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Pregnant during the holidays? 8 ways you must take care of yourself

With the holidays in full swing, it can be hard to remember to step back and take care of yourself—pregnant or not! However, when you are busy growing a baby, it’s even more important to put yourself first sometimes. Here are some easy ways to do this during this busy holiday season. 

1. Listen to your body, and slow down if you need to. In the nauseating first trimester or tiring third trimester, you may get more fatigued more easily. Instead of pushing through and wrapping just a few more presents, call it quits and rest up. If this is your first baby, it’s your last chance to nap when you want to!

2. Don’t forget to keep your appointments. With so many extra activities to keep you busy, a prenatal appointment here and there may slip your mind. Be sure to stay on top of these by setting reminders on your phone or any calendar so you don’t lose track during those hectic days.

3. Keep on exercising! Again, shopping and wrapping and hosting and crafting might creep into what used to be your gym time or yoga class schedule. However, we know that exercising in pregnancy is so important and can actually leave you feeling more energized, so try to show up! 

4. Allow yourself some holiday treats, but be sensible. Of course it wouldn’t be Christmas without some cookies and candy canes, but try not to go overboard. Or make a deal with yourself that every time you reach for a cookie, make sure you get a serving of fruit, too.

5. Don’t force yourself to do more if you don’t feel well. It can be tempting to just push through and attend one more Christmas bash, but if you don’t feel up to it, it’s OK to stay home (or go and leave early when you feel you’ve had enough). Again, your body is doing way more work than at any other point in your life, so you have to put your needs first.

6. Realize this is the last time you’ll be getting in the spirit without a baby—and take advantage! OK, so maybe this contradicts #5, but I mean this in more subtle ways. This time next year you might have a very curious baby whose only goal seems to be to destroy all the ornaments on your tree or wake up every time you sit down to watch A Christmas Story. So enjoy decorating that gorgeous tree with all your breakable heirloom ornaments, and watch your movies in peace because next year, those traditions might have to be changed up a bit.

7. Try to avoid sick people. Of course no one ever wants to get coughed on, but pregnancy is a time when your immune system is down. Practice good hand hygiene and just be aware that you might catch the sniffles more easily. Don’t forget your flu shot!

8. When all else fails, use your pregnancy as an excuse to not show up! Hey, as a last resort when you can’t think of another way to get out of Aunt Sally’s dreadful holiday party, throw out the pregnancy card when you need to. Don’t do it every time or you might get caught, but every pregnant gal deserves a break once in a while!

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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 has recently been certified as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.

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