Making plans has important effects on your pregnancy. In this article we have compiled for you what you need to do about the holidays while pregnant.
Moms have a hard enough time getting ready for the holidays or the birth of a child when they are two distinctly separate events. Together, these occurrences can be overwhelming!
Imagine trying to decorate and put together holiday celebrations while having Braxton Hicks contractions. Or visualize yourself wandering through the mall looking for that perfect gift with swollen ankles. This is the reality for many pregnant moms throughout the holidays.
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Leticia Goodwin, a Canadian mother of two, was due December 15, but knew that because her previous child was overdue, she could end up with a Christmas baby. “I was really hoping that this one might come early or at least on time so I could be home for Christmas,” she recalls.
But her due date came and went, and Goodwin found herself preparing for the holidays still “large with child.” “I was very big, having gained about 50 pounds, so shopping that year was not a pleasant experience,” she says. “Plus, all the noise (music and wailing children) got on my nerves more than it might have otherwise, since my hormones were raging in every direction.”
For the Goodwin, the only sanity-saving solution was to keep the holidays simple. “Because of my due date, we decided to do sort of a minimalist Christmas,” Goodwin says. “I put up a tree and a few basic, meaningful decorations but other than that, I didn’t want much fuss.”
She focused her energy on providing a nice Christmas for her daughter and shopped about a month ahead of time in preparation. For Goodwin, a traditional last-minute shopper, this was a huge help.
Goodwin was induced on December 26, which for Canadians is Boxing Day. “We call Jerald our ‘Boxing Day Special’ since all the stores have Boxing Day Sales on December 26,” she says. (Holidays While Pregnant)
You should see our other articles and categories to learn the things you wonder.
Always Make Plan
The holidays were very different for Shari Simon. This Tucson, Ariz. mother spent her holidays on bed rest to keep preterm labor at bay. Ill with gestational diabetes that couldn’t be controlled by diet, she was giving herself insulin shots daily as well as trying to conduct the holidays from the couch. December was further complicated by an earlier commitment to host the entire family at her house that year.
“I sat on the couch as much as I could and planned the menu, cutting pictures and menus out of magazines and making calls to all my family,” says Simon. To save cooking stress, she ordered a ham from a local supplier and had a turkey pit roasted. Her parents also came early to get the bulk of the cooking and setting up done.
To learn about gestational diabetes : Diabetes and Pregnancy – You Can Still Have a Healthy Baby
“I supervised as my husband and kids decorated the tree they’d picked out and put out my nativity sets,” says Simon. “I sat and sewed family stockings, decorating them with bells and ribbon and paint.”
The holiday went well, and Simon was surrounded by her family while she presided over the events from the couch. Contractions began that day and slowly grew worse over the next couple of days. On December 28, she gave birth to a little boy, three weeks early, but healthy. The Simon consider him their greatest Christmas present. (Holidays While Pregnant)
Not Enough Time
So what are expecting parents to do when both Baby and the holidays are arriving at the same time? You certainly can’t put off either one of these events, so how do you prepare for them?
Organizing strategist and author Debbie Williams, believes that early preparation, delegation and realistic expectations are key. “Don’t expect to be ‘Super Mom’ just yet, especially when you’re experiencing those fuzzy-headed thoughts that only baby hormones can give you,” says Williams, author of Home Management 101: A Guide for Busy Parents. “Take one baby step at a time! Make lists, create a countdown, set goals and make realistic deadlines.”
As the mother of a Thanksgiving baby, Williams understands the frenzy of preparing for both a baby and the holidays simultaneously. She suggests choosing priorities and sticking to them. “Break your task into manageable pieces, rather than trying to do your entire list of to-dos in one day,” Williams says. “When you’re tired and feeling a little less than your best self during the last days of pregnancy, keep your list short and sweet with, say, three big priority items rather than your usual five. Do what you do best, then ask for help with the rest.”
Williams also advises that you attempt to clean as you go. This way you won’t be decluttering when you could be organizing and decorating the baby’s room. “Multi-task when you can by addressing holiday cards or baby announcement envelopes as you sit in traffic,” she says.
Also, check our another article about overcoming disagreements in your pregnancy: Overcoming Disagreements During Pregnancy
The best advice she can give to parents with holiday babies on the way?
- Learn to delegate.
- Learn to say no.
- Get plenty of rest (most people do the opposite as a result of stress).
- Make plenty of lists (don’t rely on your memory, which is getting fuzzier by the minute).
- Set realistic standards for yourself and those around you.
But no matter how much you have to do, Williams believes the No. 1 priority should be taking care of yourself and your baby. “Taking care of yourself and your baby is the most important task on your to-do list; everything else is second fiddle,” she says. “Your family and friends will support you in this.”
Our articles are prepared to give advice. Always consult your doctor first for any problems and exact information.
The names of the people mentioned in the article have been changed for security reasons and to protect privacy.