For most people in the United States, today is Thanksgiving Day -- a time-honored holiday tradition that recognizes history, provides opportunity to give thanks for the good things in life, and encourages people to overindulge on comfort foods. If you're pregnant this Thanksgiving, your holiday celebration may look and feel a little different this year. If you're hoping to enjoy your day to the fullest, be sure to take with you the following helpful hints, broken down by the most popular holiday gathering topics.
Do take second helpings! After all, you are eating for two! Plus, it's Thanksgiving -- second (and third) helpings are expected.
But heed your shrinking stomach room. If you're in your third trimester, eating a large meal in one sitting may push you past your comfort level. Consider eating smaller portions of your holiday meal throughout the afternoon and evening.
Nauseous? BYO crackers. If you're in your first trimester and experiencing nausea, consider bringing your own side dish of saltine crackers. Bonus of morning sickness -- getting out of cleaning up!
Drink & be merry! Many during pregnancy choose to abstain from alcohol throughout pregnancy and many choose to imbibe occassionally. Ultimately, it's a personal decision and important to look at the current research and guidelines when making your choice. For those abstaining but feeling left out of the festivities, bring the ingredients for a fun and festive non-alcoholic drink. Pinterest is chock full of ideas -- search "non-alcoholic drinks."
Hydration is key. There's one drink that's always encouraged during pregnancy -- water. Staying hydrated is so important during pregnancy, and especially so in a house full of people where there is lots of activity and the heat is running.
Rest guilt free. Swelling in your feet, lower back pain, dizziness, and first trimester nausea all are great reasons to find a comfortable seat and put your feet up during this Thanksgiving celebration. No one will give you a hard time about that! And being "the pregnant one," people will likely encourage you to have a seat.
Sneak an afternoon nap. Guess who has the best excuse to fall asleep after Thanksgiving dinner? Find a nice, quiet bedroom and catch a few winks. Who knows, it might just get you out of clean up!
"Get out of jail free" card. If you've just had enough of the festivities, pregnancy is a great excuse to excuse yourself and head home early. Of course, this only works if you're at someone else's house. If you're at your own house, it's perfectly acceptable to call it a night and head to bed, even if guests are still celebrating.
Enjoy the extra attention. While not everyone loves the extra attention a pregnancy brings, for those who do, you can be sure it will come your way on Thanksgiving day! Whether it's a pass to sit down (see above), an offer to get you a drink, a shoulder rub from your auntie, or just lots of extra talk about the baby, soak it up and enjoy.
But hands off! Some people love for others to fuss over and touch their belly while pregnant. Others hate it. If you fall into the latter category, come up with a game plan to politely (or bluntly -- whatever your style) let people know that you're not comfortable with their touching. Perhaps a special t-shirt?
Handling unwanted advice. A growing bump and a family gathering prompts lots of advice, suggestions, and birth "war stories." With unwanted advice, many find it easy to just smile and nod. Or, reply with, "My doctor/midwife has advised us to ______." It's hard for others to argue with medical advice! If people feel the need to share their scary birth story, say, "Shhh! No bad birth stories -- the baby can hear you!"