Christmas during pregnancy: tips for the holidays

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What magic, the Christmas with the big belly! The joy for the baby is added to the exciting party atmosphere and everything seems even more "enchanted" than usual. But between lunches, dinners, celebrations and maybe a holiday, this period can also hide some pitfalls for those expecting a baby. So here are all the tips for spend the holidays peacefully.

In this article

  • What to eat and what to avoid;
  • Make yourself beautiful for the holidays;
  • Traveling with the baby bump

Christmas with a big belly, what to eat and what not to eat

Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas lunch, New Year's Eve dinner, plus many Covid-19 occasions permitting) to celebrate: during the holidays there is no shortage of opportunities to sit at the table in company, and maybe indulge in some (small) excess more than the daily diet. Which, we remind you, should be varied and balanced and inspired as much as possible by the Mediterranean diet. Not everything, however, is allowed at Christmas to pregnant women, because some foods can be a vehicle for food poisoning, potentially dangerous for the fetus (such as toxoplasmosis or listeriosis).

Foods to avoid

  • Raw fish and shellfish

Fish carpaccio, sushi and sashimi, oysters: of course they are delicious, but they could be contaminated by Salmonella, Listeria and hepatitis A and therefore should be avoided. From also avoid foods such as smoked salmon or marinated anchovies, because the fish is in fact raw and smoking and marinating (such as salting and seasoning) can reduce the risk of infections, but not completely eliminate them.

  • Raw cured meats

Mixed cold cuts are almost never lacking among party appetizers, but not all are good for pregnant women, especially those negative for toxoplasmosis. In this case, no choice for raw cured meats: raw ham, coppa, pancetta, culatello, speck, bresaola, fresh sausage. 

  • Raw and undercooked meats

Like raw cured meats, they too can carry toxoplasma, therefore no to carpaccio and undercooked or rare meat preparations, such as roast beef.

  • Sauces with fresh raw eggs

Mayonnaise from Russian salad or veal with tuna sauce, or mascarpone cream to fill pandoro or tiramisu. They are great delicacies but be careful: there are no problems if the sauce is industrial, made with pasteurized eggs, but if it is homemade, with fresh eggs, it is at risk of salmonellosis and should be avoided.

  • Gorgonzola & Co.

Soft and semi-soft cheeses such as gorgonzola, brie, camembert, and all cheeses made from raw milk, whether cow or sheep, should be avoided because they could be contaminated with Listeria.

  • Unwashed raw vegetables

Salads and other raw vegetables can also be at risk for toxoplasmosis, but they can - indeed, they must! - consume anyway: just wash them very carefully, under plenty of running water. Those who are negative to toxo should avoid eating raw vegetables in bars and restaurants, because they cannot be sure of the accuracy of washing.

  • Mushrooms

According to the brochure Mushrooms: a guide to the prevention of poisoning, published in 2022 by the Ministry of Health, in pregnancy, mushrooms are to be avoided. They are difficult to digest, and if by chance they were poisonous (unfortunately there is the risk of being wrong) they could be a problem for the fetus.

  • Wine, beer, sparkling wine

There are still some "broad sleeves", who give the green light to a glass of sparkling wine for the Christmas or New Year's toast, but in reality the main national and international scientific societies express themselves on the subject in a more rigid way: no alcohol in pregnancy, without exception. It is not known, in fact, if there is a minimum safety threshold for the fetus. If in doubt, better not risk it.

The foods granted

Don't worry: the list of foods allowed during pregnancy during the holidays is just as long, and allows you to fully enjoy the moments in company. Green light a all that is cooked (also cured meats such as cooked ham, mortadella, cotechino ...), cheeses except those listed above, industrial sauces based on mayonnaise, chocolate, cooked or raw vegetables (as long as they are well washed).

Two simple tricks to avoid getting fat during the holidays

During the festive period, such as Christmas or even Easter, a trick to not indulge in too many excesses is to celebrate without setting too many limits on the red days on the calendar, staying longer under control on other days. Certainly does not get fat for a few extra calories in the four red days of the Christmas holidays (Christmas, Boxing Day, New Year's Eve and Befana). These days, when meals have been busier, too, it's a good idea get some extra physical activity: a good walk is enough. In any case, it should be remembered that during pregnancy we do not actually indulge in traditional binges: as the belly grows, the filling capacity of the stomach decreases and we get full sooner.

Read also: Nutrition during pregnancy: all the answers to your (many) questions 12 PHOTOS

Pregnancy: 12 foods NOT to eat during the holidays

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As everyone knows, Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve are celebrated at the table, with the family or away from home. Among the many traditional dishes, however, there are some that should be avoided during pregnancy ....

Make yourself beautiful in pregnancy

How to dress for Christmas and New Year

Even during the holidays, the watchword remains comfort, but this does not mean giving up elegance. Taking into account that synthetic and too tight garments are not recommended, you can still find many refined solutions to celebrate Christmas and New Year: from dresses - perfect knee-length or long empire-style ones - to pretty paired leggings plus knits. The dark colors, of course, slim, but the belly is not to be hidden: better enhance it! Ok also to prints, but better the small ones, because the large ones enlarge the figure, flattening it downwards.

