A lot of women put their travel plans on hold while pregnant. If you’re greater than 32 weeks along, have a high-risk pregnancy, or have been told by your doctor to avoid all travel, then this makes sense.
However, for women who don’t fall into any of those categories, traveling while pregnant is possible. In this day of cheap travel, with many family members spread out all over the country (or around the globe), and for women who travel for work-related reasons while pregnant, there is a way to do it safely and successfully.
When you’re pregnant, the safest time to travel is during your second trimester (18 to 24 weeks). This is when your risk of miscarriage and preterm labor are lowest1. Here are a few ideas to make sure your travels keep you healthy and happy.
Make comfort your number one priority
Prepare for motion sickness
If you think you might experience motion sickness during your trip, speak to your healthcare provider about the use of medications. Some of the medications used to treat nausea and vomiting during pregnancy can also be effective in relieving motion sickness. They’re safe for the baby. By keeping your nausea at bay, it will allow you to eat and drink without difficulty while on the move.
Stick to non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated beverages before, during, and after air travel. If possible, limit yourself to water and fruit juice. Only consume tea and coffee in small amounts.
Bathroom breaks and pit stops
By now you’ve probably become used to the non-stop trips to the bathroom. Unfortunately, while traveling this task becomes much harder. Depending on your travel plans, clean bathroom facilities may be in short supply and aren’t always readily available. So, take advantage of any clean, comfortable bathroom whenever you happen upon one.
Slippers or comfy socks
Pamper your feet. If driving, take breaks every hour to stretch and walk around. If flying, once on board, take off your shoes and put on a pair of comfy slippers or non-slip socks to walk around in. You’ll thank yourself for doing this.
Wear comfortable footwear
The best shoes or sandals have a contoured footbed to help prevent aches and a thick, skid-resistant sole for good traction and support. Keep the strappy high heels at home.
Keep snacks with you at all times. Many airlines no longer supply meals, so it’s important for pregnant women to pack their own snacks. Things like nuts, dried fruit, energy bars, and of course something sweet.
Carry bottled water
Drink it regularly, especially on long flights.
Pregnant women are at increased risk of developing blood clots in the legs. Compression stockings can improve circulation and make it less likely for blood clots to develop2. Additionally, while flying be sure to get up and walk around occasionally. Select an aisle seat when possible so that exercising and stretching your legs will be easier
Make sure your travel health insurance plan is up to date and that it reflects the fact that you’re pregnant. Carry a copy of your insurance plan and your medical records for prenatal care just in case.
Odds and ends
Be sure to pack items like your prenatal supplements, any medications you’re currently taking, sanitary wipes, and antibacterial hand sanitizer.