Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season, which for some is also the busiest time of year. All of the decorating, cooking, planning, and gift shopping can stress anyone out. So, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, especially when you’re pregnant.
Since being pregnant can weaken your immune system and leave you exhausted, today's post is all about helping you get through Thanksgiving in the healthiest way possible!
Remember to Rest
The truth is, being pregnant is hard work, and it takes a lot of energy. Your heart is working five times as hard as it did before you got pregnant so that it can pump enough blood to you and your baby. Your kidneys are working extra hard, too! So rest is important so that you can keep up with the energy needed to support all of your body’s extra work.
If you're in charge of Thanksgiving dinner, try making it a potluck, and asking everyone to bring a dish. Or, go the super-easy route and just get desserts and dishes from your grocery store's deli. These shortcuts will help you cut down on the amount of time you spend on your feet. If you stand for too long while you're pregnant, it can decrease your blood flow by compressing veins, and it'll also put pressure on your already-tired uterus.
Choose Healthy Food
Thanksgiving food is so delicious, but might not be very healthy. With so much food available and an appetite for two, it's so tempting to devour it all! But this can cause heartburn and general uncomfortable-ness because it takes longer to digest foods when you're pregnant!
Your body and your baby both need healthy food to thrive. So, here are some general recommendations:
• Try and avoid salty foods: too much salt might raise your blood pressure. A higher blood pressure will cause swelling and fluid retention.
• Too much sugar can raise your blood glucose levels too much and put you at risk for gestational diabetes. It might also lead to preeclampsia, premature delivery, and other pregnancy complications.
• Steer clear of deli meats and soft cheeses. This is because lots of these foods are unpasteurized, putting them at risk for having a bacteria called "listeria." Listeria is dangerous to you, because it may lead to listeriosis infection. You'd just have flu-like symptoms with a listeriosis infection, but it would have much more of a serious risk for your baby.
Fill your plate with healthy foods like broccoli, sweet potatoes, squash, leafy greens like kale and spinach, and of course protein-rich turkey. For more tips on choosing healthy Thanksgiving foods while you're pregnant, check out: Pregnant? 6 Great Tips to Get you Through Thanksgiving Dinner and 10 Terrific Tips for Thanksgiving Dinner When You’re Pregnant.
Follow These Tips for Leftovers
Lots of people love a nice turkey and cranberry sandwich on the day after Thanksgiving. Since your body is more open to bacteria when you're pregnant, here are some extra precautions to take:
• Stick leftovers in your fridge or freezer within two hours of cooking.
• Choose containers that are shallow for your leftovers: they cool food more evenly and quickly.
• Make sure to enjoy your leftovers within four days.