Have A Merry Pregnant Christmas with simple exercises and tips.
It wasn’t until I was pregnant at Christmas that it struck me just how little sympathy is expressed in the Christmas story for poor Mary, nine months pregnant and travelling 65 miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem (that’s 4-5 days by donkey). I can hardly imagine how the poor mum-to-be managed it!
For those expecting at Christmas-time nowadays the tasks are considerably less onerous. Nevertheless, Christmas is a busy time packed full with ‘to-do’ lists and extra responsibilities. If you are pregnant this Christmas you need to take care of yourself and let others look after you too. Just follow our seven top tips and you’ll soon be ready to enjoy the festive cheer:
1. Don’t fill your festive Calendar
Before the Christmas season starts sit down and think about what you will and won’t do this year. Be realistic about what you can and what you can’t do. If you are hosting make sure guests are clear about how long they can linger. If you are visiting speak to your partner before you leave about how long you will stay. Actively book ‘quiet-time’ in to your calendar and then stick to keeping that time free.
2. Lower your expectations
Keep things simple and take the easy route whenever you have the chance. Don’t overburden yourself – if you usually make 100 mince pies from scratch, buy them this year. It won’t be the end of the world and no one will mind if you do! Work out which family or Christmas traditions really matter to you, do those well and forget the rest.
If someone else offers to do something – let them. If people are less than forthcoming, then don’t be afraid to ask. Even if you are cooking Christmas lunch, you can delegate aspects – perhaps your friend could bring desert, your mother could be asked to take charge of clearing up or your partner could load the dishwasher. Allocate responsibilities in advance so you can relax and enjoy the day.
4. Manage your Christmas shopping
There is nothing more exciting than Christmas shopping, mall after mall searching for the perfects gifts – if you are not pregnant that is! Bumps putting pressure on lower backs; swollen ankles and loose joints are not conducive to a day wandering around carrying heavy shopping bags. Make a list before you start shopping. If you can order online, do so. Keep shopping trip short.
And when it comes to wrapping all those gifts – sit up straight at the table this year.
5. Follow your body’s lead
Sit down if you need to; put your feet up if you can. If you ignore your body’s signals you will end up with swollen ankles, be more likely to suffer varicose veins and most certainly be exhausted.
6. Eat well
At this stressful and busy time of year your body needs, more than ever, a balanced diet; high in protein, vitamins and minerals. Luckily turkey is rich in protein and low in fat and Christmas vegetables are stuffed with B6 and other nutrients. Sadly, you will have to give the cheese and deli-board a miss this year but on the plus side this will leave more room for desert!
7. Keep your regular exercise routine going
Don’t just veg-out in front of Christmas movies but continue to exercise gently and regularly.Maintaining your regular exercise routine will give you energy and help to normalise this time of year. Exercising over Christmas, particularly taking Yoga or Pilates classes, will help lower stress levels and give your body (and brain) valuable recovery space from Christmas mania. Just 10 minutes of yoga daily has been proven to leave you more relaxed and energised. Clickherefor classes.
If you are travelling over the holiday and cannot get to the studio take a moment to carve out some precious you-time, and keep yourself moving by doing these three simple exercises:
a. Hip circles: Keeping the knees soft, in the position of a mini squat, do small circular motions initiated by the pelvis. (Not knees) Repeat three sets of three in each direction. A quick fix for tension around back, this exercise will also release your pelvis and sacrum discomfort.
b. Pelvic tilt: Standing with support, again with knees soft, slowly scoop your tailbone to your pubic bone and then release. Exhale as you scoop your tailbone in, inhale as you release. This movement will lengthen the sacrum and lumbo region.
c. Alternating cat and cow pose: Kneel on all fours, breathe in and lift both your head and tail bone towards ceiling to create an extension of the back. Exhale and do the revers having the tailbone and head sliding downwards into full back flexion.
Finally, raise a glass of (non-alcoholic) bubbly; celebrating a pregnancy at Christmas makes this special time of year even more magical. Whether you are in your first trimester and hugging the secret close, blooming marvellously or restless with the expectation of a Christmas baby – toast the fact that this time next year you’ll be planning ‘baby’s first Christmas’.