Expecting this winter? Find out how to make the most of the festive season – and the Christmas buffet, too
Winter is a great season to be pregnant in lots of ways. You skip the sweatiness of summer and get to snuggle up inside. But the Christmas period also comes with a lot of partying, eating different food and busy shopping days – all with a baby on board.
Here are nine simple pregnancy swaps to help you and your bump join in with all the festivities…
Christmas can be a difficult time for pregnant cheese lovers, especially with all those cheeseboards around. Mould-ripened or soft, blue-veined cheeses are off the menu, so you’ll have to swap brie for a slice of cheddar on your after-dinner cracker. Processed cheese spreads are OK too. And, if you’re really missing your soft cheeses, here’s the good news – the NHS says you can still eat them if they’re cooked all the way through (when it’s bubbly and golden). That baked Camembert has your name on it!
Whether you’re just starting to feel nauseous or smuggling a huge bump under your Christmas jumper, crowds can make buying presents or doing the big supermarket shop a stressful experience. Instead, order your gifts and food online this year, with your feet up and a mince pie in hand.
There’s always room for pudding. But when you’re expecting, you might need to swap some of your favourites if they contain raw or partially-cooked egg – like mousses, meringues and homemade ice creams.Instead, play it safe with a tasty chocolate log.
Check out the NHS’s latest advice about British Lion Code eggs on their website – some of your favourite dishes could be back on the menu.
Being pregnant doesn’t mean you can’t wrap your hands around a warming mug of something mulled. Make your own festive but booze-free mix by combining hot cranberry juice, cinnamon and oranges. We have a delicious hot, white grape punch recipe too.
Gifts for you
You’ll probably receive quite a few baby gifts, but it’s nice to get presents for yourself too. If your partner or family ask for your wish list, swap clothes items for things you can use and wear whatever size you are, like bags, jewellery and accessories.
Some cold meats – like Parma ham, salami and pepperoni – are cured instead of cooked, so you should avoid them at festive buffets. If you’re at home, freezing the meat for four days before eating them will make it safer, as will cooking thoroughly. Or, you could opt for pre-packed meats, like ham and corned beef, which the NHS says are safe to eat.
The last thing you need when pregnant is food poisoning from a dodgy prawn, so keep raw or undercooked shellfish off the menu. That includes any starters or canapés made with raw oysters, prawns or crab. Thoroughly cooked shellfish are fine though, so you don’t need to pass up that cold pre-cooked prawn ring. There are plenty of other fish in the sea that you can eat – spoil yourself with some smoked salmon, which is safe according to the NHS.
Sure, you might be sober and look like a child’s drawing of a snowman, but you can still be the life and soul of a Christmas party! If you’re planning on hitting the dance floor, you’ll be far more comfortable in a pair of fashionable flats than off-balance in some sky-high heels.
Skip that awkward scene where you cheers everyone’s champagne flutes with your tumbler of orange juice. Instead, enjoy a few festive bubbles and clink away with a non-alcoholic sparkling drink.
On the bright side, you’ll swap those party hangovers for productive mornings, and queuing for a taxi in the freezing cold to driving yourself home in the warm. And if it still feels like you’re missing out on the festive fun – remember that this Christmas you’re getting the best gift of all!
Read more about the foods you can and can’t eat when pregnant.