The festive period is often full of excitement and socialising, but with a baby on the way, the lead-up to Christmas can be hard work. Read our ten top tips for keeping it manageable and enjoyable.
Are you busy re-arranging your furniture to fit in a tree, juggling office parties and family get-togethers, or frantically trying to get all your Christmas shopping done when all you'd really like to do is nap? Stop! Forget the turkey, you've got something far more important 'cooking'!
Whilst all of these things may seem important elements of a 'to do' list, enjoying the party season as a mum-to-be relies on you listening to your body and not trying to do too much. Looking after yourself comes first.
You may be feeling fine, blooming even, but equally, you may be finding that the day-to-day juggle of work and general life is enough. Here are our ten top tips to help make Christmas less exhausting and more enjoyable:
Pace yourself. You don't have to say yes to everything - pick the parties or get-togethers that you really want to go to and decline the others. Don't put extra pressure on yourself, growing a baby is hard enough work!
Do some of your present and food shopping online. Embrace as many shortcuts as you can and try to scale it back and make things a little easier for yourself by just doing the things you want to do - anything that's an effort, forget it!
Plan ahead as much as possible and lower your expectations. It doesn't matter if you don't get the perfect pressies this year, or if you're not making your usual handmade gifts. Don't put yourself under unnecessary pressure or stress. Good enough is good enough.
Travelling is tiring and nobody wants to spend hours on end in the car, especially not a pregnant woman. Add a bad back or nausea into the mix and it can be just plain miserable. Try to keep long journeys to a minimum by inviting people to you, meeting out, or reducing the number of people you see this year.
You might not be drinking alcohol while you're pregnant, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy a festive mocktail or two. Check out these non-alcoholic Christmas drinks recipes.
It's easy to get carried away this time of year, but pregnancy can be exhausting and regardless of what you've arranged if you're not up to doing something, be honest and say so. You're not a 'flaky' friend - you're pregnant - and that's a perfectly valid excuse for cutting back on the social events. It's important you take things a little easier and your family and friends will understand.
Embracing the nesting urge. Allow yourself a lie-in when you can, run yourself a bath, stick on a Christmas movie - it's important to take time out to relax and unwind. Why not treat yourself to some maternity loungewear or pyjamas and get prepared for some Christmas chill time!
If you're still in the early stages of pregnancy, you might not have told many people, but those who do know will probably be happy to wait on you hand and foot. Make the most of it, because it won't be long before it's you doing the looking-after bit!
We are all prone to over-indulging at Christmas. Eating little and often and avoiding too many rich foods such as Christmas pudding and mince pies, will mean you'll be able to enjoy festive food without suffering from indigestion or heartburn later on.
Make sure you know who to call if you become worried about anything over the holidays. If you haven't already, add the numbers of your midwife, GP, and your local maternity ward to your phone contact list.
Remember, to ask for and, more importantly, accept help. It'll help you to take things a little easier and enjoy festivities this year!