The holidays can be a tough time to be pregnant around. Today I want to talk about Thanksgiving and how you can work to make lots of memories, but also easier on your body that is keeping two people thriving.
How do I know so much about pregnancy at Thanksgiving? Hi — I’m Hilary, the Pregnancy Nurse®. I’ve been a nurse since 1997 and I have 20 years of labor and delivery experience. I’ve also worked a LOT of Thanksgivings and I’ve seen certain pitfalls that people tend to fall prey to — so let’s talk about them!
Before we get started, holidays can get busy but it’s actually a GREAT time to cuddle up and get started on your prenatal class during these holiday weekends. Not only will it give you some time off your feet, but you’ll feel more thankful and less anxious about your delivery!
Balancing Proteins & Carbs
I saw this one a lot. People would over-do it on the carbs and forgetting the protein and then just be miserable. This can be pretty bad for our diabetic friends, but it can also be a problem for ALL pregnant people because you just feel miserable.
If you have a favorite food, don’t think it’s “out” — just make sure that you’re balancing it with protein. Most often at Thanksgiving that means Turkey.
If you’ve got gestational diabetes, remember that next holiday you’re likely able to have whatever you want. Find some substitutions that give you a similar feel. Lots of low-sugar pumpkin, stuffing and cranberry sauce recipes out there. And then again — balance it with some protein.
Great sources of protein:
- Greek Yogurt
- Beans & Lentils
Many of you will feel fine if you go crazy with carbs during the meal, but the next few days you’ll feel “bleh” and worse than usual. It’s just a good tip.
I actually eating according to the gestational diabetic diet where you limit carbs and balance it out with protein is a great way to eat all throughout pregnancy.
Take it to the Basics
I can be really easy to keep up with “all the traditions”. I’m not sure what that means for you — be it hosting, or making a particular recipe….
But this is a great time to roll back the holiday to what you REALLY love about it. For me, that’s rolls, and game time with my family. For you that might be turkey and stuffing (and maybe either foregoing other side dishes or grabbing them at the store).
Being on your feet can be harder later in pregnancy. And chopping at the kitchen counter with a big belly can be REALLY hard on your back.
So, if doing those things brings you joy — still do them, but maybe modify.
And if it DOESN’T bring you joy — screw it. You’re growing a human! This is your permission to do what works for you. If anyone questions it — just say your nurse said you really need to watch your time on your feet.
Oh, and come join “your nurse” during your pregnancy right here:
Keeping Up on Kick Counts
Being busy with all the holiday stuff can make it hard to keep up with baby’s movement. This makes kick counts extra important. If you’re with family, make it a family affair.
They’re all going to be SO grateful that baby is doing well.
I can’t tell you HOW many people we have come in the evening saying “I haven’t felt baby all day” and most often baby is fine — but keeping up with those kick counts is the best way to monitor baby’s well-being.
Not sure how to do kick counts — grab my cheat sheet here:
Remember the hospital is ALWAYS open. We are NEVER closed, even on Thanksgiving and Christmas. So, if something is off — we are always there for you. Your provider should also have someone who fields phone calls for them too. Pregnancy is a 24/7 business and good providers respect that.
I’ll be the first to say that pregnancy has a lot of miserable parts. You may not feel cute, or well-aware that you can only have a small plate or you’ll be up with heartburn all night. Pie might be out and you may not be able to play football like you used to.
But there is SO much to be grateful for. The miracle of growing another human inside you that may very well change the world is something to be so thankful for.
I’d encourage you to sit down and write in your journal, or your notes app a few things that you’re especially grateful for at this time. It will be fun to look back and remember that you actually created a human with your own body and somehow lived to tell the tale.
I’m not kidding that a lot of people let childbirth prep slide over the holidays when it’s really SUCH a good time to relax and get prepared. Get one like this that’s SO easy and will get you prepared in just a few bite-sized hours.
Or, if you’re not quite ready for the full class, check out my free prenatal class — It’s your first step towards being your own birth boss.