Updated: Sep 15, 2021
Maybe you're a first-time mom or a mom who has never traveled before while being pregnant. You are now considering travel, but unsure about what to expect. These tips I hope will help to ease your mind a bit about traveling while pregnant, and what to expect.
I have traveled quite a lot during both my pregnancies and at different trimesters. I have traveled for weddings, family visits, vacations both nationally (United States) and internationally (the UK, France, and the Caribbean).
I must say that the experience of traveling while pregnant thus far has not been anything dramatic. However, preparation is key, especially when pregnant.
Traveling while pregnant especially during this time of a pandemic may be different, and does cause for a lot more strategic planning and precautionary measures than any other time of travel before.
Are you planning on doing any traveling soon? What are your concerns? Let me know. Please feel free to share your own experiences or ask your questions or concerns in our FORUM section. I will be happy to help you!
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“Before planing to travel anywhere while pregnant, make sure to consult your doctor to make sure that it is safe to do so."
BEFORE YOUR TRIP
TIP 1: CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR
First and foremost, consult with your doctor before traveling anywhere. Travel will vary depending on the trimester, any pregnancy-related complications or risk. That is something that your doctor will discuss with you before you plan to travel.
Pre-cautions to take depends on the travel options for example flying, cruise, road trips, etc., and the cut-off points for when not to travel especially in the third trimester or if you are a high-risk patient. Some patients may also experience difficulties in the first trimester such as food aversions, nausea, and vomiting. As a result, it makes it more difficult to travel during that time.
TIP 2: RESEARCH THE COUNTRY OR STATE THAT YOU ARE TRAVELING TO FOR ANY PRECAUTIONS OR RESTRICTIONS
Make sure to research every destination that you are planning on traveling to especially if you choose to fly to your location of choice. Be reminded that some countries may have an outbreak of a disease or virus that can cause complications in women during pregnancy.
For example, the Zika virus outbreak that happened in the Caribbean could cause potential harm to your child. It is an example of a precaution that can be taken into consideration should you choose to travel to countries experiencing a pandemic.
Also, ensure that you are up-to-date with all your immunizations or vaccines especially when traveling internationally. If you do plan to travel during the pandemic, make sure to be aware of any covid-19 related restrictions both nationally and internationally.
TIP 3: CLOSE PROXIMITY TO A HOSPITAL OR MEDICAL FACILITY
Make sure that there is a hospital in close proximity to where you plan to travel especially if traveling internationally. It would be easier to have access to healthcare if needed.
Some countries may offer free emergency care, while others may charge depending on the situation. It is best however to have medical insurance in place for any travel needs or emergencies that can happen while in another country.
TIP 4: TELEPHONE ACCESS AND EMERGENCY NUMBERS ON HAND
Sometimes in our business, especially when traveling we may forget some important things that we need to be aware of and that includes having access to a phone (cell phone with international calling) and emergency numbers nearby just in case of anything that can happen.
This is not to make you panic, but just to keep your mind at ease when traveling that there is access to help if needed.
TIP 5: DO YOUR RESEARCH
Research whether or not places or attractions that you wish to visit, are suitable for pregnant women.
Sometimes, attractions or places may not allow access to pregnant women for safety reasons, especially depending on your stage of pregnancy. Be aware of warning signs and precautions to take while visiting to ensure that both you and your child are safe.
TIP 6: PLENTY OF REST
I am guilty of the last-minute syndrome. Waiting until the day before travel to get anything accomplished is my norm. I however find myself exhausted right before I have even gotten on the trip.
When you are pregnant be reminded that you will be much more exhausted trying to get ready for your trip.
Therefore try to relax as much as possible and remain stress-free by packing in advance and getting any last-minute rush out of the way.
TIP 7: KEEP HYDRATED
Water is essentially every pregnant woman's best friend. Water keeps your body fully hydrated and your amniotic fluid levels up. Make sure to drink plenty of water, especially if you have not been doing so regularly.
Keep in mind also that when traveling internationally there may not be enough access to water as we have here in the US, or that the water may not be as safe. Therefore try to keep as hydrated as much as possible when you can and do have access to clean water.
TIP 8: PACK YOUR PREGNANCY COMFORT ITEMS
There are some items that you can definitely do without while you're traveling and there are some that you may want to take along with you. Depending on what helps you to be comfortable during your trip make sure to take it along with you.
My favorites to travel with were a belly band to help support my back and stomach especially when standing or walking for long periods of time. Another favorite of mine is a boppy pillow that helped with sleeping, especially in the latter stages of pregnancy.
TIP 9: PACK A CARRY ON WITH ENOUGH CLOTHES AND SUPPLIES FOR AT LEAST 2 DAYS
Things can happen, especially with luggage being delayed or lost while traveling. To reduce as much stress as possible when traveling has at least something with you to ensure you have clothing and supplies available should any problems may arise with your luggage. The goal of traveling while pregnant is to reduce any stress-related incidences that can occur.
