You’ve decked the halls with boughs of holly (or tinsel).
The living room furniture has been squished into one corner of the room to make way for the oversized Christmas tree.
It can only mean one thing. Christmas is upon us.
As Andy Williams famously sang: It’s a most wonderful time of the year.
Of course, Andy Williams probably never spent it pregnant.
If he had, he’d know the festive period can feel a lot more like hard work, when all you want to do is nap.
Pregnant At Christmas: A Survival Guide
If the thought of endless office parties, Christmas shopping, and family get-togethers makes you want to hibernate until it’s all over, this survival guide is for you.
Don’t forget, you can get away with a lot when you’re pregnant. What better time to exploit it than at Christmas?
Here are 10 top tips to help you survive the Christmas season with a bun in the oven:
#1: Avoid Over Scheduling
Christmas is such a busy time of year. Your diary rapidly fills with dinners and nights out with various friends you haven’t seen for months.
There are plenty of family parties and celebratory gatherings with work colleagues. And, before you know it, you’re fully booked and in desperate need of a night off.
You don’t have to say yes to every event, just pick the ones you really want to go to. Aim to keep one night free each weekend in December so you can rest if you need to.
Growing a baby is tiring work, so don’t put extra pressure on yourself, trying to keep up with everybody else. You don’t need to be busy, busy, busy just because it’s Christmas.
#2: Don’t Be Afraid To Cancel Plans
If you have overfilled your social calendar, don’t be afraid to back out of plans if you need to. Nobody likes a flaky friend, but being pregnant is a perfectly valid excuse for skipping things.
You’re likely to be more exhausted than usual and might even find yourself feeling run down at times. If you aren’t really up to doing something, be honest and say so. Your friends and family will understand you need to take a step back.
#3: Treat Yourself To Some Maternity Pyjamas
New pyjamas pretty much say ‘Christmas’, don’t they? There’s nothing better than snuggling up in front of the television on Christmas Eve and watching a festive movie.
You probably don’t fit into many of your usual pyjamas right now, and those you can squeeze into might be feeling a little tight.
As a Christmas treat, invest in a new pair of maternity pyjamas that are roomy enough to feel comfortable while you’re lounging on the sofa.
#4: Make It Special
This will be your last Christmas before the new baby. If this is your first baby, it will be your last Christmas as a couple. Just the two of you.
Of course you’re excited to become a ‘proper’ family, but there’s nothing wrong with admitting it will be an adjustment to go from two to three.
So make this Christmas count. Organise some special couple activities, such as dinners out, long walks, and trips to the cinema so you can soak up this last ‘Christmas for two’.
If this isn’t your first baby, you’re still about to experience a shift in the family dynamic. Make this year count by focusing on building special memories and sharing experiences as a family. Spoil your kids with the things that really matter – love, time and affection.
#5: Reduce Your Travel Time
Nobody wants to spend ages stuck in a car at Christmas, especially not pregnant women. It doesn’t matter what stage of pregnancy you’re at, or whether you’re battling nausea or backache, you don’t want to sit in a car for hours on end.
Travelling is tiring work. Try to keep it to a minimum this year. Invite people over to visit you, or simply reduce the number of people you see during the Christmas period.
#6: Embrace Convenience
You don’t have to do things the way you’ve always done. In fact, you should aim to embrace as many shortcuts as you can.
Usually make your own gravy from scratch? Forget that – you’re pregnant. Always make each and every Christmas card by hand? Not this year – you’re pregnant. Throw an annual Christmas Eve party for your entire family? Nope, it’s someone else’s turn – you’re pregnant.
Scale it back to the things you really want to do. Anything you think might be too time consuming, too tiring or too much hard work – just forget it. It’s only one year, and it doesn’t matter if things are a little different. What really matters is you’re taking care of yourself and your baby.
#7: Get Some Fancy Drinks In
Just because you’re pregnant, it doesn’t mean you are only allowed to drink water (although you should drink plenty of it). You might not be drinking alcohol during pregnancy, but you can still enjoy some festive tipples.
Indulge your creative side by throwing together some fancy mocktails. Stock the fridge with sparkling fruit juices to enjoy when it’s time for the champagne.
If you’re going to a house party, take a bottle of something exciting with you so you’re not stuck drinking tap water all evening.
#8: Avoid Your Exposure To Drunken People
People who are drunk are fun. They have hilarious banter, fabulous dance moves, and exquisite conversational skills.
That is, when you are one of them. When you’re sober, drunken people are the worst company.
They get right into your personal space, and they are way too ‘touchy-feely’. Their voices tend to get very high-pitched. And it’s even more annoying when you’re pregnant, and people who’ve had one too many are manhandling your bump, while drunkenly telling you horror stories about childbirth.
People often overindulge in drink at Christmas. When they do, step away! Go home, put your feet up, and spend time with people who aren’t breathing fumes in your face.
#9: Eat Whatever The Heck You Want
Forget tradition! New rule. Pregnant women can eat whatever they want, whenever they want. If you choose to skip the turkey, and have gherkins dipped in chocolate spread for Christmas dinner, then go ahead.
Probably best if you don’t try to convince the rest of the party to join you though. The chocolate gherkin is an acquired taste, and not everyone is sophisticated (read: pregnant) enough to enjoy it.
#10: Make The Most Of The Extra Attention
If you’re still in the early stages of pregnancy, you might not have told many people the news. But those who know will probably be happy to wait on you hand and foot.
If you’re further along, you’ll have friends and family members fighting amongst themselves so they can offer you their seat, get you a drink, and let you choose what channel to have on TV.
Make the most of it while it lasts. Remember that next year, to be the centre of attention, you’ll be competing with (and losing to) a baby. This is your year, so enjoy it while you can.
Accept all the help and support you are offered. You deserve it. It’s hard work growing a new human being.