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Pregnant during the holidays? This is for you.

Seven pregnant hospital staffers
Pregnant caregivers at Trident Medical Center (L-R): Elizabeth Brandt, RN, emergency department; Stephanie Heimer, RN, emergency department; Tamika Linen, RN, operating room; Molly Thompson, PharmD, pharmacy; Harley Cook, RN; operating room; Malori Fougerousse RN, Cath Lab; Rebecca Earley, RN, PACU. 

As the holiday season picks up momentum pharmacist Molly Thompson is keeping track of two deadlines – Christmas and her due date.  The pharmacy department clinical manager at HCA Healthcare’s Trident Medical Center is pregnant with her first child due in January.

“I can definitely tell my energy level isn’t near where it is normally. I try to pace myself during the day, but somedays, there’s more work than energy,” she said, laughing.

Kenneth Perry, MD, an emergency medicine physician at Trident, says Thompson’s story is all too common, especially during the holidays.

“With all of the expectations of Christmas and the obligations that often come with it regarding family, friends, social events, and travel, it can be very stressful for women who are pregnant,” Dr. Perry said. “And women who are in their third trimester during the holidays need to be aware of this critical period in their baby’s development.”

During a woman’s seventh through the ninth month of pregnancy (third trimester), Dr. Perry noted that the baby’s brain and bones are still maturing; the digestive system is preparing to work on its own, and the baby’s senses are nearly developed.

“As with all stages of pregnancy, it’s important for women to be diligent in taking care of themselves and their still-growing baby,” Dr. Perry said. “My advice for expectant mothers is to slow down. It’ll be good for them and for their baby.”

A few more healthy habits for pregnant women to consider during the holidays include:

  • Staying off their feet, when possible;
  • Remaining hydrated, always; and
  • Resting at frequent intervals.

“These are tips that don’t cost anything, but have a big value,” Dr. Perry added.

Thompson revealed that she’s not partaking in all of the foods she normally would enjoy this holiday season, and she cut back on the number of decorations she puts up for Christmas.

“For women who may be experiencing their first pregnancy during this holiday season, I would encourage them to focus on celebrating the upcoming birth of their child. Make that the most important event they prepare for.  It’ll be a present they’ll never forget,” she said.

Molly Thompson is pictured above with six other pregnant caregivers at Trident Medical Center, part of HCA Healthcare’s South Atlantic Division. They all approve this message.

About HCA Healthcare

HCA Healthcare, one of the nation's leading providers of healthcare services, is comprised of 186 hospitals and more than 2,000 sites of care, in 20 states and the United Kingdom. Our approximately 275,000 colleagues are connected by a single purpose — to give patients healthier tomorrows.

As an enterprise, we recognize the significant responsibility we have as a leading healthcare provider within each of the communities we serve, as well as the opportunity we have to improve the lives of the patients for whom we are entrusted to care. Through the compassion, knowledge and skill of our caregivers, and our ability to leverage our scale and innovative capabilities, HCA Healthcare is in a unique position to play a leading role in the transformation of care.

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