Pregnant and planning on traveling?
Congratulations! Pregnancy is an amazing time and you should definitely make the most of it before your little bundle of joy arrives in this world.
Well, just because you’re pregnant, doesn’t mean you can’t travel. I traveled a lot during my pregnancy and visited 7 different countries. I also traveled a few times within the country of my current residence – Germany. Oh, and I went to a music festival too!
I’m not trying to brag here, but just letting you know that you can do this too. If you love to travel, then your pregnancy shouldn’t hold you back from it. Instead, you should do exactly what YOU want to do if your health permits – with just a few restrictions for the sake of your health. You may just have to change a few things about the way you travel.
Considering how much I traveled during my pregnancy, I have many tips for you if you’re traveling when pregnant.
Check with your Doctor
Every pregnancy is different. In some rare cases, the doctors may ask you to be on complete bed rest. If this is the case, then please listen to him and do exactly as he says.
If your doctor has given you a green light for traveling, then read the rest of this post for my top tips to travel during pregnancy.
When to Travel in Pregnancy
The first trimester isn’t too bad for traveling but can be hard because of morning sickness. By the time you finish the third month, your morning sickness will most likely be over.
The second trimester of the pregnancy is generally the easiest and hence the best time to travel. During the fourth, fifth and the sixth months, you will have a lot of energy. This is the time when I did most of my traveling.
The last three months are generally not considered to be the best months to travel because you will get tired easily. Because of more weight on your stomach, your posture will change and you may suffer from back pain. This is the time when your doctor may ask you to just stay at home.
Pack Light. And Ditch Your Backpack
If there’s just one thing that my doctor told me I shouldn’t do during pregnancy, it was lifting heavy things. This would be the right time to ditch your backpack and carry a suitcase instead.
I always traveled very light and often repeated my outfits. My stuff was light, because of which I ended up never carrying a suitcase. I carried a backpack, but it was difficult to carry it when I went to the Czech Republic. This was during the seventh month of my pregnancy and regretted it. It was a press trip and I was so embarrassed when the rep from Czech Tourism always carried my bag for me.
If you have always been a fact paced traveler, then your pregnancy is the best time to slow down. Don’t pack your itinerary too much and don’t even try to visit every landmark. Sometimes it is more fun to do just one thing in a day and do it really well.
Carry healthy snacks and water
Sometimes there can be delays when you travel and you may get stuck somewhere without lunch. Carry a few healthy snacks in your bag like nuts, granola bars, fruits, muesli, etc.
Skipping meals is one of the worst things you can do when you’re pregnant. If your stomach is empty for a long time during the first trimester, you will feel nauseated. In the next two trimesters, a late meal will make you feel very weak.
Morning Sickness? Ginger tea helps
Morning sickness doesn’t just occur in the mornings but can stay till late evenings. It is one of the reasons why many women don’t travel in their early pregnancy months.
Everyone has a different way of dealing with morning sickness. My doctor mentioned ginger tea and it actually helped. Another thing that helped me was the awesome smell of citrus oils.
Take a REAL BREAK with your partner
Let’s face it, taking care of small babies is HARD WORK and is far from a break. Your pregnancy is the best time for you (and your partner) to take a real break together before the baby enters your lives.
Go ahead and enjoy each other’s company, relax a little, think about baby names that you both like and just spend a lot of time hugging. This way, you can try to prepare yourself for that big change in your lives.
No Heavy Dinners, especially during the third trimester
During the last months, your baby will grow in size and your womb will take up most of the area in the middle part of your body. Many of your organs will move away to make space for the growing fetus. Because of this, you may suffer from gas reflux. It can get worse if you eat a heavy meal or eat too late in the day.
As for me, I was only able to eat salads for dinner during the last three months. Everything else kind of made me want to vomit at night. There were actually times when I woke up in the middle of the night just to puke because the dinner wasn’t exactly light.
Air travel in Pregnancy
There are a lot of things people told me about traveling on an airplane when pregnant. The most common thing I heard was that the cabin pressure isn’t good for pregnant women. I asked three different doctors and 2 midwives, they all said that’s not true at all.
Most of the airlines will ask for a letter from your doctor if flying when pregnant over 6 months. This is just the standard protocol that they follow. You should anyway visit your doctor before every single trip for a regular check up and confirm if you’re good to go. In most cases, your doctor will say it’s no problem except during the last few weeks. You should anyway not travel after week 36. Many babies arrive early and you don’t want to deliver yours on an airplane without any doctor – do you?
International travel while pregnant
International Travel shouldn’t be a concern when you’re pregnant, except if you’re heading to a country where any disease is prevalent for which you’re not vaccinated. In most of the cases, it would be the yellow fever countries in Africa and South America.
Wear Comfortable Shoes and Clothes
Pamper yourself and give comfort the top priority when you’re packing your outfits. Soft leggings or tights work very well with long tank tops or tunics. Sundresses and maxi-dresses look great in summers and are usually very comfortable.
Guess what, most of the maternity dresses ALSO convert into nursing dresses so that they can be worn not just during you’re pregnancy, but also when you have to breastfeed your little one. Invest in at least one or two good maternity tunics / dresses.
No matter what I wore, I always made sure my feet were super comfortable. I loved wearing my Crocs arc support wedges, which are pretty decent looking unlike the (in)famous Crocs clogs.
Don’t forget to carry your supplements
During pregnancy, your doctor will ask you to take daily supplements of folic acid and/or iron and magnesium. These supplements are important for your baby’s development and your health. Make sure you carry them and a few extra doses when you’re traveling during pregnancy.
Stay away from negativity
Many well-wishing relatives or friends may try to discourage you from traveling. They mean well because they’re usually worried for you. Let them know that your doctor says it is ok. You don’t have to share your travel plans with those who unnecessarily stress you out. Stay away from energy sucking people who give you negative vibes.
The Magic of Coconut Oil
Stretch marks can be avoided to some extent. Everyone told me that no matter how much they used things like Shea Butter, they still got stretch marks. People also mentioned that it depends on the genes. My mom has them and so does my sister, but I didn’t get them at all.
My aim was to prevent stretch-marks as much as possible and I ended up preventing them completely. I used coconut oil on my skin every single day from the second trimester onward. It wasn’t even fancy or expensive coconut oil, it was just the simple one that can also be used for cooking. Apart from this, I also ate nutritious food instead of just fatty and sugary things.
Take care of your body when you’re pregnant. When you’re traveling while pregnant, make sure you carry coconut oil.
ALWAYS carry your Mutterpass [or a copy of pregnancy documents]
Living in Germany, I was given a small handbook that’s called Mutterpass (mother’s pass). I was asked to carry it everywhere so that it can be used in case of emergencies.
Depending on your country, you will also be given a document with important information about your pregnancy. Make sure you carry this with you all the time.
What to expect when you’re expecting – the Book
At the start of my pregnancy, my sister gifted me the pregnancy bible – What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Because of her, I finally read a book the old fashioned way instead of a digital print.
This book had an answer to every single question that I had about being pregnant. The book is divided into different trimesters and is further divided into weeks. There is information about the weekly growth of the baby and the changes in the body.
I always traveled with this book and I recommend it to you as well.
Always check with your doctor before you travel when you’re pregnant. Take things easy and relax while traveling and let it be a real “vacation”.
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