If you’re pregnant, it doesn’t mean you have to postpone all your trips. No matter if you’re going on a vacation or taking a business trip, there are ways you can stay healthy and safe during your travels. Here are our best tips:
Check with your doctor first
It’s usually safe to travel during a healthy pregnancy, but make sure to consult with your medical provider first. If you have any health concerns like heart disease or any pregnancy complications, you might need to stay home or somewhere close. Inform your doctor of your travel plans and make sure to arrange all your prenatal visits in order not to miss any.
When to travel?
There’s no best time to travel—it all depends on how you feel. Many pregnant women choose to travel during the second trimester when there are no severe morning sickness or overwhelming fatigue. Sure, your belly might be growing, but it’s still not too big to travel comfortably and move around. As you get closer to birth, activities like walking, sitting and sleeping might get increasingly uncomfortable.
The second trimester also usually doesn’t bring any pregnancy emergencies like premature labor or miscarriage (miscarriage is a term describing the unfortunate event of a baby dying in the womb before 20 weeks of pregnancy).
What about travel vaccination?
Some destinations might require vaccinations in order to enter the country. Most vaccines that use live viruses and bacteria are not recommended while you’re pregnant, because they might harm the baby in the womb. However, some live vaccines might be considered, especially if the risk of catching a disease is bigger than the risk caused by live vaccines. On the other hand, inactivated vaccines are safe for use even while you’re pregnant.
Make car travel safer
If you’re choosing to travel by car, try to find the shortest route and make every travel day as short as possible. To boost safety, make sure to always wear your seat belt—it should be placed low on your hip bones, under your belly. Next, take frequent stops to move around and stretch your legs. Dress in comfortable clothing and shoes that will not be affected by bloating and swelling. Packing some layers that can easily be put on or taken off is also a great idea. To maintain your energy, eat regular meals and drink extra fluids (take water with you). This might require you to take more frequent bathroom breaks, but you will feel energized and focused. For more tips like these, you can rely on the practical motherhood app and get a ton of useful, first-hand information from mothers all around the world.
Practice food and drink safety
Traveling in developing countries can cause some stomach issues if you eat raw or undercooked food or drink the local water. Some serious illnesses can also occur (hepatitis A, listeriosis, etc.) that are spread by contaminated food, and they can cause severe complications in pregnancy, both for the baby and the mother. When traveling somewhere tropical, it’s best to rely on bottled water and eat only processed foods.
Traveling without health insurance is always risky, especially during pregnancy, so sign up for good travel insurance in case you develop some complications. Getting medical evaluation insurance when traveling abroad might also be a good idea, so you can return home under medical supervision. Be sure to check your policy in advance and opt for something that fits your needs.
Pack an emergency kit
Pack enough prenatal vitamins to last you the entire trip, and grab a copy of your health records, especially when traveling abroad. You might want to leave at home some jet lag remedies like melatonin or anything else that’s not approved by your doctor.
If you prepare properly and ask for your doctor’s opinion, you should be completely fine to travel. Take care of yourself, and have one last trip before the baby comes.