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Tips for Staying Energized through the Holidays

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During pregnancy, you may experience nuisances like breathlessness; aching legs and back; heartburn; difficulty sleeping; lack of energy and ankle swelling. Add in carrying 20-30 pounds more than you're used to – and everyday activities become slightly harder to accomplish.

Though frustrating at first, it's important to listen to your body, slow down and ask for help. Not sure how you'll survive the holidays? Use these tips to get through the final stretch:

  • Minimize time spent at busy malls and shopping centers with the purchase of gift cards and online shopping. If you do venture out, go shopping with a family member or friend. They can help carry larger items you may end up purchasing.
  • Look for retailers that offer free wrapping.
  • Wear comfortable shoes for walking like sneakers or flats.
  • Carry bottled water and a snack (granola bar, dried fruit, trail mix) when on the go.
  • Enjoy a moderate caffeine boost with coffee, tea or espresso. Studies show moderate caffeine intake of less than 300 milligrams (mg) per day, equal to about 2-3 cups of coffee, is safe during pregnancy. If erring on the side of caution, no more than 200 mg per day is preferred by March of Dimes.
  • Continue following a balanced meal plan. What you eat dictates how you feel. So, if your meals are less than ideal, you'll feel it. Opt for healthier items when eating out like baked potatoes; salads; grilled versus fried items; and milk, 100% juice or water in place of sugary drinks.
  • For holiday parties, offer to bring dishes that are easy to prepare. You may traditionally cook the ham – but this year, leave it to someone else.
  • Make time for yourself at the end of the day. Read, watch your favorite holiday movie or take a soothing, warm bath.