Planning to go on a trip while pregnant? Pregnancy is generally a safe time to travel, but it has its own unique challenges and there’re certain things you need to take into consideration.
When to travel?
During the first trimester many women feel constantly tired and then, there’s the dreaded morning sickness (also known, more accurately, as all-day sickness). If you’re experiencing these symptoms, you won’t enjoy your holiday as much or not at all. The best time to go is the second trimester, when hopefully the morning sickness will be behind you and your energy will have returned. The fatigue is likely to make a comeback during the third semester along with the heavier weight.
Something else to keep in mind when you’re planning an overseas trip is travel insurance. While many airlines will let you fly up to 36 weeks, travel insurance companies will not cover you for pregnancy past 26-30 weeks (double check with your travel insurance provider), so any complications after that can be costly.
What to bring?
Comfortable flat shoes are a must, especially if you’re planning to do a lot of walking. Pack clothes that will allow for your changing size. Pick cotton and natural materials to keep you cool and comfortable. If you have room, bring your favourite pillow.
Acupressure bands are great to have to reduce morning sickness, but also car and sea sickness, which you may become more prone to during pregnancy. If you’re finding yourself grazing all day to fight the nausea, make room for some of your favourite snacks. Also, have a bottle of water. You won’t be able to take it with you on the plane, but it’ll come in handy if you’re travelling by any other mode of transport.
How to make travelling while pregnant work for you?
Don’t overload your itinerary with tours and activities. Your energy levels won’t be the same as usual, so go slow and allow for plenty of rest. Even if you’re an adrenalin junkie, opt out of some adventure activities this time. Instead, choose something you won’t be able to do as easily once the baby arrives, even if it’s just dressing up and going for a nice dinner.
Avoid activities that put you at risk of falling like skiing, snowboarding or surfing. Even if you feel like a pro, you can never control what anyone else is doing around you and the stress of keeping yourself and your baby safe takes the whole joy out of the activity. (Ask me how I know. I endured a few dreadful hours of skiing and a near collision before finally calling it a day.)
Be sensible with food and stick to the pregnancy guidelines, even if you’re very tempted to try something local, but not entirely safe to eat.
Choose the activities you want to do and use your pregnancy card, if you have to. You’re only pregnant for such a short time (even if it may not feel so when you’re in the middle of it), so make the most of it!
Image by Frank de Kleine via Flickr.com