There’s no need to miss out on all the celebrations just because you're pregnant. Here’s how navigate the minefields, like tiredness, and enjoy a fun night out with your bump
With champagne and late nights, it can be hard to face the celebrations as a pregnant party goer. But if the thought of canapés makes you gag and the idea of squeezing into a glam dress fills you with fear, don't worry. Being pregnant doesn't mean you have to be a party pooper.
Your newly discovered ability to fall asleep while standing up may cause a few odd looks at parties, so take control.Start by giving up feeling obliged to accept every party invitation you receive. Instead, save your precious energy for the best events and make sure you get some early nights and plenty of rest in between."In those early days rest is so important," says Zita West, natural health practitioner. "If you stay up late you will feel utterly exhausted the next day. It's important to listen to your body. Also, don't be afraid to leave when you've had enough. If you begin to feel tired and your attention is waning, it may be time to call it a night."
It's important not to view your pregnancy as an illness. The more active you are, the better you'll feel and the more prepared you are for socialising. It will also give you more confidence.
Midwife Lucy Young, West Middlesex Hospital
With hormones raging and morning sickness threatening at any moment (yes, that "morning" tag is deceptive), hiding your secret during your first trimester may be a challenge. But it can be done!
If nausea does take hold, come up with a convincing non-contagious disease. Symptoms include adverse reaction to certain foods, a tummy bug that requires constant visits to the toilet or too many drinks the night before. Or you can always curse the fact that the antibiotics you've been prescribed for the bug mean you can't even drink.
Sickness can also be kept at bay if you can keep on grazing on food. Before you go out, you need to keep your blood sugar levels up so you're energised for the night ahead. "Mix up a smoothie using raw veg, fruit and ground seeds," says nutritional therapist Lynn Alford-Burrow. "Mix it with a protein shake, and that way you'll have a good satisfying meal so you won't be inclined to pick at party food, which tends to be high in sugar. Some canapés are healthy, but stick to humous if you can, it's especially good with vegetable crudités, and good for your baby too."
If you're worried about which party foods are safe and which need to be avoided, our pregnancy party food guide has the food safety advice you need to read.
Confidence is essential when it comes to keeping your baby news under wraps, especially if turning down a glass of champagne could blow your cover. Here's where a drinks code comes in handy. Make sure your partner buys all your drinks and agree a code beforehand, so that when the other guests think you are asking for a gin and tonic, you're really ordering a lemonade. Then, when the champagne's flowing, play musical drinks with your partner: swap his empty glass with your full one. If you feel you're flagging, lots of bars now do non-alcoholic cocktails. Many of these mocktails are even good for you!
Once you've decided which parties you're going to go to, it's time to hit the shops for that all important outfit! You're a radiant mum-to-be and now is your chance to shine.
"Be pregnant, proud and be stunning," says Liz Fraser, author of The Yummy Mummy's Survival Guide. "If you can convince yourself that you look beautiful (and you do), hold your head up high, think glam thoughts, then you'll pass with flying colours."Don't hide your curves - be brave and show of your new-found cleavage with plunging necklines. "Your enviable curves are there to be celebrated, so opt for figure-hugging outfits that embrace your sexy silhouette," says Vanessa Knox-Brien, co-founder of maternity fashion brand Isabella Oliver. "Show-stopping pieces in pregnancy-friendly fabrics offer effortless ease and will grow with you."The general rule of thumb is to stick to classic, flattering black, but be daring when it comes to accessorising. Try adding chandelier earrings, a chunky jewelled necklace or a vintage-style brooch for maximum impact. However, it's important to stay true to your style and not to opt for something complicated or smart just because it's fashionable. "Nobody can look glam if they clearly feel uncomfortable," says Liz.Make-up is another way to help you feel radiant. "Make-up can be used as a tool to feel pretty and in control," says make-up artist Bobbi Brown. "That's particularly important during pregnancy when you may feel you've lost control of your body. Make-up is a great way to make yourself feel good."
Once you're into your third trimester, you'll be treated like a celeb at parties. The canapés will be sent straight in your direction and there will always be a seat with you name on it. You won't be dragged up to do the hokey cokey and you'll be forgiven for not being a social butterfly, so this is the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with your good friends.
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