Pregnant at Christmas: Top 10 survival tips for socialising, festive foods and drinks whilst pregnant

It’s tough to be pregnant at Christmas especially if you are a natural socialite. I asked veteran midwife and founder of My Expert Midwife, Lesley Gilchrist, to provide London Mums handy tips on how to cope and not get left out, when everyone around you is eating, drinking and not to mention partying heartily around you.

If you’re finding it hard to imagine festivities without a glass of Prosecco in one hand and a selection of tasty nibbles in the other – not to mention feeling tired at the thought of parties, late nights and visits to family and friends, these top 10  Survival Tips for socialising and eating and drinking when you are pregnant over the festive period will come in handy.

1. Self care during pregnancy should always be a priority. Visiting your friends and family can be very tiring when you are pregnant, so let people know you might not come or stay for long if you don’t feel up to it. If you prefer, you could hold an open house and invite people to come to you over the course of a day, with the idea that they bring a dish or plate of food with them.

2. Travels. If you are travelling long distances try breaking up your journey, as during pregnancy changes in your body can make your feet and ankles swell and sitting in the same position for prolonged periods can increase the risk of developing a deep vein thrombosis (blood clot).

3. Seatbelts. Make sure your seatbelt is adjusted to the correct position – across your shoulder, below your bump, resting on your hips. This helps to best protect your baby and ensure you are comfortable during the journey.

4. Gifts. Buy your presents online and wrap them as they arrive so you’re ready.

5. Nuts – All nuts are safe to eat in pregnancy. In fact, a large research study showed that women who ate peanuts at least once a week during pregnancy had a 20-25% decreased chance of their child being diagnosed with asthma at 18 months. 

6. Pâté and haggis – Pâté and haggis has traditionally been made from liver and has a high vitamin A content which can affect your baby’s development. Pâtés whether meat or vegetarian have also been known to contain listeria, bacteria which can affect your baby.

7. Cheeses – Cheeses that are well cooked or made from pasteurised milk are safe to eat in pregnancy, as heat kills the harmful listeria bacteria. 

8. Meats – Cold cured meats and undercooked meats such as beef, salami, prosciutto ham, chorizo and pepperoni may contain bacteria called toxoplasmosis, which if consumed during pregnancy, can affect your baby’s development. Cooked ham, chicken and turkey contain protein which is good for cell growth. 

9. Eggs – Most raw hen eggs in the UK are safe to eat if they are Lion Code stamped as they are unlikely to contain bacteria called salmonella which can cause you severe vomiting and diarrhoea. Foods which contain raw egg are tiramisu, mousse and homemade mayonnaise.

10. Alcohol – Current studies have shown there isn’t a known safe alcohol intake during pregnancy, in studies it has been linked to developmental problems in babies. Try experimenting with the many non-alcoholic options available now, such as mocktails, gin and beers.

Summary – There are lots of exciting things happening around this time of the year, but don’t feel like you have to say yes to everything. Do what you feel is right for you when you are pregnant even if it is going home and having an early night! 

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