How to care for yourself and your baby during the holidays

Here we go! We have arrived to the end of the year, just passed winter solstice, Hanukah and Christmas and now we are getting ready to say goodbye to 2013 and welcoming the new light.

And how are YOU doing? Resting from the rushing shopping you did for Christmas or from the chocolate cake you had at your in-laws? Boy, I know it can be challenging to avoid excess food during the holidays. And also, to balance all the emotions we go through the holidays. We want to share with you simple tips that work well to balance your energy and to re-focus and care for you and your baby. And at the end, a magical practice to set your dreams for 2014.

  1. ABOUT DESSERTS: Besides the recommended avoidance of alcohol and tobacco during pregnancy, I would like to include “sugar”. If you are in your third trimester, consuming tons of sweets will blow your belly like a balloon and stimulate your baby to grow at a speedy rate, which could make your labor more challenging. If you can, avoid it as much as possible. If you cannot, then moderate your sugar consumption as much as possible. You can replace it with brown rice syrup or agave or stevia. 
  2. FOR TOASTING: If you want to toast with something sparkly, try out mixing sparkly water with strawberry or apple juice, ice it and serve it in a nice glass. It can be as refreshing as the “real” one. 
  3. GET SOME DHA. Doctors recommend one to two grams daily of DHA during pregnancy. It has many benefits, including helping your baby’s brain develop at its best. Consult your health care provider about it! 
  4. USE THE pregnancy EXCUSE: If family invited you for dinner and when you see the dish you see that you “can’t” eat any of it, just use the pregnancy excuse: “my doctor told me to avoid heavy fats, or fried foods, etc”. You don’t need to please your family by eating things you don’t really like, or shouldn’t eat during your pregnancy. 
  5. FOCUS ON LOVE: This is a very important thing to do in family and friends gatherings.  You are all together because you love each other, not because of the food or the gifts. Food/gifts can be a symbol of love, but you don’t need to swallow all or spend more than what you really can. 
  6. CONNECT TO YOUR CORE: during pregnancy your core is your belly with your baby inside. Notice if you have overextended yourself to please others, to get it all done and prefect. Practice the 21-breaths exercise with Rakel, to connect with your core.

And the grand finale, we want to share with you something you can practice on December 31st. Each New Year gives a new direction and purpose, a set of dreams and projects. It is a very special moment to sit down and close the year and start refresh the new one, setting your intentions and dreams:

Here the steps:

  • First, as you do when listening our Blooming Together meditations, find a place at home, in your bedroom or studio, a special corner where you usually read, or at your desk. Clean the area, organize papers, get a pillow and a blanket, whatever that you may need to feel comfortable. Get pen and paper.
  • On New Year’s Eve, pause for a moment to think about 2013, and the dreams and projects you were able to accomplish, what new relationships you have established, what came to closure. What new insights, information you have learned about and what things are you thankful for.
  • Close your eyes and inhale and exhale those events, people and memories, directing them to your heart. Have a feeling of gratefulness and wonder to how much this year has brought to you. Write some of this events and experiences if you feel like it.
  • Then, start writing or drawing things you would like to experience in 2014. You can start with you own family, your new baby, where you would like to take him, what places in your neighborhood you would like to show him. And the continue about writing about what things you would like to see happening in your house, in your professional carrier, in your extended family.
  • You don’t need to finish the list on the 31st. This is just a start and you can come back later and add more things. Hang what you draw on your wall, have it close to you. And let us know how did it go for you!

Wishing you a lovely transition into the New Year,

Aerin and Rakel @ Blooming Together