Tips for Holiday Planning While Very Pregnantby Elizabeth MacDonald
The happiest and most stressful time of the year is quickly approaching, and your swollen mid-section may prohibit you from trimming the bottom of your tree this holiday season! You may be swaddling a newborn as the ball drops – and your first kiss of 2021 may be the gentlest kiss you have ever planted to ring in a new year.
You may be feeling a bit overwhelmed right now. A few years ago, I was too. I was pregnant with my third baby and due mid-December. I had a checklist 2 miles long that I planned on starting that November. I actually had my entire house prepared for Christmas by November 20th, just because I knew I wouldn’t want to do it all at 40 weeks pregnant. It was a good thing too, little did I know that my son would arrive exactly 3 weeks early, just days before Thanksgiving! I'm here to tell you that with all of the love that surrounds this time of year, a holiday baby will be welcomed into open arms and overflowing hearts! But it can seem a bit overwhelming, planning to host or attend gatherings for the holidays while your baby is nearing her due date.
It is easier said than done, but try not to stress out. Stress isn’t good for you or the baby. Instead, start crossing those to-do list items off and attend a few prenatal yoga classes (even virtually!) each week. The thing to remember is this: The minutes will pass, as will the days, each one bringing you closer to your baby. You can spend them meeting everyone else’s holiday expectations, or you can spend them enjoying the season and being happy.
And now you ask, “BUT HOW?”
Turn on your holiday music, pull out those leggings and oversized sweaters. Grab some hot cocoa and pull up your chair…
Planning For Your Holiday BabyThe goal is for the season to be EASY and PEACEFUL. If you keep that in mind, you will glide gracefully through it all. Depending on when you are due, and how much you have already prepared, this list may be altered a bit.
- Pack your hospital/birth center bag or homebirth kit now. It does not hurt to just have it ready to go.
- Purchase and install the car seat.
- Wash the baby clothes and have everything put away.
- Record your baby's heartbeat to have forever.
- Ask your birth team about their holiday plans and learn about who will be on-call if they are away.
- Skip any traveling and stay within an hour of home.
- Do not over-commit to family gatherings. The last thing you want to do is feel obligated to attend something as you near 39-42 weeks pregnant – or attending with a 1-week old baby.
- Online shopping is a godsend; avoid stores and have everything delivered to your door.
- Freeze all holiday leftovers; they will be amazing when your baby arrives. (Go ahead and just make double dinners for two weeks and freeze the second meal each night. This will make freezer meal prep easy!)
- Book a prenatal massage, a pedicure, and have your hair done.
- Wait to send out your family holiday cards until your baby arrives, then use them as a Happy New Year card and birth announcement all in one!
If your baby arrives before Christmas:
- Take the opportunity to have family come to you, but make sure they understand that they will be helping to prepare the meals and set the table – and fold laundry… vacuum… and take out the trash.
- You can skip any and all events without guilt this year.
- Enjoy all of the food; breastfeeding requires extra calories!
- Wear your baby if you decide to attend an event (or just run to the store). Babywearing is part of the 4th trimester, but it also keeps holiday strangers from touching your baby.