7 pregnancy and parenting tips for the holidays

Chris Gill July 09, 2020
7 pregnancy and parenting tips for the holidays

Nadine Richardson, She Births® founder and doula, offers some hot holiday tips for pregnancy and parenting this festive season. Over to you, Nadine...

The summer holidays are here, and this year you might have to do things a bit differently, especially if you’re living in Australia. Bushfires and higher temperatures mean that our time outside will most likely be limited. Time indoors combined with your in-laws and extended family, extra cooking and cleaning and the kids getting cabin fever could result in your holiday not being the downtime you planned on.

So, here’s our top parenting and pregnancy tips for a healthy and happy holiday. We hope it helps to make your time together joyful.


Pregnant over the holidays?

There is one thing you really need if you are pregnant over the holidays: oxytocin, oxytocin, oxytocin. Oxytocin is the hormone for connection and the hormone of labour, so if it’s been a busy year, reconnect to your partner. And remember, the way the baby got in is the way the baby gets out! So, kiss, be intimate, rest, find joy and laugh.

Here are some more great things you can do to get you into the best space you can be during your pregnancy.

1. Do your labour practice at home

Take time to set up labour stations and have some run-throughs using our videos. Making sure your environment is feeling comfortable, cosy and familiar will help you feel secure and safe when labour starts. Yoga, breathing and visualisations are all evidence-based skills to use not only in birth but in everyday life! They encourage the body to come back into balance and allow healing and regeneration.

You may want to try some of these sleep hacks to help encourage a better quality of sleep and support you going into labour. Replace your lounge and bedroom lights with warm or red globes. Reducing blue or cool light will help your circadian rhythms, improve quality of sleep and boost oxytocin production.

2. Read more, stream less

Reading reduces your heart rate and builds empathy

It can be so tempting to fall into the streaming rabbit hole with so many great shows to choose from these days. However, remember that reading trumps TV when it comes to relaxing your nervous system and getting you into a better sleep zone, which will only benefit your unborn baby in the long run. Reading also reduces your heart rate and builds empathy, which will support you when managing high holiday emotions.

3. Eat more stews

Our bodies usually have a stronger digestive fire during summer, but with pregnancy, we can often become constipated, and during the postpartum period, we need to be eating grounding and nourishing foods and drinks that will replenish our depleted stores and give us our prenatal vitamins such as folic acid.

Soups and stews are the best way to keep your digestive fire (Agni) strong while ensuring you feel good and have the most healthy pregnancy possible. They might also assist with the healthy development of bub’s neural tube and prevent birth defects (but always seek medical advice from your doctor).

Make sure no more than 30% of your meal is cold. Here is our recipe for the Indian staple and super healing kitcheree – an essential for pregnant women.

4. Control your emotions

She Births

Don’t take the arguments seriously. With the extra heat, tempers can rise a little faster. Make sure you have times just for you alone and spend time in nature, which is always relaxing and calming. And if you get cranky with each other, drink a big glass of water, then respond. Not only is this a great social skill, but will make you a good parent and role model to your children.

Child behaviour is very influenced by parenting skills, so for positive discipline and positive parenting, take a calm and collected approach to your parenting style. Your children will thank you for it in the long run.

One of the most common times people argue is when they are on holiday because as we relax stress releases from the nervous system, just the same principle in a very busy mind during meditation.

Parenting over the holidays?

The summer holiday period can come as a massive release for children. The built-up exhaustion from school and daycare or the daily routine (or lack thereof) with baby can wear us all down. And for adults, by the time we get the gifts bought and wrapped and the celebration meal cooked and the family over, it can feel like a marathon that we only just survived.

So, when we finally sit down and shift into holiday mode, the lack of structure can be so freeing. There are more hands to tend to children and every day is filled with possibility for doing something or doing nothing.

5. Get lots of family time

Quality time

Family time has to be one of our number one top tips to parenting over the festive period. It seems obvious, but there is actually a lot going on when we spend time together, especially for children. Quality time is the first step to raising happy children – it bonds us together and gives children a sense of identity and belonging.

The memories that we make are formative sacred moments, little pearls that string together and can be called on throughout life to reconnect, anchor and bring us joy. Family time can be spent in nature swimming or exploring rock platforms, playing games or watching cricket. It doesn’t matter too much what it is and if you think back to your childhood it’s usually the long lazy feel of holidays, the unremarkable moments and memories that are the ones we treasure.

