Over the course of three pregnancies, I’ve done a fair bit of traveling while pregnant. Nothing hugely exotic or crazy. But, there have been a few trips requiring plane flights of a few hours and road trips that lasted up to 8 hours. In fact this time last year, I was very pregnant and had recently returned from a trip to Disneyland at 34 weeks pregnant. Since many of you are in the midst of summer fun travel plans, here are 10 tips for traveling while pregnant:
1. Talk to your Dr. First and foremost, if you’re planning on traveling while pregnant it’s a good idea to consult your doctor regarding your particular pregnancy, trip timing, and any concerns. The travel distance may impact your doctor’s recommendations.
2. Have important numbers, cards, & documents! It’s a good idea to make sure that you have your OB’s number with you (or maybe programmed into your phone), your insurance card, and any important documents you might need. Sometimes doctors will even send a copy of your chart with you just in case something should happen while you’re gone. Keeping all of this information with your travel documents is a good idea just to play it safe.
3. Do some destination research. Make sure you know a few things about your travel destination ahead of time. Is there a major elevation difference? Are there any travel restrictions? Is the water safe to drink? Where is the nearest hospital? etc. Even when just traveling in the U.S., sometimes issues can arise. Last year, many of us attended a blogging conference in Salt Lake City, which has MUCH high altitude than many of the gals in sea-level states are used to. A few of us pregnant gals struggled with the first signs of elevation sickness and one pregnant mama even ended up in the ER. So, just do a little research in advance!
4. Think second trimester! If at all possible, the second trimester is definitely the best time to travel. For me, 18 weeks through about 28 weeks are usually when I’m feeling the absolute best. So, those are prime travel weeks if you can swing it.
5. Water, water, water! Drinking plenty of water is always important during pregnancy, but especially so when you’re traveling. Staying well-hydrated can help with the swelling (and it actually helps with elevation sickness too!) So, drinking lots of water can help keep you feeling a bit more comfortable (though of course there is the downside of needing more frequent potty breaks!).
6. Take breaks! If you’re drinking lots of water, this is probably a given! But, make sure you stop & take a little rest whenever you need it (or even before you do). Take opportunities to sit down on benches, take in a show, head back to the hotel for a rest, and/or seek out some slow-paced activities.
7. Wear good shoes. A comfortable shoe with good support is for sure a MUST, especially if you are further along. If you’re going to be on you’re feet for any length of time, definitely go for support & comfort over appearance.
8. Pack healthy snacks. There are definitely healthy snacks that you can find to buy while you’re traveling. But, the reality is they are often hard to find and overpriced depending on where you are. Packing some can help save the budget, help the weight gain, and help the swelling. After all, a lot of the convenience snacks are really high in sodium, which can really impact the pregnancy swelling!
9. Plan ahead & give yourself extra time. Needless to say, you might not be quite as quick on your feet as usual. In fact, you might be doing the pregnancy waddle everywhere–especially if you’re farther along. So, just know that you might not be able to do quite as much as usual or at the same pace. Planning for that is helpful!
10. Take a picture! So many mamas out there seem to not like their pregnancy appearance, but I say embrace it! Make sure you take a picture to show off that baby bump at your destination. Your baby will LOVE looking at it someday!
What are YOUR best tips for traveling during pregnancy?