The pregnant girls' party (survival) guide

12:0AM, Dec 6th 2012

Lucy Quick

Wondering if you can survive the party season without killer heels and bottles of bubbly? You'll be fine with our bump-friendly guide to getting festive.

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Wondering if you can survive the party season without killer heels and bottles of bubbly? You'll be fine with our bump-friendly guide to getting festive.

PRE-PARTY PREP
If your favourite party dress is straining at the zip, create a distraction with a salon-styled hairdo and glowing skin.
Do have a manicure, pedicure or facial as these are all perfectly safe. If you desperately want a fake tan, try an organic or natural spray tan to avoid an overload of chemicals on your skin.
Don’t colour your hair if you’re less than 12 weeks pregnant. While there’s no scientific evidence that hair dye will affect your baby, most women err on the side of caution and wait until the second trimester.
Do let the salon know you are pregnant so your beautician will know to avoid using certain aromatherapy oils that are considered unsafe during pregnancy.
Don’t wear high heels as your centre of gravity alters during pregnancy, changing your posture. Wearing high heels adds to curvature of the spine, resulting in leg and backache. Stick to shoes with a small solid heel and an inner arch for maximum support.

Related: What to wear? Check out our Festive Season Fashion (for two).

BEWARE THE BUFFET
Before you dive for the buffet, there are some party foods you must steer clear of.
Do avoid soft cheese such as brie, camembert or blue vein. These may contain bacteria called listeria. If left untreated, listeria can lead to miscarriage or premature birth – however, it can be easily treated with antibiotics.
Don’t eat sushi as raw fish is a breeding ground for bacteria such as E. coli and staphylococcus, both of which can cause severe food poisoning. Pate contains vitamin A, an excess of which can affect the development of your baby.
Do eat nuts as they are great for energy and experts say there is no evidence that avoiding peanuts during pregnancy will decrease the chances of your baby developing a peanut allergy.
Don’t be tempted by the homemade mayonnaise because raw eggs, or even partially cooked eggs, can lead to salmonella. Avoid potato salad and coleslaw, too.
Do be wary of cold cooked meat as meat that has not been properly refrigerated can contain dangerous listeria.

WHAT ABOUT BOOZE?
Because it is not currently known what level of alcohol is safe to drink during pregnancy, Australian Government guidelines recommend pregnant women avoid alcohol completely. So, how to cope with an alcohol-free party?
Do tell a white lie in early pregnancy. You never know, they might believe the old “I’m on antibiotics” line. Otherwise, employ stealthy tactics like holding a glass of wine without actually drinking from it.
Do have the right attitude when you go to a party. If you feel like the outsider because you’re not drinking, you’re more likely to have a bad time. Go, talk to everyone and have fun.
Don’t get your kicks from caffeine as too much may increase the risk of miscarriage and can result in a low birth-weight baby. Australian Government guidelines recommend limiting your daily amount of caffeine to one regular espresso – the equivalent of four cups of tea or four cans of cola. Energy drinks such as Red Bull contain high levels of caffeine and are not recommended.

KEEPING YOUR STAMINA
No-one expects you to be the last one standing, but pace yourself and you’ll enjoy the party for longer.
Do keep your energy levels up by getting plenty of rest the day before a big event. Have an early night and if you’re not working, have a catnap before heading out. Drinking an extra litre of water and not skipping any meals will also help energy levels.
Do pre-book a taxi so you’re not kept waiting when you’re ready to go.
Don’t ignore the signals your body gives you. If your feet hurt, sit down and put them up. Or simply decide to not go out and stay home. When you’re suffering with aches and pains or you’re just plain tired it’s best to head home early and get some rest. Believe us, your partying days will return.

Article first published in Mother & Baby magazine.

What are your tips for surviving the festive season with a baby on board? Please leave your comments below.

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