6. Create your own traditions

Many of us approach the holidays with traditions that stem from our own upbringing. Whether it’s the food we look forward to every year, the present opening or the influx of family in the house, it’s a time where it works best to meld the old with the new. Traditions can be very emotional and it is a time to ask what traditions you want to create for your children while respecting the traditions that have meaning for partners and their family.

7. Let yourself get bored

She Births

You’ve been busy all year so don’t just let yourself do nothing, let yourself get bored. Boredom has been shown to boost creativity in adults and kids. This doesn’t mean you should ignore your children, just tolerate a bit of flopping and moaning and nudge them in the right direction.

Allowing the mind to wander off develops initiative and helps to problem solve. It also lets the nervous system recover and take the foot off the accelerator.

From our family to yours over this holiday period, we hope you have a wonderful and relaxing time with your nearest and dearest. May this pause be bonding and enriching, filled with experiences and moments of connection, rest and joy.


Nadine Richardson, mother, yoga teacher, doula, Director of The Birthing Institute and Creator and Founder of the world’s only scientifically verified childbirth education program, She Births® and host of The She Births® Show (Podcast & YouTube).

Nadine Richardson

Nadine is an inspiration to all parents, female entrepreneurs and people passionate about making birth better. We are delighted to have her as an ambassador for Boody.

Start your preparation for birth today by downloading the She Births® App, access lots of free resources and enjoy listening to The She Births® Show Podcast. We have a special gift for the Boody community – 10% off the Full Online Program with the code boody10. Follow She Births® on Instagram now!

You may also like

How to repurpose your old baby clothes


How to repurpose your old baby clothes

We all know how fast babies grow. With all their tiny ensembles, we can find ourselves with an excessive amount of like-new clothing that has barely even been worn. It can feel like our children grow up overnight and getting rid of the clothes they’ve outgrown can feel incredibly wasteful. Consider these options for repurposing and upcycling baby clothes and breathe new life into their tiny wardrobe. Baby’s blanket Consider sewing your little one’s cutest tops and onesies into a small quilt. With this, they have another soft blanket or you can place on the floor for an attractive mat and to keep your baby from rolling around on a dirty floor. Consider lining the back with some cute fleece fabric for a cohesive look and to hide any excess stitching for the cutest baby blanket you’ve ever seen. You can find other uses for their adorable wardrobe and highlight some of your favourite designs in the process. Small decorative pillows While it will not be practical or safe to have pillows around your newborn, as they grow, you can adorn their room with tiny pillows of their past. Choose some of the softness fabrics from their baby clothes to create a small mound of pillows. They can use these to create a cosy feel in a pillow fort or an indoor reading tent. Hair accessories You may not have been aware that old baby clothes can make some of the most fashionable hair accessories for little ones. Consider repurposing cute patterns and designs to create hair ribbons, headbands and clips with small flowers. These adorable designs will be certain to wow and catch the eye of onlookers. People will be asking you where you got your cute accessories and little did they know, you made sustainable choices in the process. Hats Similar to hair accessories, you can also make tiny hats out of old clothes from your little one. Whether your baby needs a covering to protect their small scalp from the sun’s rays, they need some extra warmth or you are just looking for the cutest head covering, consider making a tiny hat for them. In cooler months, opt for fleece clothing that you can repurpose for a hat to offer them extra warmth and protection. Pet toys If you have some leftover clothing, you can create toys for your pet. Whether you stitch together clothing to create sock creatures filled with fluff or ropes of tattered leftovers, your baby’s clothing can be a great option for your favourite furry family member. You need to be mindful of the strings that may result from this, as this can be harmful. If the clothing gets terribly torn, make sure to discard this immediately to avoid dangerous health issues for your pets. Home décor Creating home décor out of old baby clothes may be something that you would have never considered before; however, this can actually repurpose clothing into some of the cutest decorations. Opt for your favourite, intact onesie and cut out the design for your scrapbook or picture frame. This can be a beautiful way to commemorate the years of their life that will feel like they’ve flown by. Donate The most impactful and beneficial repurposing project is actually packing up your outgrown baby clothes to donate them to a reputable charity. There are plenty of families who could use your lightly worn clothing for their little ones. Particularly if you will not be using the items again, this is a great opportunity to pay it forward and give back. With little effort, you can feel fulfilled knowing that you contributed to their little one’s life. Babies seem to sprout up out of nowhere as they grow and just continue to get bigger and bigger. The adorable clothing that you purchased may only see a quarter of its shelf life and you may find yourself with a lightly worn, but fully intact wardrobe. There are so many options for how you can give those items a second life, so instead of letting them collect dust, consider repurposing them, and creating a green existence.

