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Surviving the Holiday Season When You're Pregnant

Surviving the holidays can be a challenge for anyone, but if you're pregnant the challenges can seem insurmountable. From Trish Booth, pregnancy expert and author of "Pregnancy Q&A," (Meadowbrook Press, $10; www.MeadowbrookPress.com), here are four ways you can make it through the holidays (and maybe even enjoy yourself) when you're pregnant.

Allocate your energy and prevent exhaustion by limiting your holiday activities.

  • Write all your obligations and invitations on one calendar. Indicate which ones are a must. Keep crossing off the other events until your calendar feels manageable.

  • Schedule rest days between taxing activities and include some quiet time with your partner.

  • When declining an invitation, tell your host or hostess how much you'll miss this year's occasion, but that you need to take it easy this holiday season.

Streamline gift giving by taking advantage of shopping and wrapping shortcuts.

  • Shop online or by catalog.

  • Consider a gift certificate or donation to the person's favorite charity or organization.

  • Insert an IOU of a picture of the baby or your expanded family in a frame or small album.

  • Support an organization that is fund raising by wrapping gifts at a store or mall.

  • Use gift bags rather than wrapping presents.

Curb holiday weight gain.

  • Limit holiday foods to the three you like best and skip everything else in the treat or dessert category.

  • Savor your holiday foods each time you eat them. Sit down and enjoy them rather than eating them while doing other things.

  • Eat some lean protein and drink a glass of water before going to a gathering.

  • At a party choose one special food from the buffet and then fill the rest of your plate with fruits and vegetables.

  • Avoid creamy dips unless they're yogurt based.

  • Pass on the holiday drinks and sip sparkling water spiked with a little fruit juice or fruit slices.

Design your own way to celebrate the holidays.

  • Start by having you and your partner consider the holiday activities and foods of your extended families.

  • Individually create lists of what you definitely want to keep and what you could give up.

  • Compare your lists and combine traditions to design your own holiday celebration.

  • Share your plans with your families and friends ahead of the holiday season to give them time to accommodate your celebration.

  • If your plans mean not visiting family members, suggest an alternative gathering at a less hectic time.

"Staying focused on what is most important to you and your partner will help assure that you are keeping the meaning of the holidays and celebrating in joy," says Booth. So take this advice, and enjoy the holiday season!

Author: FeatureSource Staff

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