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It can be quite unnerving navigating the festive season with not only the social side of things  when you're undoubtedly pretty shattered, but also as a pregnant person knowing what you can and can't enjoy. I remember the amount of times I googled "can a pregnant woman eat X" in the run up to Christmas and it was most of the things I was looking forward to!

But fear not, pregnancy doesn't mean you have to miss out on all the festive feasting - let's dive into some tips on how to safely indulge this season..

What You Can Enjoy:

  1. Cooked Meat: A traditional Christmas roast is a great source of lean protein (especially turkey). Just ensure the meat is thoroughly cooked, with no pink, and the juices run clear. If you're a veggie then you're pretty safe to eat as you would do most other years. 

  2. Veggies: Load up your plate with a variety of colorful vegetables, they are rich in essential vitamins and nutrients. Brussel sprouts are very high in vitamin B9, also known as folic acid, which is a very important vitamin during pregnancy, but they can cause havoc on your digestive system so don't go too crazy on them.. 

  3. Stuffing: Homemade stuffing is safe to eat, but avoid any made with raw eggs.

  4. Mince Pies: All clear to eat, but have a quick scan of the ingredients on the back as more and more flavour combinations come onto the market.

  5. Cranberry Sauce: This festive condiment is a great addition to your meal, providing a burst of flavour and antioxidants. 


What to Approach with Caution:

  1. Cheese (boo!) Opt for hard cheeses like cheddar and avoid soft cheeses made from unpasteurized milk. You can always ask at the cheese counter and I've found them to be really helpful in getting you a glorious array of cheese that are safe to eat while pregnant. What you're looking for is pasteurised cheeses, as this means the milk has been heated to a specific temperature to kill potentially dangerous bacteria.

  2. Eggnog: While traditional eggnog contains raw eggs, you can enjoy making and drinking a cooked version or choosing shop-bought pasteurised alternatives. Obviously it traditionally contains rum so either proceed in line with the alcohol in pregnancy guidelines or even better invest in one of the non-alcohol rums on the market, as you won't taste a difference with all that cream and nutmeg mixed with it!

  3. Game Meat: Avoid gamey meats such as goose, partridge or pheasant. 

  4. Pâté: Pâté has a high level of Vitamin A in, which you don't want to overdo when pregnant so it's best to avoid it altogether, this includes veggie pâté. Humous is also not recommended, as the tahini may contain salmonella.

  5. Alcohol: It's advisable to avoid alcohol during pregnancy. Opt for festive mocktails or alcohol-free alternatives. Most supermarkets stock a wide range now which is so different to when I was pregnant with Etta!

  6. Seafood: Enjoy cooked seafood but avoid raw or undercooked varieties, like sushi or oysters. 

Embracing the festive season during pregnancy is all about balance. By being mindful of what you eat and drink, allowing yourself some downtime to rest, and really just doing what you want to do means you can savour the magic of Christmas while anticipating the arrival of your little one. And if it all feels a little restrictive, know that next Christmas you will be enjoying all the deliciousness Christmas has to offer, with the added bonus of having your little one in your arms.

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