Questions surrounding pregnancy travel come up a lot over in my DMs and just in general with the pregnant people in my life.
So many of us are interested in traveling, whether it’s to see family, go on a babymoon, work-related, or just an escape! But we all want to make sure we’re doing it safely!
Here we’re going to talk about safe travel during pregnancy, share some pregnancy travel tips to keep you feeling your best during your getaway, and address a little bit about babymoons too!
Are you ready to get your travel on? Then you’re in the right place!
- Travel safety during pregnancy
- Airplane travel during pregnancy
- Road trips during pregnancy
- Other tips for pregnancy travel
- You're pregnancy-travel ready!
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Travel safety during pregnancy
First off, make sure you talk to your provider about traveling before you travel – even if it’s in the car! They can provide specific guidelines for you in YOUR pregnancy.
They will be able to give you tips and advice for staying comfortable. But they will also be able to talk you through when to call and what to do if anything happens. You just never know what can happen in pregnancy, so it’s always best to communicate changes to your normal routine.
You’ll also want to make sure your destination is pregnancy-friendly from a health standpoint. Your provider can help you determine this, as well as the CDC website. At the broadest level, this means that the destination does not currently have a Zika outbreak and that COVID transmission levels are low.
Airplane travel during pregnancy
Can I fly during pregnancy?
So, the quick answer is that it depends on where you’re at in pregnancy, whether you are high-risk or not, and where you are going!
It’s true that most domestic airlines allow low-risk pregnant women to fly up to the 36th week of their pregnancy. But some airlines will request a travel certificate from your provider saying what week you are – so make sure to check if they need one!
International airlines all kind of differ based on the airline, flight duration, and destination. For this reason, I recommend calling directly to ask about their protocols. International flights almost always require a travel certificate.
If you are considered high-risk your provider may recommend you stop travel well before 36 weeks, so it’s important to have a chat with them.
How to stay comfortable flying
1. Stay hydrated
I know that whenever I fly, pregnant or not, I get super dehydrated. Embrace the fact that you are going to have to pee a lot and overcompensate. You will feel so much better and energized by upping your water intake while traveling.
What’s more, dehydration in pregnancy can lead to uterine cramping, Braxton Hicks, make swelling worse, and in extreme cases even preterm labor! So drink up, mama.
2. Book an aisle seat if possible
It is recommended to take walking and stretching breaks about every hour while flying. This helps prevent blood from pooling and can reduce swelling, which is a common complaint of many pregnant women who fly.
I also recommend wearing loose clothing and compression socks. These things will also help combat swelling and deep vein thrombosis too.
It’s also likely that you will need to take some additional trips to the bathroom. Having the aisle seat will make getting up a lot less of a hassle.
3. See if you can board early or upgrade to priority seating
Many airlines don’t explicitly state special arrangements for pregnant passengers, but if you say something at the desk when you arrive at your gate, I’m willing to bet some perks are coming your way.
Typically, this means preboarding, and they may be able to change your seat if there is availability. By boarding early you can ensure overhead storage space and room to navigate the tiny plane.
4. Take precautions against gas pains
Yes, this is a thing you should have on your radar! Avoid foods & drinks that can cause gas for you, and bring some gas medication just in case you need it on the flight.
Gas can be quite uncomfortable, and it expands in low air pressure in airplane cabins, which can cause you lots of discomforts!
Road trips during pregnancy
At a certain point in pregnancy, sitting in a car for long periods just isn’t going to be comfortable. So, if a road trip is on your bucket list, most experts recommend the second trimester or early third trimester – but this isn’t a hard and fast rule!
Similar to airplane travel tips, swelling and circulation can be an issue with being in the car for long periods of time. You want to make sure you’re staying well-hydrated and wearing loose-fitting clothing.
You’ll also want to plan to get out and stretch your legs at least every 2 hours to keep your blood flowing.
Related Reading: 8 Fun Things to do During Pregnancy
Other tips for pregnancy travel
1. Be mindful of general safety best practices
What do I mean here?
- Make sure that you are always wearing your seatbelt properly
- Follow general pregnancy safety recommendations re: activities and diet
- Be aware of the nearest hospital/urgent care clinic at your destination
- Wear sunscreen as appropriate
- Be mindful about your water intake
- Listen to your body!
2. Don’t over-plan and take breaks
With all of that baby-growing happening, you will get more tired than usual, no matter your point in pregnancy.
Don’t plan too many big outings and make sure to have a good mix of more active events and downtime. Take naps and be sure to put your feet up to avoid swelling.
3. Ask for help
If you’re pregnant and traveling, I advise you to play the pregnancy card! Seriously. I’m not one who wants extra attention all the time, but during pregnancy, it’s okay to ask for help!
Don’t be shy about asking for a seat on the train instead of standing, seeing if airlines can make extra accommodations, asking for help with luggage, or even if you can get a table a little sooner at that crowded restaurant.
4. What to pack
When it comes to pregnancy and travel – I highly recommend prioritizing comfort! And with all the great options these days you can definitely achieve style and comfort with ease. Some of my favorite options are from Kindred Bravely, Belly Bandit, and Amazon of course!
Bring some comfortable footwear, too! Especially if your travel involves lots of walking and exploring. A lot of women deal with swollen feet during pregnancy so a shoe with great arch support and a wide footbed is ideal. I’ve heard good things about BOBs actually.
You also don’t want to forget to pack your prenatal vitamins and other medications/supplements. This means prenatal vitamins and any other supplements or prescriptions you might be on during pregnancy. Make sure to bring a few extra days’ worth in case your travel plans are disrupted.
You’re pregnancy-travel ready!
The bottom line on pregnancy travel is to check in with your provider, drink lots of water, listen to you body, and keep safety in mind! The rest of the tips in this article will help fill in the gaps.
Now, you should be feeling calmer about your upcoming travel so that you can plan accordingly for a fun, comfortable, and most of all safe trip!
Bon voyage, mama!