Mid-high heels are also allowed (but not very tall), as long as you are used to wearing them and allow you to maintain a stable walk. Maybe try to wear them only for short periods, to avoid straining your feet too much. Finally, don't forget accessories and jewels: the minimal ones are perfect!

Makeup and cosmetics

Some specific advice for pregnancy: if some small patches of skin on the face (chloasma) have appeared, a covering foundation. Also useful is a corrector for dark circles, if you are in a period of insomnia. For the eyes, eye shadows with natural colors (sand, amber, light pink) are perfect; instead, it is better to avoid very dark or metal colors, which can underline any signs of fatigue. Green light to your favorite lip color.

The enamels during pregnancy are ok, preferring those tested against heavy metals: for extreme safety, however, it is better to avoid semi-permanent gel enamels. And also compared to the great doubt of pregnant women - the tint - a reassuring message can be sent: it can be done, preferring products free of some potentially allergenic or toxic substances (such as paraphenylenediamine, nickel, resorcinol and ammonia). Again, for extreme safety better to wait until the end of the first quarter, when the formation of the organs of the fetus is completed. Regarding henna, better to use it with caution, because it could cause contact dermatitis. Remember, "natural" doesn't necessarily mean "safe".

Read also: Skin care in pregnancy

Traveling with the baby bump

For some, the holiday season is an opportunity for one holiday (maybe the last alone with the partner before the baby arrives, if it is the first). With the exception of this year due to the pandemic situation and unless there are particular risk situations, traveling during pregnancy is always possible, with some minimal attention and a touch of common sense (if you are in the eighth month it is better to avoid the trip of life in Polynesia!).

means of transport

Air travel

They are generally allowed at least up to 36 weeks (or 32, if the pregnancy is twins): afterwards, many airlines forbid take-off, for fear of a sudden early delivery.

If the pregnancy is physiological (or, as we prefer to say today, low risk), the flight is considered safe, even over long distances. The ideal, however, would be limited to journeys that do not last more than four hours. The fact of having to remain seated for a long time, in a confined space, can in fact involve an increased risk of deep vein thrombosis. Here are some tips to limit this risk:

  • wear comfortable shoes and clothes;
  • request an armchair in the front row or on the corridor side, to enjoy greater freedom of movement and take a few strolls every now and then;
  • periodically do some stretching movements or small circular movements with the toes and ankles;
  • drink a lot, especially water, to maintain a good state of hydration;
  • wear support stockings.

Travel by car

La belt is always recommended. Just put it on, taking care to place a string between the breast and the belly and another one under the belly and above the legs, so that her belly does not get crushed.

Travel by train

The train has some advantages. These include the ability to move freely and use the bathroom as often as needed. As in an airplane, during long journeys it is best not to sit too long, and occasionally stretch your legs with a few strolls in the corridor.

Travel and vaccinations during pregnancy

For some exotic destinations specific vaccinations are recommended, for example against typhus, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis or, lately, measles too. But are these vaccinations safe in pregnancy? A group of researchers from the Health Care Campus in Haifa, Israel recently addressed the topic with an article published in the Journal of Travel Medicine.

The conclusion? They are considerate the flu vaccine and the tetanus-diphtheria and pertussis (DTP) vaccine are safe, which today are strongly recommended in pregnancy in various countries, including the country. Regarding the vaccines against yellow fever, meningococcal, hepatitis A and B and rabies, the available data do not indicate particular risks, but are less "solid" than those collected so far for the flu and DTP vaccinations. Finally, for measles, mumps, rubella, typhus, polio, Japanese encephalitis and tick-borne encephalitis, no safety data in pregnancy are available.

The authors' advice, therefore, is avoid these less "verified" vaccinations in pregnant women, postponing the trip if it is not strictly necessary. If you really cannot help but leave, it is advisable to evaluate with your doctor what is best to do: in some circumstances, for example if large outbreaks are in progress, vaccination could be the most sensible choice.

Mountains in winter in pregnancy

Can you go on holiday in the snow with your baby bump? If there are no particular risks, yes, it can. A document from the Del Paesena Society of Mountain Medicine recommends avoiding high altitudes (above 2500 meters in height) during the first trimester of pregnancy for women who have an increased risk of miscarriage and also in the second half of pregnancy if there are risk factors for preeclampsia or in the case of fetal growth retardation and placenta previa.

As far as the winter sports, those that involve the risk of falls, such as skiing and ice skating, are to be avoided, especially after 20 weeks.


Sports in pregnancy, which ones to avoid and which ones recommended

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All sports are good except those that have a high risk of falling or that involve hand-to-hand contact which could lead to very dangerous trauma to the abdomen. I'm...

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  • pregnancy beauty
  • family vacations
  • sports pregnancy
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