Pregnancy Week 23: Traveling While Pregnant

Traveling while pregnantFrequent stops to use the bathroom. Getting out to stretch. Back discomfort. Stopping to get snacks. These are the first things I think of when I think about traveling during pregnancy. With both of my pregnancies, I lived 6 to 12 hours away from family and made long car trips both times.

Here are some tips I would suggest to anyone embarking on a journey while expecting:

Be Smart:

Most doctors and midwives have restrictions they suggest as far as travel is concerned with pregnancy. Many will suggest that you travel during your second trimester. This is a time when most of your morning sickness has passed and you feel the best. If you are traveling a considerable distance, be sure to get your records and charts from your provider, just in case. If something was to happen while you are away, you want to have the paperwork to show an unfamiliar doctor.

Follow Guidelines:

Most airlines allow air travel through your eighth month, while you can travel during your ninth month on some airlines if you have permission from your provider. Traveling by car is a little trickier. You may think you are fine to travel, but remember you may need to take extra precautions. Get out to stretch and walk every few hours. International travel is something you’ll really have to plan out. You will need to make sure it is safe for you and baby, check on any food precautions you should take, and be sure you are vaccinated for the area you are traveling to if needed. If you decide you want to go on a cruise while pregnant, remember that you will need to ensure there is a doctor or midwife on board who could help you in time of an emergency. Also, sea travel may increase your nausea.

General Tips:

I will be making at least two 6-hour trips this spring by car alone with my toddler. I plan on wearing comfy clothes and bringing a pillow, just in case I feel discomfort. Obviously, you need to follow safety guidelines and wear your seatbelt below your tummy. Bringing extra snacks and extra water bottles is on my to-do list. If you are still feeling nauseated, I suggest bringing few bags to have in the car, just in case. If you’re not driving, use the travel time to write a sweet note to your little one or work on catching up on a pregnancy journal. Remember that sitting for long periods of time in a car, plane, or train could cause swelling or leg cramps.

Wherever you go and however you get there while pregnant, be safe and smart and remember to plan, plan, plan. Enjoy your trip!

Karyn Meyerhoff lives and writes in Northeast Indiana. She loves to go on trips, but isn’t a big fan of driving.

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