Are you planning one last getaway with your partner before your baby arrives? Maybe you planned that cruise to the Bahamas right before you found out you were pregnant? Or maybe you’re traveling for work? Travel can be stressful. Add in pregnancy and the stress level can climb. If you’re pregnant and traveling, there are some things you can do to help ensure a smooth, relaxing experience.
Six Tips for Traveling While Pregnant
- Talk to your doctor. In most cases, travel should not be a problem until late pregnancy, but it’s always a good idea to run the idea by your medical provider. Some airlines don’t allow travel after 36 weeks and might ask for a doctor’s note in late pregnancy. You can also discuss the need for any special vaccines due to international travel.
- Bring your medical records with you. If you have to see a doctor on your travels, it’ll save time to have a copy of your records on hand rather than requesting they be faxed over. Also, go ahead and program your OB’s phone number into your phone and that of your traveling companion for easy access.
- Don’t fear airport screening. Walk-through scanner and metal detectors use non-ionizing radiation instead of X-rays and should be safe for pregnant travelers. However, if you aren’t comfortable with the idea, you can ask for a pat-down instead.
- Plan to stretch your legs often. If you’re flying, try to get an aisle seat to make getting out of your seat easier, and aim for a walk to the bathroom at least once an hour. If you’re driving, plan to stop pretty frequently at rest stops. Getting up and being mobile will help avoid any circulation issues. If you’re already experiencing some swelling, compression socks might help (check with your provider).
- Consider trip insurance. Babies come when they want, and complications may arise. If you have to cancel your trip due to going into labor, or a medical complication, you’ll be covered.
- Pack hand sanitizer or wipes. This is especially important if you’re on a cruise, in an airport, or stopping at public rest areas on the highway. Being proactive with handwashing and wiping down areas such as armrests or airplane tray tables can be helpful in warding off viruses like the Norovirus that can cause severe diarrhea and/or vomiting.
Traveling while pregnant is doable. Once you have a plan in place, relax and enjoy your trip…because, babies are easier to travel with when they’re on the inside!