When your obstetrician told you the due date for your pregnancy was right around the holidays, you suddenly began wondering how you could complete all the holiday shopping and gift wrapping with a pregnant belly in tow. Often, pregnant women have more energy at the start of the third trimester, but that energy is short-lived when you’re running from store to store trying to find perfect gifts for everyone. Many people wait until the last minute to complete holiday shopping and wrap gifts, but if you’re pregnant, you need a different plan.

Break Your Holiday Shopping List Into Three Categories
After writing down all the holiday gifts you want to purchase for family, friends, children and your spouse, break the list into three distinct categories: Internet, Superstore and Specialty Store.

  1. Internet items should include anything on the list you can purchase online. Hopefully this is the longest portion of your holiday shopping list.
  2. Superstore gifts can range from board games to food items. Superstores often carry tons of holiday items, including gift sets. This should be the second longest category. 
  3. The final category is Specialty Store. Items that you can only purchase at a specific store should be included on this list. Specialty Store items require driving from one store to another, causing a great amount of fatigue. Instead of purchasing the items on this list yourself, ask your spouse or other family member to purchase these gifts. This should be the shortest holiday shopping list during pregnancy.

Set a Slow Pace and Plan Out Shopping Trips in Advance
If you are suffering from morning sickness, plan holiday shopping trips in the afternoon. Try to avoid evening shopping trips whenever possible as this is the time of day when your feet are swollen and your body is fatigued. Remember to take time to rest while shopping so hit stores close to a coffee shop or other familiar place where you can rehydrate, grab a healthy snack and rest your feet for a time before heading back to your holiday shopping list. Rushing through the holiday shopping without planning breaks during the day will leave you feeling exhausted and could increase the risk of illness.

The holidays don’t stop when you’re pregnant; they change. If you can purchase 100% of your gifts online, go for it. If you need to hit the stores, skip the busiest shopping times, plan out shopping trips and lean on friends and family members for those specialty gift purchases.