christmas gifts

Pregnant at Christmas? Six tips for surviving the festive period as a mum-to-be

Whether you’re at the start of your pregnancy, nearing the end or somewhere in between, if you’re pregnant at Christmas time, you may be glad of the following tips.

I’m sharing these because I know from personal experience that being pregnant at Christmas can be challenging. I want to help you survive the festive season as a mum-to-be with your sanity intact!

There can be some downsides to being pregnant at Christmas. Alcohol is a no-no, smoked salmon is off the menu and you’re probably feeling more tired than usual, so can’t face the late-night parties. Plus, it can be a struggle to squeeze your feet into your favourite sparkly heels.

But fear not! It’s absolutely possible to still have a blast over the Christmas period – I certainly did!

Enjoying the party season while pregnant just relies on you listening to your body and not trying to do too much. You’re making a baby after all!

christmas tree decoration

Being pregnant at Christmas changes everything!

I’ve been pregnant at Christmas time during both of my pregnancies.

My daughter was due in February, so I was in my final trimester the Christmas before she was born. And I had not long found out that I was pregnant with my son just before Christmas a few years later, which brought its own set of challenges. That Christmas, I hadn’t yet revealed the pregnancy to anyone.

I’ve always loved the Christmas holidays. But, I’ll admit, when I was carrying my daughter (and was heavily pregnant over Christmas), as much as I hoped it wouldn’t change much, it wasn’t the same experience at all.

I tried to retain the same enthusiasm that I’ve always felt for the Christmas festivities. But, the truth was that I was tired, had a huge bump, and everything was more of a challenge.

Shopping for gifts didn’t appeal one little bit, I had nothing to wear to parties and I was worried that because I wouldn’t be drinking, that I wouldn’t feel involved in the festive activities.

Did all this really matter though? Certainly not!

I was thrilled to be pregnant with my first child after a long time trying, and missing out on the parties, the alcohol and the late nights were not a problem to me at all! I knew that I was doing the right thing by my future daughter and myself by taking it easy over Christmas that year.

Pregnant at Christmas?

Here are my top tips on how to still enjoy the festive season:

1. Shop online

Don’t drag around the shops buying your Christmas gifts and groceries when you’re pregnant. That’s what online shopping is for! Rest up in the comfort of your home instead – you deserve it.

You can get all the gifts you need for the entire family online and many stores offer free delivery. Plus, with the food shopping coming to your door, it’ll take half the time and you’ll not need to do any lifting of heavy bags – the delivery people can help carry everything into your kitchen.

I’ve certainly never looked back since I started online shopping for my groceries many years ago and rarely step foot in a supermarket now. Most, if not all, of the gifts I buy at Christmas time, are delivered to my door even to this day.

christmas gifts

2. Let others do some of the work!

We, women, are terrible for taking on much of the work of Christmas. This time, it’s a chance to delegate some of that to others. There’s no reason why you should take it all on yourself.

Set up wish lists in Amazon so that your partner, friends and family can easily buy gifts you really want this Christmas (and no, that doesn’t have to mean baby-related gifts – ask for something for YOU).

And, ask them to do the same. That way, you can quickly and easily buy all the gifts you need for your family online. There really is no need to be dragging around shops trying to decide what to buy everyone when they can create wish lists for you to choose from.

When it comes to food preparation, again, if you’re hosting the family, get others to help or ask everyone to bring a dish to contribute to the meal. You don’t need to make everything yourself from scratch either – give yourself a break!

Leave the washing up to the others too. Making a baby is hard work, especially at Christmas, so find the time to put your feet up and perhaps even have a snooze. Enjoy it while you can – you won’t have the same excuse next year!

3. Buy yourself a maternity outfit that will see you through the season

If you’re nearing the end of your pregnancy and don’t want to buy any more maternity clothes, simply choose some sparkly accessories and shoes to glam up a maternity outfit you already have.

Or, if you’re determined to buy a new outfit, luckily for you there are so many options for stylish maternity wear these days. So, you needn’t worry about not having anything to wear during the party season or not being able to look and feel just as much the party queen as you always have been.

party dress for pregnant lady

When I was pregnant, there wasn’t anything like as much choice as there is now. I don’t like clothes shopping at the best of times, so shopping for maternity partywear at Christmas back then wasn’t great.

During my first pregnancy, I had the dilemma that I needed maternity clothing that was suitably festive for a works do – when I was going to be where entertaining clients – but didn’t want to feel frumpy. Not many shops stocked a lot of maternity stuff, and those that did had small, cramped dressing rooms.

In the end, I bought from the stunning (and super comfortable) range of maternity dresses, tops, trousers and jumpers at Isabella Oliver. Jojo Maman Bebe also has a fab range. Ordering online meant the clothes came to me and I could try them on in the comfort of my own home. Brilliant!

4. Watch what you’re eating

Some of your favourite foods may be off limits while you’re pregnant (any fellow soft cheese lovers here?), and it can be tricky to know what’s safe and what isn’t safe to eat when you’re eating at someone else’s home or digging into the party buffet.

So, if in doubt, leave it. The health of you and your baby is more important than a fleeting moment of indulgence. It’s just not worth the risk!

christmas dinner table

I recommend that you do some research around what foods you should be avoiding while pregnant, so you know what’s safe and what isn’t. I remember definitely avoiding undercooked or raw meat and fish including shellfish, raw eggs, soft cheese, pate and cured meats, as well as anything that looked unwashed.

When I ate far too much rich food one year while pregnant, I suffered later. I had lots of heartburn over Christmas and New Year and really regretted some of my food choices.

5. No alcohol needn’t mean no fun

It’s never great when everyone around you at a party is getting drunk and you’re as sober as a judge. But you can still have fun when you’re pregnant at Christmas. You needn’t spend the night sitting down or end up just drinking water!

Even with alcohol off-limits, there are still lots of drinks you can enjoy. You can choose mocktails (alcohol-free cocktails), alcohol-free wine or beer, lime and soda, elderflower presse, fruit juices, sparkling water – there are lots of options!

celebrating christmas drinks

And if you’re still in the early stages and trying to conceal your pregnancy before your 12-week scan, there is no reason for anyone to suspect based on your choice of drink. Ask for it to be served in a cocktail or wine glass and no-one should suspect a thing!

You could also use the excuse that you are the designated driver for the evening, to avoid those awkward questions about why you aren’t drinking. Or, say you’re on antibiotics. Rather than pry about your health, chances are they’ll likely just accept that response and won’t dig any further.

6. Festive celebrations needn’t mean late nights

Once upon a time, you may well have partied into the small hours over the Christmas period. But now that’s not on the cards this year, you can still have fun and be in bed at a reasonable hour.

How about a trip to the cinema with some girlfriends to watch that festive rom-com you fancy, or a day trip to the Christmas markets, or simply a lunch or an early evening meal out instead?

Particularly if you’re due to give birth around Christmas time or in the New Year, you’ll want to be getting as much rest and sleep as you possibly can, while you have the chance. So, keep the late nights to a minimum and say no to some of the party invites – you needn’t go to everything this year.

With the baby on its way, you’ll be wise to get in as much rest, relaxation and shut-eye as possible in these final weeks – take it from me!

Best of luck with surviving the festive period!

If you’re pregnant this Christmas and you’ve yet to book a newborn photoshoot, please get in touch today to enquire about my availability around the time of your due date. You can contact me here or call me for a chat on 07951 412010.

Clare x

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