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If you are due to give birth on Christmas, you probably feel like a ticking time-bomb right now. How can you celebrate Christmas knowing that you may go into labor at any time? And what would a Christmas delivery be like?

Christmas is nearly there, and most families who celebrate this holiday are busy preparing - preparing presents, preparing for Christmas dinner, and preparing to get together with relatives or friends. If you are in your ninth month of pregnancy and due around the 25th, your Christmas may be a little different.

To Celebrate Or Not To Celebrate, That Is The Question

The average pregnancy lasts for 40 weeks. The window in which you are most likely to go into labor lasts quite a bit longer than that, however. You could give birth any time between 38 and 42 weeks of pregnancy, and then there is the chance that you will go into labor prematurely.

My son was born on December 31, so I know a little bit about the dilemmas that a holiday due date bring up. We wanted to celebrate the holidays, and my husband suggested that we invite his mother (!!!) over for Christmas. She lives in another city, we were planning a homebirth, and we were living in a small apartment at the time.

The thought of my mother in law seeing my in labor totally freaked me out, so that one went out the window. All our friends and the relatives we actually enjoy spending time with went away for the holidays, so we ended up celebrating all alone. It was wonderful — the best Christmas I ever had!

You may wonder if it would be safe to travel for a day or two to spend Christmas elsewhere, whether you should invite people over for the holiday, and who may take care of any older children when everyone has other things on their mind. The ultimate decision is very personal, but here are some things to consider:

  • Would traveling elsewhere still allow you to get to the hospital or birth center you chose? If you are planning to give birth at home, would you be able to get there? Keep possible harsh winter weather in mind when you discuss this one.

  • If you are considering hosting a Christmas dinner in your home, would your guests mind packing up in the middle of it if you go into labor? Or would the party be able to continue without you (and your partner, if he is going to be at the birth)?

  • Are you at all stressed by the idea of celebrating Christmas with lots of other people when you have a baby due so soon? If your answer is yes, simply celebrate the holiday alone this year.

  • Those families who already have an older child or more may like to “ship them off” to their grandparents' house, or to another relative. This could give your child(ren) a wonderful, relaxed Christmas and could eliminate worries about childcare while you are giving birth. This doesn't work for every family, of course.

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