It’s the most wonderful time of the year. However, when you’re pregnant during the holidays you may feel anything but merry and bright. Aches, pains, and the inability to indulge in some of your favorite party snacks and drinks are only a few of the reasons why pregnant women can be found saying “Bah Humbug” during this magical season. Here are the eight most common reasons why a soon-to-be-mom might sound like the Grinch.
1. Indulging Is So Much Less Fun
Make sure to have someone test that eggnog for you before drinking it. The holidays often mean you’ll be spending time socializing while sober. “I’m a sucker for a glass (ahem, bottle) of wine over the holidays (or eggnog, baileys or mulled wine - I'm not picky!),” says Lucy Cantley, mom of a one-year-old, “so being pregnant definitely made me feel like I missed out on the holiday spirit(s).”
And let’s not forget about the food that’s off limits either. Those fancy cheeses? Unless they’re pasteurized, it’s best to hold off until next year. Raw sushi or salmon appetizers? You’ll probably want to stay away.
2. Beep. Beep. You’re Now the Designated Driver
Of course you care about safe driving, which is why your spouse, friends, and you always take turns driving when you’re out drinking. Yet pregnancy means you’re spending your evenings drinking the kid’s sparkling cider, and your loved ones will enjoy your new semi-permanent role as designated driver.
And it’s not just the afterparty that’s a pain. Being completely sober isn’t fun during the experience either. Lise Quintana says, “On New Years Eve, my husband and I went to dinner with another couple who were also expecting, and the husbands each polished off an entire bottle of champagne, and then passed out at 10:30."
Micaela Lentz, mom of two boys, agrees. “Finally getting a night out for a Christmas party and then finding out it’s open bar while you are pregnant is the worst.”
3. Your Doctor Is Less Available
It can be tough enough to make all of your prenatal doctor’s appointments so they don’t conflict with your work and family schedule, but OBGYN office vacations makes it even more difficult. Your doctor’s aren’t robots, which means they too want to take time off Thanksgiving through New Years to spend time with their family. Their lack of availability means your appointments may be scheduled at less-than-ideal times, or you’ll be stuck seeing a provider other than your own.
This is even worse when you’re full term during the holidays. Not only do you have more appointments to make — meaning more issues with scheduling — but you’ll be left worrying about who will be there for the actual delivery. “I had my first on December 29. It was really stressful because of course the doctors were working weird hours for the holidays.” Melissa Vloedman Morris, mom of two.
4. Who Wants to Socialize? Not You!
There’s no time for cabin fever during the holidays. Between family parties, work events, and friendly get-togethers, you’ll do most of the year’s socializing during these cold-weather months. Yet, if you’re experiencing morning sickness, or just plain-ol’ tired from growing a baby, it will be the last thing you want to do.
Leslie Oliveira, mom of two girls, agrees and says, “You have to go out and be social for all these holiday events when really all you want to do is sit on the couch in pajamas with your feet up, eating Christmas cookies and watching Hallmark — Oh, the hormones!”
5. Everything Revolves Around the Baby
New moms understand that there’s no time to be selfish when you have a newborn, but that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to be spoiled, too — especially before baby arrives! Yet, your present never seems to find its way out of Santa’s bag, and everyone keeps asking what the baby wants and needs instead.
Angie Trueblood Toombs remembers what it was like to be in her third trimester during the holidays. She says, “All the gifts you receive are baby-related, and you’re definitely not getting any new clothes for Christmas when you’re seven months pregnant!"
6. It’s Difficult to Hide an Early Pregnancy
Some expecting parents wait to announce their happy news until after the first trimester is over. If those early weeks happen during the holiday season, it can feel impossible to stay secretive about your growing body.
Angie Vargas Martin, mom of two, says, “I was pregnant for the holidays twice and both times I was in my first trimester, not having told anyone but parents and in-laws about the pregnancies. I had to pretend there was another reason why the big bird in the room on Thanksgiving was not appealing to me, while trying to prevent a horrific vomit incident that would have given away me and my husband's little secret.
7. More Chances to Hear “You’re So Big!”
There’s nothing like a pregnancy to attract unsolicited and unwanted opinions about a woman’s body. That growing bump often gets commented on, and while there’s no time of year that hearing “You’re so big!” is particularly fun, it seems to happen the most in the holiday season because you’re seeing more and more people.
“I was due on January 7,” says Quintana, “which meant that at my husband's company Christmas party, one of his co-workers went on and on at uncomfortable length about how huge I was.”
8. Forget Black Friday or Any Shopping For That Matter
If you’re pregnant during the holidays, embrace online shopping for everything from the big ticket items to the tiniest stocking stuffers. Whatever you do, stay away from the stores. Not only do they get more packed during the holiday season, and you’ll find yourself avoiding being hit by the wandering shopping cards of distracted shoppers, but your feet (and entire body) will thank you for skipping that physical activity.
Oliveira agrees, “Shopping is the worst. All those long lines are not a good mix with those swollen puffy feet! Hello two-day Prime shipping!”
There’s many reasons that pregnancy during the holidays feels like one of the worst experiences ever, but remember — it is what you make of it. If you don’t want to socialize, stay home and enjoy a glass of hot chocolate by the fire. If you enjoy shopping the sales, do it! Just wear comfy shoes and limit the time you’re on your feet. The holiday season really is one of the best times of the year, and you’re experiencing one of the most magical moments of your life. Enjoy it!
If after reading this article, you can't help but thinking "Being pregnant during the holiday season is the best," then this is for you: