Pregnancy and Celebrating Over the Festive Period

December 16

  • Pregnancy

Pregnancy and Celebrating Over the Festive Period

There are lots of exciting things to think about over the festive season. Lots of different party food, drinks, people to visit and presents to buy...

By Karen McEwen

3 minute read

There are lots of exciting things to think about over the festive season. Lots of different party food, drinks, people to visit and presents to buy. If this is your first pregnancy you may be wondering how different next year will be with a baby or you may be adding to your family and enjoying time before life gets busy with a new-born.

Friends and Relatives

Visiting friends, relatives and delivering presents may something you enjoy, but if you prefer not to, you could consider an open house and invite them all to you for a day. This way things are not spread out and this will give you more time later to rest or do the fun things that you want to do. Here are some other suggestions to make life easier around the festive season:

  • Shop online and wrap presents as they arrive. Don’t forget to label them!!
  • You may need to adjust your car seat as your baby grows or if you are wearing thicker, warmer clothes. Make sure your seatbelt is in the safe correct position – across your shoulder, below your bump, resting on your hips.
  • Visiting can be very tiring when you are pregnant, let people know you might not come if you don’t feel up to it or stay for long. Self care should always be a priority.
  • Plan ahead, agree who’s driving and a length of time you’re going to stay so you don’t get over tired.
  • Make sure you split up long driving periods and try to move around plenty to help prevent your feet and ankles swelling (this also helps to prevent DVTs- blood clots developing). You can also get support stockings to help with this if you are planning long journeys.

Party Food and Drink

There’s always lots of different party foods around at Christmas and plenty of conflicting advice about what you should and shouldn’t eat and drink too. Here’s the latest advice about eating and drinking in pregnancy:

  • Nuts – A large research study showed that it is safe to eat all nuts in pregnancy. In fact, the study showed that pregnant women who ate peanuts at least once a week had a 20-25% decreased chance of their child being diagnosed with asthma at 18 months.
  • Cheeses – Cheeses that are well cooked or made from pasteurised milk are safe to eat in pregnancy, this is because heat kills a harmful bacteria called Listeria. Cheese contains calcium which is good for your baby’s bone development. Examples of hard cheeses are Cheddar, Edam and Parmesan. Examples of soft cheeses are Camembert, Brie and Stilton.
  • Meats – Cold cured meats and undercooked meats such as beef, salami, prosciutto ham, chorizo and peperoni may contain toxoplasmosis. Although rare, if eaten during pregnancy this bacteria can affect a baby’s development. Well-cooked cold meats such as ham, beef, chicken and turkey are safe and contain protein which is good for cell growth.
  • Pâté and haggis – Pâté and haggis can contain liver which has a high vitamin A content, which may affect your baby’s development in pregnancy. Pâtés whether meat or vegetarian have also been known to contain listeria, a bacteria which can affect your baby.
  • Eggs – Most raw hen eggs in the UK are safe to eat if they are Lion Code stamped as they are unlikely to contain a bacteria called salmonella. Although salmonella will rarely cause harm to your developing baby, it can cause you severe vomiting and diarrhoea. Foods that often contain raw egg are tiramisu, mousse and homemade mayonnaise.
  • Alcohol - Current studies have shown there isn’t a known safe alcohol intake during pregnancy, but alcohol intake is linked to developmental problems in babies. Try experimenting with the many non-alcoholic options available now, such as mocktails, alcohol-free gin and beers.


There are lots of exciting things happening around this time of the year. When you are pregnant it’s good to know the latest advice about food and drink to help you make choices. Remember not to let others put pressure on you to do things that you don’t want to do. It’s your Festive Season too.