Use this precious time to take a load off. Trust me, once your baby arrives, you’ll look back and wish you’d sat down more.

Also read:

Finding your festive while pregnant
6 festive season financial hacks