FYI: Should you choose to travel alone during your pregnancy, or may have limited help, be reminded that you may want to pack as lightly as possible. This would ensure that you are able to bring your luggage safely without any unnecessary strain or stress on your body.
TIP 10: DON'T FORGET ESSENTIAL PREGNANCY-RELATED MEDICATIONS AND SUPPLIES
Don't forget to pack your pregnancy-related medication and supplies for example prenatal vitamins etc, nausea medications, etc.
Also, be sure to carry any prescribed medications, especially if traveling internationally. It will be difficult to have anything prescribed in another country, so be sure to have everything medical-related with you.
TIP 11: PACK ENOUGH PANDEMIC RELATED SUPPLIES
It's good to have as much as you may need for your trip to avoid having to purchase anything because of a possible shortage in supply that can happen in the busy tourist season.
Pack enough sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizers. I like to have the small portable clip-on hand sanitizers available for when there is not enough access to public sanitizers at your location or destination. Pack enough face masks for travel. I prefer disposables, which are easy to use and then toss right away since it may be harder to keep the cloth one's clean while traveling.
TIP 12: PACK YOUR OWN BLANKETS AND SUPPLIES
Before covid-19, blankets, and supplies were readily available, especially on international flights. Now, this may not be the case anymore. Many airlines are offering limited services aboard their flights and as a result, you may have to bring whatever you need onboard.
I, therefore, recommended packing an extra small blanket for travel and your own supplies (e.g. earphones, toiletries, etc.).
TIP 13: BRING YOUR OWN SNACKS AND WATER
I don't like traveling with any liquids, especially if I am short on time to catch a flight. However, when you are pregnant, quick access to snacks will be so helpful and convenient for you to have as you go. I usually just get snacks wherever we travel to just for the convenience of it, and to reduce our travel load and pounds (I refuse to pay for an overweight suitcase).
This time however because of the pandemic, many stores, restaurants, or areas are closed or have limited access. It is, therefore, best to have snacks and water with you should there be limited options available at your location.
DURING YOUR TRIP
TIP 14: ARRIVE EARLIER THAN NORMAL
Arriving earlier than normal for airports travels is essential especially when you are pregnant. Make every effort to get there on time just to be able to relax and breathe right before take-off.
Be reminded that delays at the airport may be longer as a result of social distancing, taking precautions, etc.
TIP 15: POST TRAVEL DAY OF REST
Traveling to your location can be exhausting especially when you're pregnant. Airport travel, layovers, unexpected delays can happen.
Plan for a day of limited activity to get rest before doing anything more active eg. sightseeing, road trips, etc.
TIP 16: CHECK FOR RESTROOM ACCESS EVERYWHERE YOU GO
I don't know if this is my mommy instinct that kicks in, but everywhere I go, as soon as I arrive I check my location for the nearest restroom and the ease of access.
Now it is twice amplified during this time of pregnancy as it provides easier access to the need for frequent restroom access especially in the later months of pregnancy. It also reduces the stress of always having to go on a treasure hunt for a bathroom nearby.
TIP 17: KNOW YOUR LIMITS
Be aware of your limits when traveling. I know that it is so easy to get caught in the moment of fun and excitement that we sometimes forget that we are pregnant. Therefore be extra cautious with the activities that you do and the choices in food that you make.
If something does not feel right do not hesitate to get help or take the necessary precautions. Your health and safety, and your child's health and safety should be a priority.
TIP 18: MAY HAVE LIMITED RESTAURANT AVAILABILITY AND SEATING
Depending on your location of choice for travel, expect that there may or may not be restaurants fully opened and functioning. Some restaurants are still temporarily closed while others may be opened only for take-out or contactless delivery.
Some open restaurants, only provide limited seating, therefore expect major wait times and also longer service times. That is definitely a hassle especially when pregnant and needing to eat more frequently.
Therefore have more than enough snacks at hand available when this happens.
FYI: When visiting the major cities that have more popular restaurants, I would suggest finding more restaurants outside of the city that may not have a longer wait time based on the capacity for seating guests.
AFTER YOUR TRIP
TIP 19: SCHEDULE A POST-TRIP TIME OFF
Schedule the time off for no travel or work after your trip for a day or more preferably, just to get yourself settled back into a routine. Also, use it as a time to rest, and recuperate from any jet lag, leg swelling, etc. that may occur during traveling.
It can also give you some time to check for any temperature changes, sniffles, stomach issues, that can happen after a trip. You don't want to just go back into your normal routine right away.
TIP 20: LIMIT VISITS FROM FAMILY AND FRIENDS
I know this is very difficult to do at times, but it is necessary to just take a momentary break from everyone especially after traveling for just a while.
It is a precautionary measure that can be done to ensure everyone's safety, including you and your child.
If you are planning an upcoming trip or family vacation, I do hope that this blog post will be helpful for you. I really want you to be aware of everything that I can help you with based on my own experiences to ensure a smoother transition during pregnancy.
Did you find the strategies listed in this article helpful? What were some of your favorite tips? How have they worked for you? Leave a comment below, I’d love to know what you think.
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