As most women who are currently, or have been, with child will likely tell you, being pregnant doesn’t have to mean putting your life on hold. Whether you’re heading out on a dream babymoon or embarking on the road trip of a lifetime, it can totally be done, provided you’re properly prepared. From recommended travel guidelines to hints on how to keep comfortable, read on for our guide to how to successfully travel during pregnancy.
Check With Your Caregiver
Before you set out on your trip of a lifetime, you need to check in with your midwife or doctor to ensure that you’re good to go. Generally speaking, you’re typically safe to travel up until somewhere in your 3rd trimester but this varies from woman to woman and it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Ensure You’re Insured
Let the recent story of the Canadian woman who gave birth in Hawaii (to the tune of a cool million dollars) be a lesson to you. Always check your insurance before you book your plane tickets. Depending on where you’re from and which insurance company you’re with, your coverage may vary and the last thing you want to is to believe you’re covered for something only to find out that you’re not.
Stress and travel tend to go hand in hand but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to mitigate potential roadblocks. Take advantage of the time leading up to your holiday by taking a few easy steps to ensure a seamless trip. If you’re traveling by plane, call ahead and see if you can reserve a bulkhead seat (extra room is always good) and request a meal that you know you won’t have an aversion to. Book your long-term parking well in advance to avoid any last minute panic. Make restaurant reservations to ensure you get a table, check with the hotel to be sure you have the room you want, and find out about buying tickets to any shows or museums in advance. You’ll end up saving time and potential headaches.
Whether you’re traveling across the ocean or across the state, you need to make sure that you stay well hydrated and nourished throughout the entirety of your trip. No one likes to go hungry or thirsty but it’s especially important for pregnant women to stay on top of their nutrition at all times. Keep a water bottle or two on hand and pack some low-fuss snacks like fruit, nuts, wholegrain crackers, or granola bars. That way, if you’re caught up in an unexpected delay or just can’t find a suitable place to stop for a bite, you know that you’re covered.
Temper Your Expectations
No matter how healthy you’ve been throughout your pregnancy, chances are you tire more easily than you used to. It’s hard work growing a baby and your body needs all the rest it can get. Maybe you used to be able to hit half a dozen galleries in a given day and then make a late dinner reservation. Chances are attempting the same feat now will leave you wiped. Know your limits and don’t feel bad if you don’t get as much done as you want to. What’s most important is that you stay well-rested. Those statues and monuments will still be there after the baby is born.
Avoid Unnecessary Risks
This probably goes without saying but your 6th month of pregnancy is not the time to try paragliding. Even if you’re always up for a new adventure, try to exercise a little extra caution when it comes to trying new things. Activities that are relatively safe for most people can pose extra risks to pregnant women and as any soon-to-be mother will tell you, no risk is worth the potentially harmful outcome. Skip the downhill skiing, amusement park rides, horseback riding, and soaks in the hot tub. Instead, indulge in a pregnancy-safe spa treatment, curl up by the chalet fire with a hot chocolate and good book, or just take advantage of your time off to do nothing at all.
If you’re heading somewhere tropical (lucky you!), you may need to get vaccinated against certain diseases and infections. During pregnancy, not every vaccine is safe and you need to do your due diligence to ensure that the ones that you require are safe for you and your baby. Talk to your midwife or doctor before getting your shot and be sure to tell the person administering the vaccine that you’re pregnant.
Some people will tell you that this will be the last time you’ll really get to relax. Don’t worry, it’s absolutely untrue. Babies are a lot of work but they’re also a lot of fun and by no means does becoming a parent require forfeiting travel for the next 18 years. That being said, you’ve been carrying a tiny human inside of you and you deserve to take it easy. Plan activities that make you happy, that alleviate stress, and that will have you return home feeling calm and refreshed. Traveling during pregnancy can be a wonderful experience, enjoy it!
Who is Kate Walker? She’s a freelance writer, yoga addict, and citizen of the concrete jungle. When not on the mat, Kate can be found at the dog park or on the dock in Muskoka. She is also pretty fond of running, skiing, and Settlers of Catan.
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