OK, so you have come to terms with the fact that your life is about to change and your family is about to expand. Great! Congratulations! Now, what do you do? Well, I am certain that there is a lot that you can find to do between now and the upcoming delivery of your beautiful baby. If traveling by plane is one of those things, consider this your guide on how to do it well.
Talk to Your Doctor, Care Team
If you are going to do any traveling, you have to make sure that your body is ready and equipped for such a journey. One of the ways to do so is to be in constant communication with your doctor and health care team, about your body, your health and that of your unborn baby. Notice, that I did not say to let your medical team dictate what the best decisions are for you and your family. Ultimately, it is your decision to make. But, do take prudent care into what you have been advised and all the information that you have been given. If you have a healthy pregnancy, there is no reason that you cannot travel well into your last trimester. As with everything else, there are risks. So just make your decisions wisely.
Pay Attention to Your Body
At the end of the day, God has equipped us all with an internal compass. Use that compass to determine what your body is telling you. Maybe your body is saying “I am tired” or “Take it easy”. Shoot, maybe your body is saying, “I need a vacation”. In that case, you should keep reading.
Select the Right Time
If you are like most women, the first trimester can be filled with nausea, loss of appetite, dizziness, anxiety and hence may not be the best time to fly. During the second trimester, you can expect to start to feel some reprieve from those first trimester angst. An increase in energy and appetite may follow. This may be your best bet for scheduling a “baby moon” or a quick getaway with your family. As a bonus, you may still be able to fit a few of your non-maternity items. If you can, then take advantage of that too. I have a bias towards tropical destinations. That fact considered, during the second trimester is a great time to sport your sexy baby bump on the beach. You may not even have to buy a maternity swimsuit! Try wearing a tankini or if you are “game”, a bikini.
Pick a Stress-Free Location
Personally, if I am “traveling while pregnant”, I want it to be as stress-free as possible. Meaning not too much walking, too much talking and absolutely no stress or drama involved. That means no amusement parks, festivals or parades. Taking this into consideration, you may even have to avoid booking that cruise with the extended family for the time being. Resorts, spa retreats and cabin getaways are more of the way to go.
Time it Right
Timing is everything, especially when it comes to travel. Pick the wrong time to go on a pregnancy vacay and that could mean expensive fares, long lines, crowded destinations and weather that is less than cooperative. Ideally, your chosen destination would not be too hot or too cold. Select the right time to travel and limit pregnancy bloating, unnecessary fatigue, nausea, body aches, hot flashes, swelling feet, hot flashes…you get the picture right?
Pack Light But Pack Smart
This is not the time to pack 10 pairs of shoes and all those cute handbags that you own. Who is going to lug all of that stuff around? Here are some essentials that every pregnant woman should have while traveling:
- Insurance Card
- Doctor’s contact info
- Comfortable flats (especially in your carry-on)
- Maternity vitamins and other prescriptions
- Plain/bland crackers
- Compression hoses or stockings (great for air travel)
- Ginger or other hard candy (never know when nausea can hit)
- Pack healthy snacks (dark chocolate almonds, sunflower seeds, raisins)
- Comfortable but cute clothing what will highlight this glorious time
Travel has a way of “drying the life” out of you, especially during air travel. Do not rely on the next beverage cart service to keep your hydration where it needs to be. Buy a bottle of water after you go through the TSA and security screener s and keep it with you. Sip on it during your trip and make sure to take frequent trips to the bathroom. Both of which (full bladders and dehydration) can lead to preterm contractions.
Allow Enough Time for Getting Around
Now, this is not the time to be rushing around because you are “running late”. This especially holds true at airports. You are carrying extra baggage to begin with, so it may take a little longer than you anticipate getting from point A to point B. So wake up a little earlier to get around a little smoother.
The most important thing to remember as you travel is to relax. Being pregnant is glorious, sometimes unpredictable, but it is beautiful. There is no other time that two souls will connect as intimately as when a mother is carrying a child. So, if you want to travel, go for it! Just keep these points in mind. Time is ticking away and the world is waiting.