The festive season is always hectic with all the preparations, social events and possibly a few seasonal colds and bugs thrown in. If you are approaching this Christmas as expectant as Mary (but minus the donkey) you may be wondering how you can stay calm and healthy in the run up to the big day and over New Year.
Festive season Tip 1 – Consider you footwear
You may be spending more time than usual standing, which can compound issues such as sore feet, puffy ankles, tight calves and an achy back.
High heels are best avoided, to protect the ligaments which become more relaxed in pregnancy. So what are the best options for the party season without sacrificing style?
A low, wide heel gives more stability and support than flats like ballet pumps.
Choose flatforms to give a little height if you like.
Slip-ons are a good choice, for ease in later pregnancy, and white trainers look great with most outfits.
Make sure you wear footwear which supports the arch of the foot and go a half size bigger if you need to
Festive season Tip 2 – Take the weight off
Take advantage of your condition and put your feet up when you feel the strain (luckily most shopping can be done online now!) and try these tips to relieve discomfort if your legs and feet are sore-
The age old remedy to soak your feet in a bowl of warm water to which you have added half a cup of Epsom salts always works well.
Use a cold compress or refrigerated cabbage leaves wrapped around the swollen area. Remove when wet and repeat with fresh leaves until the swelling has improved. This also works well on engorged breasts – something to bear in mind for later!
Don’t forget to raise your feet higher than your hips. Keeping up your fluid uptake can help so make sure you have of nice cup of tea or drink of water within easy reach.
Ask nicely and get your partner to massage gently from your feet up towards your knees. Use an oil blended for pregnancy and avoid if you have varicose veins.
Festive season Tip 3 – Eat Well
I’m not talking about eating for two – which can be easily achieved by everyone this time of year!
Include wholegrains and lean protein to maintain energy levels
Choose a rainbow of fruit and vegetables to support immunity.
Limit your consumption of caffeine (coffee, tea, fizzy drinks and chocolate), which can negatively affect sleep quantity and quality, and you should be rewarded with more sustained stamina.
Eat small amounts and avoid eating too late at night to reduce the risk of heartburn symptoms
Ensure plenty of nutritious seasonal foods – Brussel sprouts, berries, tangerines, nuts, dried dates and figs, salmon and turkey… alongside all the tempting seasonal treats.
Festive season Tip 4 – Drink Well
What are the healthy alternatives to alcohol when you’re not able to join in with the “drink and be merry” part of the festivities?
I have some delicious booze free suggestions whether you are in the pub, at the bar, visiting friends and family or entertaining at home.
Festive season Tip 5 – Take five!
It’s not always easy but try to find some time to wind down and recharge–
Watch a Christmas movie or read a book
Include some exercise – a gentle walk or pregnancy yoga or Pilates class
Have a warm bath with a calming oil blend to help you relax
Enjoy a restful and very happy festive season!
Jayne Russell has over twenty years of experience as a pre’ and postnatal massage and nutritional therapist and is the founder of Nom Nom – award winning, certified organic pregnancy and baby skincare. Sign up for your free skincare guide “10 Steps to Super Healthy Baby Skin” at www.nomnomskincare.com