Are you worried about traveling pregnant? You don’t have to be! Follow these tips for traveling when you are pregnant to stay safe and comfortable!
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When I was 12 weeks pregnant with my oldest, I flew from Seattle to Florence, Italy with my in-laws for a big family trip.
I was so nervous about the the long flight!
So, being the over-researcher that I am, I scoured Google and Pinterest looking for tips from other moms on how to manage flying while pregnant.
I was just crossing over from 1st trimester to 2nd trimester, but my nausea was still popping up at the most inconvenient times.
So, I made sure to pack lots of ginger chews and sit in a bulkhead seat, just in case I needed to race to the lavatory!
The flight ended up being a piece of cake and Florence while pregnant is fantastic!
We took lots of breaks at museums, stopped at multiple cafes daily for freshly squeezed orange juice (it’s amazing in Italy!), and we took lengthy siestas back in our hotel.
Being pregnant slowed down my usual pace and it was nice to take my time and really enjoy being in Italy.
Let me tell you, it was one of the most relaxing weeks and I’m so happy that I decided to go!
Don’t let being pregnant stop you from traveling, just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you can’t do it.
There are just a few extra precautions and extra preparations that you’ll need to make beforehand to keep you and baby safe and comfortable.
Find out 21 pregnancy essentials to pack, click here!9 Traveling While Pregnant Tips
1. Choose the Destination Carefully and Make Sure the Area is Safe for Traveling
In countries where the Zika virus and malaria outbreaks are occurring, travel is not recommended for pregnant women.
It’s also recommended that you don’t travel to anywhere that you need to be vaccinated for.
If you do need to go somewhere that you may need vaccinations for, make sure they are up to date.
Depending on where you’re visiting, your provider might recommend the necessary vaccinations and precautions you will need to take in the area.
If you’re unsure, you can always find a list of areas that pose a risk to pregnant women by visiting the CDC website.
Find out my top Zika-free babymoon spots!
2. Timing is Everything
The general rule for traveling while pregnant is to do it during the middle of your pregnancy. After the first trimester and before the third trimester.
In your first trimester, you may experience morning sickness due to the increased hormones in your body.
This can lead to vomiting, which is never fun when trying to travel.
In the third trimester your baby has grown quite a bit, so your stomach is larger making it harder to get comfortable. You’re also in a higher risk category in your third trimester.
I was 5 months pregnant at Disneyland during my last pregnancy and it was perfect timing! I got to indulge in Dole Whip and Churros and do cute baby announcements with Mickey!
If you plan on flying, be sure to check with the airline first because most airlines will not let you travel after 36 weeks, some have even earlier cutoff times.
This will vary by the airline company and your place of travel (like international flights), so before you book your ticket, ask the airline what restrictions they have when flying.
3. Get the Okay from the Doctor
While most providers don’t have any problems with traveling during pregnancy, it’s always best to check with them first.
Most will recommend that women who have had any pregnancy complications or are considered high risk do not travel.
I had pregnancy complications with my first pregnancy and we canceled our trip to Istanbul, just to be safe. You don’t want to blame yourself if something goes wrong.
Your doctor may also be able to give you nausea and gas remedies if you need them.
If you’re prone to motion sickness or experience this during your pregnancy, the nausea medicine will be a life saver during your flight.
It might be worth while to get a copy of your prenatal chart, any important information, and a letter of okay with your due date from your doctor.
These will be important if any medical problems or emergencies arise while you are traveling.
Before you get to your location, do some research on the local hospitals or medical facilities so you can be prepared for anything that may happen.
Hopefully it doesn’t, but it’s good to always have a “just in case” plan ready.
4. Stay Hydrated, Eat Healthy, and Avoid the Germs
When you are pregnant water evaporates easier from your skin, which means it can be easier to get dehydrated.
Drinking as much water as you can will help keep you hydrated and help you from becoming sick. Refillable water bottles will be your best friend during your trip.
Eating healthy is extremely important when you’re pregnant. Skip fast food travel meals and bring lots of healthy snacks.
If you do eat out, choose for the healthier options on the menu.
I always crave local produce when we travel! And I find out what dishes they are known for and then double check that I can have it.
But, definitely treat yourself! I mean, you can’t go to Italy and not eat gelato!
Avoiding germs at the airport or in the plane is almost impossible.
5. Request Early Boarding if you are Flying
If you’re further along in your pregnancy, it can be a challenge to walk around the airport or stand in line for a long period of time. Airlines usually offer early boarding for those who are pregnant.
This is really handy if you are traveling by yourself and need to put your carry on bag in the overhead compartment. With more people carrying on luggage, the overhead bins get full so much quicker!
Wheelchairs can also be requested if you think you will have a difficult time walking or standing for a long period of time.
When you request a wheelchair, an escort will help you get to the boarding area and help you to the plane. This will also make carrying or tugging along your carry-on easier as you get through the airport.
Find out the most durable, lightweight luggage set.
6. Choose the Aisle Seat on the Plane
Ah, the joy of that baby pushing down on your bladder and suddenly having the urge to go to the bathroom every hour!
Choosing an aisle seat can make it easier on you, and other passengers, when you must get up and down.
Plus, you get a little extra room to be able to stretch your legs or get into a more comfortable position.
If you don’t need to put a bag in the seat in front of you, look into getting a bulkhead seat. These are great because you don’t have to squeeze into your seat.
7. Wear Comfortable Clothing
Whether you’re flying or riding in the car be sure to wear comfortable clothing. You’ll want something loose-fitting and soft for maximum comfortability.
Personally, I always fly in a maternity maxi dress when I’m pregnant. There isn’t an uncomfortable waistband and it makes me feel stylish!
Shoes that are flat and slip off and on easily will make it easier for you to get through security and keep you more comfortable throughout your trip.
If you’re taking a long flight or drive, support compression stockings to help reduce the risk of developing a DVT is suggested by many doctors.
Another good tip would be to walk around the cabin often or make plenty of stops to move around so you can stretch and keep the blood flowing.
This is another reason having an aisle seat is a good idea.
8. Plan Enough Time so You’re Not Rushing
It is exhausting being pregnant, so you want to make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get where you need to go.
Leave early so that you are not in such a rush and tiring yourself out even more.
Airport security lines can be super crowded (especially in peak travel times) and you won’t want to be nervous about missing your flight.
If you’ve been considering Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check, now is the time to get it! You’ll save so much time in the security lines.
Check with your credit card company, because some will even cover the cost!
We have a Nexus pass, which gives us both Global Entry and TSA Pre-Check and it’s been a lifesaver!
If you’re driving, giving yourself plenty of time to make rest stops and bathroom breaks will be helpful.
9. Know Your Insurance Policies and Airport Policies when Traveling While Pregnant
Check with your health insurance policy to see what kind of out of the country benefits might be available just in case there are any complications.
You might also want to have the airport policy for flying when you’re pregnant up and ready to go on your phone.
You can request not to go through the scanners and instead be patted down.
If an employee tries to argue with you about the policy, you can quickly bring it up on your phone. Unfortunately, it does happen, so if you’re prepared it will be less stressful for you.
Before you go on any trip, whether traveling by car or plane, always speak with your OB-GYN first to make sure there are no complications to be concerned about. I can’t stress that enough!
It’s always best to be safe.
By being prepared and knowing the policies, the travel process will be easier on both you and baby.
Doing a babymoon is a great way to celebrate your expanding family and I can’t recommend them enough!
Whether it’s an international trip, or a quick drive from your home, setting aside time to relax and be present is a great way to commemorate your pregnancy!
Are you planning a trip while pregnant? Where are you going?