How to Stay Safe While Celebrating the Holidays

With the holiday season in full swing, everyone is concerned about limiting the spread of COVID-19 while still finding ways to gather and celebrate with loved ones. Intended parents and gestational carriers have to be even more cautious — pregnant women and infants are considered are at high-risk for serious health complications caused by COVID-19.

Can intended parents and gestational surrogates still honor their holiday traditions in the midst of this ongoing pandemic? With some reasonable precautions, modifications and common sense — yes!

Here are 3 tips to help intended parents and surrogates celebrate safely this holiday season:

1. Know When to Say “No”

This has been tough for all of us this year. But for the health and safety of everyone, sometimes it’s best to say, “Sorry, we can’t come,” when invited to that gathering or event.

Any time you and your family are considering being around others this holiday season, whether you’re thinking about visiting family or hosting people in your own home, you’ll need to ask yourself some important questions:

  • Is this worth the risk of contracting COVID-19, or of accidentally exposing someone else?
  • Have you or anyone in attendance felt sick or experienced COVID symptoms?
  • Can it be done virtually?
  • Can we all practice social distancing and wear masks?
  • Can it be rescheduled?
  • Can we all quarantine before and after?

Nobody wants to be that person who turns down an invitation. But right now, for the safety of your family, it might be necessary. Someone else’s temporary disappointment is not worth the risking the lives of yourself, your family and potentially, an unborn baby.

2. Try Something Different This Year

Instead of trying to go about the holidays as usual, adapt to the current situation! Get creative. Skip the in-person get-togethers and consider:

  • Sending each of your friends or family members a handwritten letter. List all the reasons you’re thankful for them.
  • Swapping gifts long-distance through the mail.
  • Scheduling a regular virtual event throughout the season, like marathoning your way through cheesy Christmas movies together using a multi-viewer platform.
  • Skipping the huge, time-consuming holiday dinner this year and do something more fun. Make tacos, spaghetti, pizzas, or challenge each other to a bake-off.
  • Finding a way to make the holidays feel special when you can’t participate in your regular traditions, like having a Nutcracker dance-along in your living room instead of seeing it performed live.

3. Travel Safely

Although traveling is not recommended, if you do decide to travel for the holidays, make sure you’re traveling as safely as possible. That means:

  • Not traveling if you feel sick!
  • Driving instead of flying.
  • Taking the area’s number of COVID cases into account.
  • Wearing your mask — always!
  • Social distancing from other travelers.
  • Keeping hand sanitizer close by.
  • Quarantining before you leave and after you return (and encourage the people you’ll be around to do the same).
  • Keeping your get-together as small as possible.

Again, if you can, don’t travel at all! This year is the perfect excuse to cuddle up with your household family members, bake some cookies and binge your way through a TV series.

We know that not being able to participate in some of our favorite holiday traditions is disappointing. But, it’s more important for intended parents and surrogates to stay safe and healthy right now. Your family will understand. Hopefully, by this time next year you’ll be able to have a huge reunion. And, by next year, there will hopefully be a new baby celebrating the holidays with the intended family!

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