Becoming a mother is a magical journey filled with miracles and challenges. Pregnancy can transform your daily routine, but it doesn’t mean you have to forego your wanderlust and remain homebound. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), it’s generally safe to travel until you’re 36 weeks pregnant. So why not seize the opportunity to explore the world before your little one’s arrival?
1. Optimal Travel Time During Pregnancy
The ACOG suggests that the best period for expectant moms to travel is between 14 and 28 weeks, basically, the middle of your pregnancy. This is because most common pregnancy complications occur during the first and third trimesters. In the midpregnancy phase, your energy levels are usually back, morning sickness is most likely gone, and it is still easy to move around. If possible, try to schedule your travel dates avoiding the initial and final stages of pregnancy for a more comfortable journey. However, in the event of giving birth abroad (or maybe that’s your intention), you can apply for US passport for a child born abroad.
2. Always Have a Backup Plan
Before you embark on your journey, it’s crucial to consult with your doctor and get a green signal for travel. Robert Quigley, senior vice president at International SOS, suggests researching medical facilities in the vicinity of your travel destination. This would ensure that you’re not scrambling to find a place to go in case of an emergency.
Plan ahead by identifying nearby hospitals, locating pharmacies, and additional prenatal resources in your destination. This plan should also include a communication strategy for your loved ones, and an evacuation plan to upgrade your healthcare in case of a complication.
3. Invest in Travel Insurance
Travel insurance that includes medical coverage is a must-have, especially when traveling to a destination where your regular health insurance may not apply. Travel writer and mom Natalie Preddie, who blogs at NattyPOnline.com, shares her experiences of facing a medical emergency while traveling and emphasizes the importance of having health insurance.
4. Carry Your Medical Records
Nurse midwife Lee Roosevelt from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, recommends carrying a copy of your pregnancy-related medical records during your journey. This can expedite any medical care you might need and provide you with peace of mind.
5. Prevention of Common Health Problems
Pregnancy increases the risk of certain health problems like blood clots. Prolonged sitting during travel can further enhance this risk. Lee Roosevelt suggests taking frequent walking breaks, ideally every few hours, even while on an airplane.
Investing in compression socks for air travel can also help prevent swelling, blood clots, and more.
6. Stay Hydrated
Hydration is key for maintaining your wellness during pregnancy. Dehydration can amplify feelings of sickness and put you at risk for pre-term contractions. Carry a refillable water bottle to ensure you stay hydrated, whether you’re traveling by road or air.
7. Pack Nutritious Snacks
Airports may not always offer healthy dining options, and the available options could be expensive. Packing your own healthy snacks, like dried fruits and vegetables, whole grain toast, or crackers can be a lifesaver.
8. Keep Car Rides Short
If you’re planning a road trip, try to break up your travel over several days. This can help you avoid sitting for long periods, which can lead to swelling, blood clots, and other pregnancy-related complications. The ACOG also advises pregnant women to wear the seatbelt low on the hipbones, below the belly.
9. Select an Aisle Seat When Flying
If flying is a part of your travel plan, opt for an aisle seat. This will allow you to get up and move around comfortably, and provide easy access to the restroom for your frequent bathroom breaks.
10. Don’t Over-Schedule
While sightseeing can be exciting, remember that your energy levels might be lower during pregnancy. Plan your itinerary with plenty of breaks and downtime. Consider planning a relaxation-themed trip, such as a spa getaway or an all-inclusive resort visit.
11. Choose Your Destination Wisely
Be aware of the seasonal weather trends at your travel destination. Researching weather patterns can help you find a destination with suitable weather for your pregnant self.
12. Carry a First-Aid Kit
Carrying a first-aid kit equipped with medicine for common pregnancy-related ailments like headaches, heartburn, bloating, gas, and nausea can be a great help.
Lastly, while most airlines allow you to fly until you’re 36 weeks pregnant, some international airlines may require a medical certificate. Be sure to check with your airline for any specific documentation before you travel. Enjoy your journey, and remember, the less luggage you carry, the smoother your trip will be!