Pregnant Do’s & Dont’s at Christmas by The Modern Midwife

Christmas Lunch

Whether you are in the early stages or the late stages of pregnancy around Christmas time there are a few things you should avoid. I will list the these alongside good alternatives so you don’t feel like you’re missing out.

1. Soft Cheese

It can be hard when the Christmas cheese board is on it’s way around and you’re tempted to juts have a little bit of that wedge of brie…even a little bit can be risky so go for the harder cheeses such as cheddar, Jarlsberg or Swiss cheese. Make sure you’ve got those other options available, if you’re with family or heading to a “work do” remind them in advance so you don’t miss out. Sometimes people don’t know or think of it.

2. Alcohol

I know you are already aware of this but you may not be aware of the delicious mocktails you can get around Christmas! I know I wasn’t until I became a midwife. Some of the non-alcoholic drinks taste much nicer and you can really enjoy the Christmas flavours of cinnamon sticks, dried orange, red grape juice, brown sugar and cloves. There’s a simple virgin mulled wine recipe there. Enjoy!

3. Shellfish

Oysters, prawns and mussels are off the menu for now but smoked salmon (as long as it hasn’t been sat on a table/buffet for a while) is fine to tuck into.

4. Cured Meats

Such as parma ham and salami. These aren’t cooked and pose a risk of toxoplasmosis which can affect the development of your baby. Cooked meats and left over cold turkey is fine, as long as it’s been refrigerated and consumed within 2 days.

5. Caffeine

You should be careful with your caffeine intake anyway but it can be a bit harder over the festive period, while everyone is drinking after dinner you may resort to a coffee to both keep your awake and avoid missing out. I know it seems boring but if you’re tired then just break away early. Your body is telling you it need rest and with all the additional stimulation around Christmas, the extra thoughts, planning, presents, parties it can all be a little over whelming. Don’t be afraid to put you and your body first. No one will think differently of you.

6. Stress

As above, there’s a lot of stimulation around Christmas. Stress is very difficult to avoid but start planning for things in advance or have a laid back Christmas and don’t put too much emphasis on it this year. Be selective with your diary and don’t say yes to every invite as you may then feel obliged to go or guilty for bailing. Say you’ll check your diary and if you feel like cosying up on the sofa with Christmas films. Indulge in that! If you are finding it difficult to manage your stress and planning for Christmas then mediate for 20 minutes each day. It’s important to manage stress in pregnancy as research also shows that women exposed to high stress levels over a longer period of time grow smaller babies and are at an increased risk of premature delivery. Mediation has been scientifically proven to reduce stress, anxiety and improve focus, you can do it for free a home. There are plenty of videos on youtube to take advantage of.

7. Being Host

Try and go out or to a friend/family members house for Christmas. You won’t have to worry about the preparation of the dining table, putting up extra decorations, washing up and all the clearing up that comes with it…enjoy being catered for.

8. Shopping

It’s usually really busy with people carrying big bags/boxes. You don’t want to be in the middle of that with all your shopping bags and bump so do it online from your sofa in plenty of time so you can send things back that aren’t suitable.

Note: New guidelines state pregnant women can now eat soft-boiled or runny eggs as long as they have The British Lion mark.

Marie Lousie Modern MidwifeIf you have any further questions feel free to drop me a line marie@mlmaternity and for expert advice helping you through your pregnancy follow @the_modern_midwife on Instagram

Marie Louise, The Modern Midwife