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7 ways to maintain a healthy pregnancy during the holiday season

The holidays are a time of excess for many: extra celebrating, extra stress, and extra eating. It seems the only the only thing there isn’t more of is time! For many moms-to-be, staying on track with a healthy pregnancy can be a real challenge during the holidays. Here’s some ways to survive — and still enjoy! — the holidays this year with these healthy pregnancy tips.

1. Prioritize rest and sleep.

It may be tempting to say yes to every Christmas party invitation or shopping extravaganza with your girlfriends, but pregnant mamas can get tired fast. It’s perfectly OK to use your pregnancy as an excuse to stay home, and if your body is exhausted, it’s telling you it needs the rest. Try to get regular sleep, too, so that you can tackle the busier days and still feel refreshed.

2. Indulge, but don’t go overboard.

During the holidays, food is everywhere! Cookies, cakes, chocolates — they seem to appear out of thin air. Feel free to give in a bit, but mentally check every day that you’ve taken your prenatal vitamin, eaten a good amount of varied healthy foods, and haven’t gone overboard on the cookies. 

3. Keep healthy snacks on hand.

To combat hunger when you are out shopping and tempted by mall pretzels or coffee shop pastries the size of your head, keep some grab-and-go snacks in your bag: nuts, protein bars, and bananas are good examples. This is also great practice for when your little one is older and seems to demand snacks endlessly whenever you are out! 

4. Schedule exercise.

Many times, things like exercise get put on the back burner when other, more pressing things pop up, such as wrapping gifts or attending holiday work parties. Schedule it like you schedule your doctors’ appointments (set your phone to alert you with a pop-up reminder), and hold yourself accountable. You will feel so much more energized after a good workout, and your baby will thank you. 

5. Avoid food poisoning.

Again, food is everywhere at holiday gatherings. While most things are fine to eat, there are a few you should avoid. If food has been out sitting for hours and contains ingredients like mayonnaise, seafood, or meat, think twice before putting it on your plate. There are a few things you can do to avoid getting food poisoning during pregnancy.

6. Get your flu shot!

‘Tis the season to be sick, and pregnant women and the flu do not mix. With all the close contact and socializing that the holidays bring, getting your flu shot (which is perfectly safe and recommended for all pregnant women!) is one way to try to stay protected.

7. Keep the germs away.

Just like getting your flu shot, a few common practices can help keep you healthy during the season. Carry hand sanitizer or wash your hands frequently, and stay away from friends who appear contagious. If you are working and feel ill, don’t feel guilty about calling in sick – pregnant women are much more likely to need extra rest and time to recover. If you’ve come down with cold symptoms, here’s a list of things that are safe to do in pregnancy.

About Dr. Jennifer Lincoln, Bundoo OB/GYN

Dr. Jennifer Lincoln is a board-certified generalist obstetrician/gynecologist and attending physician in Portland, Oregon. She primarily works on labor and delivery, and has recently become as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.

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