Maternity Clothing | The Ultimate Guide


Maternity Clothing | The Ultimate Guide

Maternity clothing. It’s a challenge every soon-to-be-mum is faced with. When should you start buying them? How do they work? What should you wear and not wear while pregnant? Well, fear not. Our Ultimate Guide to Maternity Clothing has got all your questions answered. So you can sit back and enjoy the ride that is pregnancy! When should I start buying maternity clothes? The majority of women can wear their normal clothes for most of the first trimester (three months), but you might need to consider a larger bra or loose-fitting clothing for comfort. Once you reach the four or five-month mark, you’ll most likely have to start wearing larger pieces – also known as maternity clothes. What should you wear while pregnant? Luckily, we live in an age where there are plenty of stylish and practical pregnancy clothes that make the challenge of getting dressed when expecting far easier (and much more fun!). But you don’t need to break the bank, nor do you need to fill your wardrobe with pieces you’ll never wear again. We’d suggest investing in comfy, oversized pieces you can mix and match and that you can also imagine wearing again post-pregnancy. Not only is this more cost-effective, but it’s also more sustainable. It’s also a good idea to consider the weather during your pregnancy, as what you’ll be wearing if you have a summer pregnancy will most likely be different to if you have a winter pregnancy. More about this later. Here are some of the essential maternity items you’ll want to add to your collection: Wire-free bra You don’t necessarily have to invest in a maternity bra, but you’ll want your bra to be wire-free. Some people believe this is because the wire could restrict blood flow and prevent milk production, which begins well before your baby is welcomed to the world. This fear is actually largely unfounded, but most women simply find wire-free bras far comfier during their pregnancies (and beyond!). Wirefree bras and maternity bras provide more room for expanding breasts and are also perfect for breastfeeding. Seamfree underwear This one’s all about comfort. Maternity underwear will usually be designed free of seams, tags and anything else that may irritate you during your pregnancy. If you haven’t switched to seamfree underwear before your pregnancy, we guarantee you will keep wearing them after bub’s arrived! Stretchy leggings Comfort is key when it comes to your pregnancy, so it’s important to opt for a bit of extra stretch. Loose-fitting pants or jeans are a great choice, but you can never go wrong with a comfy pair of women’s leggings – especially towards the latter stage of your pregnancy. You’ll want to live in these! Bamboo leggings make the perfect choice for pregnancy as they’re super soft, stretchy and breathable. Plus, you’ll want to spend all your time in them, even when you’re not pregnant. Here’s how to wear yoga pants every day of the week. Loose-fitting dress or skirt When building your collection of maternity wear (or non-maternity wear if you’re opting for pieces that you can wear after your pregnancy too), it’s always better to go for loose-fitting styles that allow room. A maternity dress or skirt should be no different, so don’t be afraid to go a size up or for an oversized design. Stretchy tops Oversized is also the way to go when it comes to tops, especially in the second and third trimesters. But even if you don’t go for oversized styles, ensure you opt for tops that are made from a stretchy and forgiving fabric. Bamboo tops are perfect to add to your range of maternity wear, as the material stretches to accommodate your growing baby bump. Comfy flat footwear Whether it’s from the heat or simply being on our feet for too long, we all know what it’s like when our feet swell – even when we’re not pregnant. So, you can imagine how important it is to have comfy flat footwear when you’re expecting. Swelling is a normal part of pregnancy that is caused by additional blood and fluid known as edema. Do yourself a favour and invest in some comfy shoes! Comfy loungewear When you’re pregnant, there are days when you will feel just like your normal self. On the other hand, there will be days when you just want to stay inside and reach for the ice cream tub and binge Netflix shows. On those days, and for every evening, you’ll want to stock up on some comfy and loose-fitting loungewear. Sleep won’t always be smooth when you’re pregnant, nor will it when bub arrives, so you’ll at least want to be prepared with some comfy maternity pyjamas! What should you not wear while pregnant? While there are plenty of options out there for what you should wear while pregnant, there are also some styles we’d suggest bypassing during those important nine months (and perhaps a few months beyond). Synthetic fabrics To be honest, synthetic fabrics are bad news all the time, whether you’re pregnant or not. But when you’re expecting, it’s even more crucial to steer clear of synthetic fabrics. Regulating body temperature, moisture absorption and the chemicals used in processing synthetic fabrics are all reasons to favour natural and organic materials instead. Tight-fitting clothing Pregnancy is different for every woman, but there’s pretty much one thing that’s guaranteed: your body will