Here’s the deal, I really like to travel- like a lot (duh right?) but something happens to me when I get pregnant. I actually get aversions to the very thought of traveling. I know it sounds crazy but its completely true. The idea of getting on a plane, packing a suitcase, or even booking a hotel makes me nauseous. Why? Because I have done it so many times when I was in my first trimester that my body remembers how awful it is.
This is just the first trimester, then the second trimester comes and I magically get my energy back and I’m ready to travel and do fun things again (and clean my house, and get ready for the day…). So don’t be discouraged if it’s early on and you are planning a trip for later and it sounds like the worst thing in the world. Some of my most favorite trips we have taken have occured when I was big as a house and pregnant.
Here are some pregnancy traveling tips that are trimester specific to hopefully make your journey more comfortable and enjoyable:
First trimester pregnancy traveling tips:
Don’t do it. Just kidding, often times it is unavoidable or if you are like me you plan a once in a lifetime Europe trip a year in advance not knowing you would get pregnant a month and a half before the trip. And some people (although I have yet to meet any) don’t get sick their first trimester. But to be kind on yourself and those who have to deal with you or sit near you, if you know you have rough “morning” sickness then just plan on staying home during this time.
If you do decide to travel (which I did a lot my first pregnancy), you will first want to check your insurance policy to see how being out of area affects your coverage. Hopefully being in first trimester then you won’t need this except in an emergency situation but it’s always best to be prepared.
To ease morning sickness sip cold drinks on the airplane such as ginger ale and sprite or bring lemon drops or jolly ranchers. I have heard that seasickness bands are also quite effective. Bring snacks that have carbs and protein included in them. Try to get an aisle seat towards the front of the plane so you have a quick path to the bathroom if needed. Be courteous to those around you, even though you are pregnant it’s still nice to be considerate of those who have to deal with you for the next few hours.
Sec0nd trimester traveling tips:
Hooray! This is usually the best and most enjoyable time to travel during your pregnancy. You hopefully are feeling better, getting your energy back and although you have a growing belly you are still comfortable and can breathe! This is the best time to plan babymoons and family trips.
Talk to your doctor before your trip and get a copy of your chart. This is just for Murphy’s law that if you have it you won’t need it, but always plan for the worst. Remember to pack your prenatal vitamins, snacks, and a water bottle. Stay hydrated and make sure you plan to make sure you get plenty of rest.
Third trimester traveling tips:
Traveling in your third trimester will be uncomfortable but it’s totally doable! My first pregnancy I was 35 weeks pregnant and we traveled to San Antonio in August and I attended Sea World. This time I will be 36 weeks and flying to Southern California for a wedding and Disneyland.
Its very important to check with your doctor before booking any trips in your third trimester. Your doctor may have specific restrictions on when they want you to stop traveling and depending on your situation you may be too high-risk to travel. During my second pregnancy I had placenta previa and was forbidden to travel at all. You will definitely want a copy of your chart and depending on the airline you are traveling with you may need a letter from your doctor stating it is ok for you to fly and you are not within their cutoff date. Also just like first trimester check with your insurance policy to see how being out of area will affect your coverage and research nearby hospitals and providers.
It’s very important to stay hydrated your third trimester and even more-so when traveling. If you are flying avoid caffeine as it will dehydrate you more and also wear maternity support hose to help with circulation in your legs. Opt for an aisle seat so you can easily get to the restroom and stretch your legs. If you are driving plan on frequent stops for bathroom breaks and to walk around.
If you are traveling alone keep your suitcase light and don’t be afraid to ask for help! Most often someone chivalrous will help you heft your roller board into the overhead compartments without you even asking. Definitely choose comfortable clothing with layers so you can adjust to temperature as necessary.
Good luck and have safe travels!