Whether you’re getting there by plane, train, or automobile, traveling while pregnant definitely benefits from forethought and careful planning. While there’s certainly no reason to sit at home, you should take certain precautions to make sure that your trip is healthy, safe, and comfortable for both you and your new baby. Here are some tips on how to make pregnancy travel easier and more enjoyable, as well as advice for which activities are best left off the itinerary.
Before You Go
Check in with your doctor. Make sure you have the official go-ahead to travel from your doctor. Many heath care providers suggest that new moms-to-be consider traveling during the second trimester, when the risk of miscarriage and premature labor is at its lowest.
Find a hospital or medical clinic near wherever you are traveling. You’ll want to know where medical assistance can be found if you need it. If traveling internationally, refer to the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers for a worldwide directory of doctors.
Check in with the airline. Certain airlines have restrictions or regulations about traveling while pregnant, so make sure yours knows you have a baby on board.
Traveling by Air
Request an aisle seat. This makes it much easier to take those frequent trips to the bathroom.
Move around. Get up out of your seat and walk up and down the aisle at least once every couple of hours to promote circulation.
Drink plenty of water. Flying can cause dehydration, so keep sipping on water throughout the flight.
Traveling on Land
Pack plenty of healthy snacks. Roadside fare isn’t always nutritious or appealing, so it's wise to pack your own food to help stave off nausea and to keep you and your new baby fueled along the way.
Dress in layers. While pregnant, your body temperature is constantly changing, and it’s a good idea to be able to remove or add clothing as necessary.
Limit driving time. If traveling by car, aim for driving no more than five or six hours each day, and make frequent stops to get out and stretch your legs.
Activities to Avoid While Away
Bicycling. The shifting center of gravity affects balance, especially after the first trimester.
Scuba Diving. As you surface, air bubbles can form in your bloodstream, which can be very dangerous to both you and your new baby.
Downhill skiing, horseback riding, surfing, and waterskiing. Any activity that poses a high risk for falling should be avoided, as a tumble may increase the risk of trauma to your abdomen.
Remember, women all over the world travel while pregnant. As long as you take the proper precautions, there’s no reason not to schedule a getaway before your new baby is born!