Soon enough, your life will revolve around a new baby and finding time for yourself will be difficult. Before that happens, you and your partner should take the opportunity to enjoy some time away. As travel becomes easier, cheaper, and more widely available, “babymoons” are more viable than ever. Before you set out, here are a few tips for traveling while pregnant to help make your trip easier.
5 Tips for Traveling While Pregnant
- Consider your destination carefully before booking your trip. One of the first things you should do before traveling is determine what vaccines you may need. Following that line of thought, you’ll need to learn whether or not they are safe for pregnant women. The best way to do this is by talking to your doctor, but the CDC provides a resource for travelers. At the very least, keep up to date on your flu vaccine.Along a similar vein, make sure you check into the medical facilities at your destination. According to Parenting Magazine, most U.S. cities provide excellent neonatal care. However, if you’re traveling overseas, the level of medical care might not be comparable. Talk to someone at your hotel or embassy to get a list of reputable, quality medical professionals in the area. Finally, make sure to avoid places where you might be concerned with the quality of the food, water, or air.
- Make sure you’re safe to travel. Knowing when to travel can be crucial to your enjoyment of your trip. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends traveling during the second trimester, as it is the period during which pregnancy related medical emergencies are least likely to occur, according to Parenting Magazine. Dr. Jan Rydfors recommends trying to avoid traveling if you’re at 36 weeks or beyond. Many airlines set the cutoff date at 36 weeks, as well, though some place it earlier. Mostly, you want to make sure you’ll be comfortable and have enough energy to be able to enjoy your vacation.
- Talk to your doctor, obstetrician, or midwife before making any travel plans. This ties back into our first tip about vaccines. But you should address other issues with your doctor to make sure you’ll be safe and healthy during your trip. Depending on your destination and airline, it is a good idea to have your trusted medical professional provide you with a clearance note. At the very least it should contain written consent that you are safe to travel and your due date, but your doctor might want to include a copy of your prenatal chart. After reviewing your medical history and current condition, your doctor may restrict your travels.You’ll also want to discuss any additional medical concerns you might have before traveling. Pregnant women are more susceptible to infection, dehydration, and blood clots. Two of the best ways to stave off infection are to wash your hands frequently and to use hand sanitizer. Drinking plenty of water will help stave off any issues with dehydration, though Dr. Rydfors recommends pure coconut water if it does become a problem. Finally, since your blood clotting factors increase while pregnant, make sure to get up, walk around, or stretch to keep your blood circulating.
- You’re going on vacation to get away and enjoy yourself, so plan some activities at your destination. As a general rule, you should use your common sense when scheduling your activities. You don’t want to put your or your baby at risk, so you especially want to avoid activities that increase your risk of falling, which might injure the baby. Baby Centre provides a more extensive list, but a couple examples are rock climbing, horse riding, and skating. Other activities that increase your risk of complications are scuba diving and certain amusement park rides, such as water slides or roller coasters. Also, you should probably avoid any hot tubs or saunas, because you don’t want to overheat.With a list like that, it may seem like there isn’t anything you can do during your trip that might be fun, since you should also avoid alcohol. What you do depends on where you go, but consider making your trip an opportunity to pamper yourself. You could spend a day at the spa, get a manicure, or even meet with a consultant to make a perfume just for you. If you like being active, visit a zoo or see the local sights. Just make sure that you don’t wear yourself out. If you’re tired, let the people you’re with know that you need to take a break.
- Pack sensibly for your vacation. Look at the forecast for your destination and pack accordingly. You’ll want to be comfortable during your trip, so the right clothes and shoes are essential. Make sure you bring a pair of flats or gym shoes, especially if you plan to do a lot of walking. You’ll also want to bring clothes that will grow with you. Depending on your destination, you’ll also want essentials like sunscreen, a hat, or warm coat. If you’re going to be sitting for a while, either on a plane or in a car, consider bringing a travel pillow to help relieve back and neck pain.
Just because you’re pregnant there’s no reason you can’t make time for little getaway. With some careful consideration and planning, you can minimize any potential risks to you and your baby. So get out there and enjoy yourself before your new baby monopolizes your time.
Have you gone on a babymoon before your bundle of joy arrived? Share you trip or tips for traveling while pregnant with us and other expecting moms in the comments below.