Thanksgiving can be a time of reflection, family fun and unintended stress. Hopefully, all pregnant moms will spend the day relaxing while someone else plays chef, hostess and caregiver. However, if that is not an option, here are some useful tips that will help you enjoy the day to its fullest extent.

  1. Try to cook dishes in advance to avoid standing on your feet all day. The pregnant uterus compresses the veins and prevents the return of blood back to the heart. This contributes to varicose veins and swollen ankles.
  2. Watch the salt. Salt contains sodium that raises blood pressures and causes the body to hold onto to fluids, thereby causing swelling of the legs, ankles, hands and fingers.
  3. Watch the fat, especially red meat and fried foods. The gallbladder processes fat in the body and, it doesn’t work as well. Pregnant women are at risk for developing gallstones.
  4. As tempting as they might be, avoid overeating sweets. All pregnant women are screened at 28 weeks for Gestational Diabetes.
  5. Avoid overeating. During pregnancy, the stomach gets compressed by the enlarged uterus. The stomach also empties food at a slower pace and the more food you eat, the longer it takes to digest. The stress of the body to digest a large portion of food could potentially cause preterm labor. Digestion of food is slower during pregnancy because of hormonal effects. Heartburn occurs in 50% of 3rd trimester pregnant women.
  6. Take a 30-minute walk either before the big meal or afterwards if possible.
  7. Avoid lying down after eating a large meal because it causes heartburn that occurs in 50% of third-trimester pregnant women.
  8. Avoid soda if possible because it can cause urinary tract infections.
  9. Check out some food safety tips from CDC http://www.cdc.gov/Features/HolidayFoodSafety/
  10. Relax and enjoy your sacred day.

Wishing all my readers a safe and joyous Thanksgiving!