How To Have a Healthy Pregnancy, Even During the Holidays
Pregnancy over the holidays can be an exciting and joyful time as you celebrate the season while waiting for your precious arrival, but it can also be quite exhauting, on top of the normal holiday stress. Here are some useful tips on how to have a healthy pregnancy and get you and your ever-growing belly through the season.
1. Avoid certain foods
Dangerous bacteria and parasites like listeria, toxoplasma, salmonella, staphylococcus aureus, and E. coli can lurk in improperly prepared, cooked, and stored foods, especially around a busy holiday kitchen. When baking your favorite holiday cookies, leave the tradition of licking the cookie dough spoon to Santa and his elves.
Watch for party salads, like potato and Caesar salads that may contain raw egg, and opt for cooked meat versus the deli variety set out on appetizer spreads. Similarly, avoid homemade eggnog. It usually contains raw eggs and alcohol (store bought is OK!). Other uncooked foods sometimes include shellfish, including oysters, clams, mussels, and scallops. If you’ll be enjoying turkey, make sure it is thoroughly cooked (internal temp of 180 degrees).
Steer clear of unpasturized soft cheese made from raw milk such as feta, Brie, Camembert, blue-veined cheese like Roquefort and gorgonzola.
Finally, don’t be fooled by seemingly harmless candies. Avoid hard sweets filled with alcoholic liqueurs like Grand Marnier or Amaretto.
2. Pace Yourself!
The hustle and bustle of the holidays has its magical charm, but can also be taxing if you become buried under the bliss. We admire our supermoms, but remind you that you may need to take little, deserved breaks when it gets busy.
If you have been on your feet for long periods, you can cause blood to pool in your legs, which might lead to pain, dizziness and varicose veins. It also puts pressure on your back. If you must stand for long periods of time, consider elevating a foot on a stool and switching them out after every 10-15 minutes.
Ditch the fancy shoes if you are out shopping and rock your most comfortable shoes with good arch support.
You can also invest in good compression socks. They're tight at the ankle and get looser as they go up the leg, making it easier for blood to flow back up toward your heart. As a result, they help prevent swelling and keep your circulation up.
3. Water is key
Make sure to snack and stay hydrated. You can better handle nausea and fatigue with little treats like pretzels and crackers, along with plenty of fluid. Don’t wait until it’s too late and you find yourself needing to take a nap against the gingerbread house at the mall.
Keeping up your fitness routine might be the last thing on your mind during this busy time, but physical activity can help boost your energy level, increase your circulation, and help with digestion.
Take a walk if you cave been sitting for long periods at a time. It can open up tight hips and get the blood moving. Or keep up with your prenatal fitness class, as long as your health care provider says it's OK. Maintain the ‘you time’ with your strength and cardio. It will help with the endurance muscles and breathing techniques needed for childbirth.
Handle the stress with flexibility. There is great research to easing muscle and mental tension with flexibility. Several prenatal yoga or stretch moves can decrease muscle soreness, ease ankle swelling and help you sleep more comfortably.
And finally, remember that you may need to pace yourself, say no when necessary and retreat to find the blessings of the season. Best to get your practice in this year, because next year you will be doing it all over again with a true bundle of joy!
Let Andrea help you stay fit. Follow her simple workout for pregnant women throught the holidays in the video above.
By Andrea Orbeck
Celebrity trainer and fitness expert, Andrea Orbeck has helped sculpt some of the world’s most beautiful bodies, including supermodels Heidi Klum, Karolina Kurkova and Doutzen Kroes. A former national athlete with the women’s Canadian Bobsled team, she is also recognized as a Pregnancy Fitness Specialist with the AFPA and the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Andrea is the creator and star of the bestselling fitness DVDs “Supermodel Series” and “Pregnancy Sculpt”, which included her trademarked fitness tool, the Hipster.