Facing the festive season with a baby bump may be daunting for expectant moms. Navigating social commitments and travel plans with a full-time passenger in your belly can be a challenge.
This time of year, filled with parties and joyful get-togethers, can also be hazardous for a developing foetus, if moms-to-be don’t know what’s safe and what’s not. The doctors and midwives at The Birthing Team have some tips for ensuring your baby grows well and strong through the holidays:
Dr Howard Manyonga, Obstetrician and Head of The Birthing Team says:
Do not drink alcohol – alcohol consumption during pregnancy can have life-long physical and mental repercussions.
Pregnant women and couples trying to conceive should not drink any alcohol, as Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FAS) cannot be reversed.
Keep moving – If you are planning to take a long car, bus or plane trip, remember to get up and move around regularly. Sitting still for long periods of time is not good for the baby and will be very uncomfortable. Also remember to wear your seatbelt below and beside your belly, not across it.
Get someone else to do the heavy lifting – you have an excuse to carry the lightest load, so take advantage of it. Carrying heavy bags and boxes is a bad idea when you are pregnant, as your ligaments soften and you are more prone to injuries.
Sister Connie Ngobeni, Lead Midwife at The Birthing Team, adds:
Eat slowly – festive feasts are a key part of summer in South Africa, but remember that you’re more prone to heartburn and indigestion when you’ve got a baby bump.
Sister Connie suggests eating little bits at a time to allow your body time to digest. She also recommends over the counter antacids for the treatment of heartburn and indigestion.
Curb your sweet tooth – a little sugar is fine, but substituting alcoholic drinks with very sugary drinks, on top of dessert, is unhealthy for you and your baby. While pregnant, you should drink a lot of water and restrict how many sugary juices and sodas you consume.
Put your feet up – your body is working hard, so you may feel more tired than usual. Remember to schedule in some naps and early nights – you’ll need them.
So, get yourself a water bottle, a couple of antacids and a heavy-lifting buddy. It may be your last summer holiday without kids, but don’t make it a time you’ll regret.
The Birthing Team