change. Sure, you might be one of the lucky ones who remains petite and doesn’t seem to swell at all. But even then, your body will be different from how it normally is, and the last thing you’ll want to be wearing is tight-fitting clothing. Avoid it at all costs! Underwire bras Underwire bras are nasty things at the best of times. Trickey fastenings, straps that dig in and worst of all – the wires. Stock up on seamfree and wire-free bras for when you’re pregnant (and beyond). You will thank yourself for it, we promise. Clothing that’s hard to remove You know what we’re talking about. Dungarees, jumpsuits, skinny jeans that are like extracting a tooth to take off. When it comes to maternity wear, you want to keep your wardrobe simple, easy and practical. Heeled shoes Speaking of practicality – now’s the time to put those heeled shoes away and embrace flats. Yes, this is about comfort, but it’s also about safety. Even the most skilful heel wearers can trip and take a tumble, which would put both yours and your baby’s safety at risk. It’s just not worth it! How many sizes do you gain when pregnant? The simplest answer to this question is that every woman is different. When it comes to bra sizes, it’s normal for a woman to go up two to four band sizes and two to four cup sizes during pregnancy. After around seven months your breasts should have stabilised and will increase when your milk first arrives, which is after the delivery of your bub. Elsewhere, it again really depends on the person. Some women might go up one or two sizes while others might not go up at all. It’s a good idea to see how it’s going during your pregnancy and not rush out and buy too much – you might be surprised how little your body changes (or how much it does!). As mentioned, the key is to try and shop for pieces you would wear again post-pregnancy, even if they are oversized. How do maternity clothes work? Maternity sizes work the same as regular clothing sizes. If you’re normally a medium, you’ll still be a medium in maternity sizes. So, if you’re not shopping for clothing that is officially considered maternity – like the styles on Boody – you’ll want to consider going up a size depending on how your body is changing. Can I wear jeans in pregnancy? You don’t need to worry about tight clothing harming your baby, it’s more about how uncomfy it will be. Feel free to wear skinny maternity jeans, but you’ll more than likely want to opt for a stretchy pair of tights as your pregnancy goes on. There’s no shame in that! Comfort comes first and who doesn’t love a comfy pair of leggings? How should I dress for summer while pregnant? Summer’s can get hot and humid here in Australia, which is never a fun mix when you’re expecting! Here are some top tips for dressing for summer when pregnant. 1. Opt for breathable fabrics We’re not going to sugarcoat it – you’re going to be hot. Really hot, at times. So, make life more bearable when pregnant during the summer months by opting for breathable fabrics such as bamboo, organic cotton and linen. 2. Wear lightweight pieces It’s a no-brainer, but also easy to forget. When rushing to get ready in the morning, when the weather is at its coolest, you might think that stretchy jersey or sweater is a great idea. Fast forward to lunchtime and you’ll be regretting not wearing the most lightweight clothing you can find! 3. Avoid wearing all black We all know that black is generally a warmer colour to wear. This is because black clothing absorbs more light, which in turn, gets transformed into more heat. Refrain from wearing too much of it during a summer pregnancy, instead opting for white or lighter and more natural colours. How should I dress for winter while pregnant? Many people prefer to reach their third trimester during the cooler months, for obvious reasons. That said, now you’re dressing for two, you’ll want to ensure both you and bub are warm and cosy when the temperatures drop, so a winter pregnancy still takes a bit of planning. 1. Stock up on layers Layers are key during the winter months, whether or not you’re expecting. But it’s even more important to stay toasty when you’re pregnant, so ensure your wardrobe is stocked up with a range of stretchy and breathable basics. From tops and cardigans for you to a Soft Jersey Beanie and Booties for bub, ensure to keep snug in comfy layers. 2. Get some warm leggings As you know by now, we’re huge advocates of leggings during pregnancy (or any time, for that matter!). Make sure you have a couple of warm pairs in your drawer when the weather turns cooler. Bamboo is the ideal fabric for winter or summer as it’s thermoregulating – a great investment for all year round! Find out more about the benefits of bamboo. 3. Don’t forget chunky socks Last but not least, you’ll want a pair of chunky socks or two in your top drawer for a winter pregnancy. Whether they’re bed socks or socks for every day, a cosy pair will stop you from feeling the chill, and in turn, keep bub nice and snug. A note on sizing: Maternity sizes generally work the same as regular clothing sizes. If you’re normally a medium, you’ll still be a medium in maternity sizes. However, because Boody does not design specifically for maternity, you might want to consider going up a size depending on how your body is changing. Every pregnancy and body is different.

