December 11, 2008

Pregnant? You Can Still Have A Stress-Free Holiday

Expectant moms facing a hectic holiday schedule can reduce stress to better enjoy the season, said experts at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

"Expectant moms can become overwhelmed with holiday parties, decorating the house, preparing meals and traveling long distances to spend time with family," said Cynthia Wade, a certified nurse midwife at BCM. "They can enjoy the holidays without overextending themselves."

It's important for them to let go of added stress during the holidays, Wade said.

"Focus on being with family, not making sure the house is decorated perfectly," she said. "Let go of fixing the big holiday dinner, instead ask for help. Do the things that you really enjoy, just do them in moderation."

For most pregnant women, travel is not a problem.

"Women less than 32 weeks pregnant are not in greater danger when traveling, by air or in car, to be with family," said Wade. "Just be cautious. Stop every two to three hours, get out and walk around, drink lots of fluids and always wear your seat belt."

For a prolonged trip, Wade said carrying medical records and insurance information is always a good idea. Expectant moms should make arrangements in advance if traveling to a family member's house where lots of other people are staying, she said.

"The expectant mom should always get a bed," Wade said.

With large family gatherings, the pregnant woman may be getting lots of different advice from their loved ones, Wade said. "You can safely and politely listen without feeling put down or letting it bother you. Do what you know is right by your health care provider."

And there is no need to take holiday parties off the agenda.

"Expectant moms should be able to enjoy holiday parties with their family and friends," said Wade. "Just stay away from alcohol and second-hand smoke and avoid eating foods that may cause heartburn."


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