8 tips for enjoying a BBQ or picnic when you’re pregnant

Here are some tips to make picnics and BBQs work for you when you’re expecting a baby…

1. Know which foods to avoid when you’re pregnant

You can still enjoy most foods but key summer foods you should avoid include:

  • uncooked soft cheeses
  • cured meats
  • homemade mayonnaise unless it’s made with lion stamped eggs (shop-bought mayonnaise is fine)
  • homemade ice-cream unless it’s made with lion stamped eggs (again, shop-bought ice-cream is fine).

For more information on what foods to avoid, read our article here.

2. Check barbecued meat and fish

It’s totally fine to scoff burgers done on the barbecue when you’re pregnant, but just check that the meat is thoroughly cooked. Otherwise, you can get food poisoning from the bacteria.

Check that meat isn’t pink in the middle and stick a skewer into the thickest part of the meat to make sure the juices run clear. And don’t worry about offending the host by checking: it’s important when you’re pregnant.

If you’re doing the barbecue yourself, wait until the charcoal is glowing red and has a powdery grey surface before you start to cook.

Make sure you use separate utensils and plates for raw and cooked meat.

And, if you want to be really sure, cook the meat in the oven first then just finish it off on the barbie for that authentic taste.

3. Stay in the shade

Your skin can be more sensitive than normal when you’re pregnant so be careful and stay under that parasol. It’s also a good idea to grab a wide-brimmed hat and slap on a high factor sun cream.

4. Demand a chair

Lying on the grass for seven hours straight is tough enough when you’re up for an lengthy catch up with your friends and not growing a human.

But try not to tackle that challenge when you’re pregnant. Instead, take your own camping chair or ask someone politely if you can have a seat.

This is your time to get to sit down, embrace it!

5. Rest up swollen feet and ankles

Standing up for a long time can make swollen ankles worse

Oedema is the swelling caused by fluid retention. It can make you uncomfortable and self-conscious, especially towards the end of your pregnancy.

Standing up for a long time can make it worse. So once you’ve got your hands on that chair (see above), grab a little foot stool (or a makeshift one). That way your legs are up too, which should ease the oedema.

6. Water, water, water

When you’re pregnant, you can be extra prone to dehydration. So you could bring your own water bottle with you. You could also grab a spot next to that water jug and keep topping up.

7. Crash the kids’ paddling pool

Child’s paddling pool? Dip your toes in. Ice lollies available? Sign yourself up. Raising your temperature can be uncomfortable and even dangerous for mums-to-be. So take all the chances available to stay cool. Especially if they involve yummy ice-creams.

8. Pack snacks

Oatcakes or ginger biscuits will stave off hunger

You should be ok if you’re heading to a picnic but if you’re going to a barbecue, we all know there could be a long wait for any food other than salad. And when you’re battling morning sickness or a raging pregnancy hunger, waiting is not high on your agenda. So pack something like oatcakes or ginger biscuits to stave off your hunger.

Further information

Our support line offers practical and emotional support with feeding your baby: 0300 330 0700.

We also offer antenatal courses, which are a great way to find out more about birth, labour and life with a new baby.

Make friends with other parents-to-be and new parents in your local area for support and friendship by seeing what NCT activities are happening nearby.