Erika Lamour


An interview with Erika Lamour, founder of The Sleep Dept

If you’re a parent, you’ll know – or you’ll remember – how precious sleep is for both bub and parents. But, particularly in the early days, sleep can be so hard to come by. Enter The Sleep Dept. From baby sleep regressions to nap times, The Sleep Dept helps you navigate the mysterious world of infant sleep. Using a combination of gentle self-soothing techniques and age-appropriate routines adapted to your family’s comfort level, The Sleep Dept helps guide bub to sleep and encourages positive bedtime habits. We caught up with Infant Sleep Specialist, Erika Lamour, about the brand, the biggest misconceptions about babies and children who find it difficult to sleep, and why she’s such a big fan of Boody’s everyday baby essentials. Tell us a bit about what The Sleep Dept is. The Sleep Dept helps parents create age-appropriate routines for their little ones which, over time, helps in guiding them in sleeping through the night. What initially inspired you to create The Sleep Dept? A love of babies is what initially led me down this path. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with babies. My first memory is of holding a baby! Over the years, I started to learn about the science of infant sleep which saw me read every book and study as many courses as possible and that is how The Sleep Dept came to be! What are the biggest misconceptions about babies and children who find it difficult to sleep? That it’s just the way it should be! Sure, we all know that new babies will wake every few hours (or less!), but there are also gentle ways we can help our babies in getting the amount of sleep that they (and we) need. I believe that the amount of sleep a parent needs is undervalued. It is just as important that parents get the sleep they NEED, and not just our babies. What are your top tips for settling/resettling your baby? Consistency! Babies don’t know when and for how long they are meant to sleep for, they just begin to understand the predictable steps that get them there. When we respond to our babies consistently, their predictability follows. Talk to us about the different packages you offer. We offer a range of packages that include remote packages that you implement with your family (with our support), or in-home packages where we help guide and support you in helping your little one sleep. What sort of support do you provide sleep-deprived parents? Unlimited! For the first two weeks, we check in every morning and as we start to see the consistency in the nights and the confidence in the parents, we are able to take a step back and let mum and dad make the decisions. Parents who use our guides have access to The Sleep Dept for as long as they need. The reality is that a baby and their sleep patterns will change… A LOT. Especially in the first two years. To be able to have someone send a quick email to help understand why sleep is changing and what to do about it can be a huge help in getting back on track. We hear your fans of Boody. What are your favourite styles, both for mum and baby? Oh yes! For my son, we can’t get enough of the long sleeve onesies that he wears to bed and now we have used the baby muslin washcloths, there is no going back to ever using anything else – hands down, the BEST! For me, I am loving the crops – I wear them everywhere! What are your plans for The Sleep Dept in the future? Anything exciting on the horizon? We’ve just held our first event at The Grounds of Alexandria for Red Nose Day, with 100% of proceeds going to Red Nose directly. We are very passionate about educating parents about safe sleep practices. We have also just launched our online store. Our aim with this is to take the confusion out of what to buy for first-time parents. We will stock only the safest product in a particular category. Eg. safest bassinet, safest comforter etc. Follow The Sleep Dept on Instagram and like them on Facebook.