Open Accessibility Menu

How to Celebrate Safely this Holiday Season While Expecting

How to Celebrate Safely this Holiday Season While Expecting

Across the country, people are ready for a merry and bright holiday season. While gatherings, celebrations and festivities are sure to kindle a joyous spirit, it is important to take precautions to protect yourself from COVID-19 (and the flu) when you are expecting.

“The COVID-19 pandemic really put a damper on holiday gatherings and festivities last year,” said John Alton, MD, a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist on the Medical Staff at Southwest General. “There’s no doubt that this year, people are looking forward to a little more normalcy—including the opportunity to get back to some holiday traditions with family and friends. But for those who are expecting, now is not the time to throw caution to the wind.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), those who are pregnant are at a higher risk for severe illness from the COVID-19 virus, and COVID-19 during pregnancy also can increase your risk of pre-term birth or other pregnancy complications.

“If you are expecting, we encourage you to take precautions to protect both your health and well-being and that of your unborn child, too,” said Dr. Alton.

Five Steps You Can Take for Protection

Being pregnant doesn’t mean you need to sit out on holiday celebrations, particularly if you are vaccinated. Following are steps you can take to stay healthy while safely gathering with family and friends.

1. Get Vaccinated: In addition to a flu shot, the COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or might become pregnant in the near future. Getting vaccinated can prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death.

2. Wear A Mask: Properly cover your nose and mouth with a mask or other face covering, particularly if you are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated.

3. Limit Interactions: Limit your interactions with those who may have been exposed to the

COVID-19 virus. Also, it is important to maintain social distance of at least six feet from people who do not live with you. As you do gather, it is good practice to stay home if you (or others) are sick—and consider asking everyone who will be gathering to get tested beforehand to limit the potential risk of exposure.

4. Gather Outside: Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces. Instead, try to gather outdoors. Or, if indoors, keep doors and windows open or run a window fan to circulate the air.

5. Wash Your Hands Often: Limit touching surfaces, and be sure to properly wash your hands with soap and water. If these are not available, use hand sanitizer.

As you enjoy the holiday season, do not forget that your health care professional is a great resource for care during and after your pregnancy. At the Southwest General Medical Group Women’s Health Practice, we are here to help you do healthy you. To learn more about our services for expectant mothers, or to schedule an appointment, visit our website.