What first comes to mind when I ask you about summer holidays and safety? I’m a product of my generation and immediately think of car accidents (aka drinking and driving) or when it comes to the 4th of July, firecracker safety. What do either of those activities have to do with pregnancy and post partum? Most likely not much! ;) However, car accidents continue to be an issue for all holidays in the US, we drive to places for vacations and holiday getaways, road trips rule summer, so we can always remember car safety during any holiday weekend.
Here’s my top 5 Summer Holiday Safety Tips for the Preggo & Post Partum Mom:
(I’m keeping it short since let’s face it, if you are pregnant or post partum, the less you have to remember the BETTER!)
- Stay Hydrated – here I go again, DRINK YOUR WATER, and make sure to take advantage of all the amazing fruits and veggies which are hydrating that happen to be ripe right now: peaches, apricots, plums, melons, cucumber, jicama, etc. Pregnant bodies need hydration, but so do nursing bodies, heck everybody needs H2O!
- Keep Cool – we have already had record breaking heat in many parts of the country, and when you are pregnant, your body heats up quicker than usual. Post partum, hormones are all over the place, and you are moving now with the baby OUTSIDE of your protective belly. If you are wearing your infant, remember it is hotter in that space. Wear a sun hat (baby too), find a shady tree, enjoy creating alternating rhythms of spending time inside where there is air conditioning with being outside for shorter activities.
- Take it Easy – this year is not the year to go camping in Moab for the holiday, and a day at the beach may not be the best either (so much work to prepare and carry stuff!). For the 1st time preggo though, this may be your last chance for a vaca that your rule the schedule, so a babymoon might be just the ticket! Talk with your mate about how to maximize the rest factor over this holiday week(end). A leisurely stroll thru an art museum perhaps. If you are post partum, stay on baby’s nap schedule, it will make a HUGE difference in how much fun you have with him, truly. This is the opportunity to lounge near a pool in a shady place, or take outings to your favorite cafe and acting like a European, eat a slow leisurely meal and people watch!
- Identify your Helpers – Of course your mate is in that role, no doubt. What about your family? If they are nearby, consider going to visit and let them cater to you like the Queen you always knew you were! You won’t always appreciate the assistance of your family like you can right now…they really come in handy!
- Drive Safe & Smart – I already hit this in my opening paragraph, but let’s go over it again: the driver needs to be alert, awake, hands OFF the smartphone, and sober. Period. Seat belts are a must. If you have a baby or child under 8, car seats people. Make sure you have enough gas. Bring snacks and water for the trip or drive.
If this isn’t your first pregnancy, which means you have 1 or 2 underfoot while pregnant…I believe tips number 3 and 4 are truly important for you. Save the bigger family vacations for when the kids get older.
Fireworks on the 4th – one last tip I wish to add, if you are post partum or with a small toddler, perhaps this is the year to skip the fireworks. Did she just say that? That is blasphemy! How can I deprive my baby or 2 year old of watching fireworks? I remember when I was a kid being on the blanket with my cousins.…. STOP THAT THOUGHT, just for a minute and come back into my reality for a sec. First, the fireworks don’t go off until it is dark, that means it is past baby’s and toddler’s bedtime, and when they stay up late they get off rhythm, and when that happens, the next day often sucks for mom & dad. Also, they are loud and noisy, the young toddler attends to sounds slower than we do as adults or even as older children. It is scary, do you remember all the kids crying at the fireworks, think back, they were young ones. Wait another year or so, they will have PLENTY of time to have memories of being on the blanket watching fireworks. Promise.
Enjoy this fantastic holiday week – Summertime rolls doesn’t it?
Alisa Donner, MSW, LCSW, Co-Founder of PAM, and mother to an amazing wonder.