December is a month that is often full of holiday celebrations, including parties, dinners, and other events with family and friends. While the holidays are the best time of the year for some, they can be incredibly stressful for those struggling with infertility. Whether it’s weighing the impact a second glass of wine will have on your fertility, or responding to questions from prying relatives, the holidays can feel overwhelming for those who are trying to conceive.
To help, the fertility experts at Sher Fertility Institute New York are here with some tips on how to handle everything from your diet to overly inquisitive relatives this holiday season.
- Maintain a Balanced Diet – But Don’t Be Overly Strict
You don’t have to completely forgo those holiday treats, but try to maintain a balanced diet as much as possible during the holidays. Choose lean cuts of meat, like turkey breast, and plenty of vegetables and healthy fats. Try to avoid high-gylcemic foods like bread and white potatoes. This is especially true if you struggle with PCOS, as these foods can cause issues in regards to your insulin levels. That doesn’t mean you need to avoid your holiday favorites altogether – just try keeping it to a slice of pie or a serving of your favorite mashed potatoes.
- Watch Your Portion Sizes
It can be difficult to eyeball portion sizes, especially when the food is being served buffet or family-style. An easy way to keep portions under control is to try to fill up at least half your plate with leafy greens and other veggies, with the rest of the space for lean protein and carbs. If you find you still might be tempted to overindulge, try having healthy snack before the big meal.
- Limit Alcohol Intake
During the holidays, you’re just as likely to be offered a cocktail as a cookie. While it can be difficult to abstain from alcohol during this time of year, it’s best to limit you alcohol intake if you’re trying to conceive. The negative impact of alcohol doesn’t just start once you’re pregnant – it can also negatively impact your ability to get pregnant. Try to limit yourself to a glass of wine with dinner, avoid mixed drinks, and make sure to drink plenty of water.
- Develop Some Healthy Habits
Why not get started on your new year’s resolutions a little early? The holidays are a great time to pick up a healthy habit – like exercise – or drop some unhealthy ones (like smoking). Use holiday time off from work to take up jogging, reset your sleep schedule, take up a self-care routine. Your body will thank you!
- Make A Plan
“So when are you two going to have little ones of your own?” Hearing this is often difficult and painful for those who have been trying to conceive without success, but there is a good chance that someone will bring it up between now and the New Year. To help, try enlisting a family member or friend who can help steer the conversation in another direction when it starts to veer into uncomfortable territory. If you don’t have anyone you’d be comfortable having running interference, it can help to have a set of responses ready and waiting so that you aren’t caught off guard and can redirect the conversation quickly if you need to.
- Practice Self-Care
One of the most important things you can do this holiday (and the rest of the year) is to be kind to yourself and practice self-care. It’s OK to feel however you’re feeling. If you’re feeling sad, angry, or hurt, remember that there is no need to put on a brave face for everyone else. Make sure to take some time to do the things that help recharge you, like meditating, taking a relaxing bath, or cuddling up on the couch with your partner.
If you’re not feeling up to the festivities this year, that’s ok too. You can have an adults-only holiday party or even go on a vacation with your partner to get away. Your loved ones will understand that taking care of your mental and emotional health is more important than showing up for holiday dinner.
Want some more tips on handling the holidays when you’re trying to conceive? Contact Sher Fertility Institute New York at 646-792-7476 or click here to schedule an appointment with one of our fertility doctors. Our Patient Care Specialists will contact you within the next 24 hours.