Congratulations on your pregnancy!
Whether you are in your 1st Trimester or are counting down the final weeks until you embrace your little one, you are sure to be excited (and maybe a bit anxious). With pregnancy, for a lot of persons, comes new caution and awareness of one's surrounding. This heightened awareness can sometimes lead to keeping oneself sheltered, and let's face it, in New Orleans, that is a tough task. And unless your doctor has you on limited or full bed rest, or you have another medical or physical condition at play, missing out on things you loved previous to becoming pregnant can be a beginning step to losing yourself. (With of course the exception being drinking tequila shots at Superior Grill on Cinco de Mayo. That's understandable.)
There is a way to remain true to your love of NOLA Festival Season while keeping yourself and your baby safe.
So from Freret Street Festival to French Quarter Fest, Jazzfest all the way to Satchmo SummerFest these Top 5 Tips should be a good starting guide to enjoying the people, the weather, and well, most of all, THE FOOD!
#1. STAY HYDRATED
So, we all know what most people at the festivals are drinking...but with your new bundle of joy on the way you are rightfully planning on using different methods of hydration this year. It is great to remember that Water is always greater than juices while standing in line waiting to make your selection. And during pregnancy, it is recommended that you consume at least 8-10 glass of water per day. If it is especially hot that day, it may be greatly beneficial to squeeze in a sports drink or two to replace electrolytes lost while sweating.
#2. SHADE...PORTABLE SHADE
Speaking of New Orleans Heat, being able to hide from it is key to not overheating...and thus not becoming dehydrated. (See #1) Bringing an easy to carry umbrella that you can pop under when the sun gets too hot and shelter isn't readily accessible may be extremely helpful. Plus, um, this is New Orleans...it literally can rain at any minute! #doubleduty
#3. APPROACH FOOD WITH CAUTION
One of the best things about this great city is, of course, THE FOOD! It is what keeps NOLA so famous. It is my belief that our plethora of food is what keeps us so happy and charming to visitors. (debatable, obviously. lol) One of the main types of food that is ever present at Festivals...SEAFOOD. Followed very closely by...SPICY FOOD! Both of these <delicious> categories should be approached with caution. The FDA suggests not consuming any raw fish or shellfish throughout pregnancy due to the possible presence of bacteria. During pregnancy, your immune system is weakened so it may be harder to fight off infection. So maybe stay away from those "oysters on the halfshell". But alas, Oysters Bienville may still be at play! (This is because they are be cooked well pass the required 145 degrees before serving. This would kill off any bacteria or pathogens that could have existed.) Spicy Food? We all know the old wives tale of spicy food causing heartburn during pregnancy? Well, it is true for some women and who can truly enjoy the funk of The Rebirth Brass Band or the depth of Tank and the Bangas with a chest full of fire? Click here for a full list of foods to avoid while pregnant.
#4. IT PAYS TO PARK
Ok so here's the thing, this is New Orleans. Any time you enter the city limits to do virtually anything *Finding a Parking Spot* is a major agenda point. This is always intensified by major events such as festivals. And since you will likely be doing a ton of walking within the festival grounds, you may not wish to walk much further after a long day of dancing, mingling, shopping and doing all.the.things. It would not be ideal to have a bought of round ligament pain while walking 2 miles to your car. So you may want to scope out the areas, check the event sites, and think about investing in parking that will suit you.
#5. SCOPE OUT ALL RESTROOMS
Wow, talk about saving one of the most crucial for last, huh? Well, so you are pregnant. With that, as I am sure you are aware, comes the constant need to know where the nearest clean restrooms are located when out and about. Certain festival grounds may only have the portable restroom option available. This is good to know if you are like many persons who just cannot get with that whole situation. Fortunately, this isn't the case for all festivals. French Quarter Fest and Freret Street Festival are celebrations centered around areas full of businesses. People with hearts. People who may be willing to allow a glowing pregnant woman to use their facilities. And should that fail, hotels are almost always accommodating. Of course, purchasing something may not be required, but it is a great way to show your appreciation. I would be remiss to not mention here that should you stumble upon a clean restroom but have no immediate urge to go, even though you haven't went in a few hours while remaining adequately hydrated, you may want to attempt at it anyhow. Sometimes, especially during warmer days, pregnant bodies try to retain the water being put in it. This can cause swelling and discomfort among other things. So attempting is always good!
**Honorable Mention - HAND SANITIZER
As mentioned earlier, your immune system during pregnancy is weakened a bit. This keeps your body from fighting off your baby. This means you must take necessary outward precautions. There will be people everywhere. And with the possible frequent restroom breaks, and hopefully eating and staying hydrated in between, having a nice bottle of hand sanitizer may be an extra aid in keeping you and baby well as you enjoy yourself.
So GET UP! Dress Up! And GO OUT! Enjoy yourself! Pregnancy does not automatically beget a sheltered woman! Be safe, be cautious, and most importantly, HAVE FUN!