Traveling, whether it’s for business or pleasure, can be stressful. Being pregnant and traveling adds an extra level of stress. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. There are plenty of things you can do to ease any traveling pregnant anxiety.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, unless your doctor has given you any medical restrictions for traveling, then you should absolutely go on that trip you have planned!
Or, book a last-minute vacay for some extra rest and relaxation. If you’re planning to fly, then do it before the 36-week mark.
10 Things to Keep in Mind for Traveling During Pregnancy
To help you feel better about traveling while pregnant, I have ten things to keep in mind. Many of them are things I picked up when traveling while I was carrying my daughter, so please, learn from my mistakes to save yourself from going through any of the trial and error yourself.
1. Map Out the Closest Bathrooms
Potty breaks are always on your mind when you’re pregnant, and you don’t really have much time to wander to find the nearest restroom. If you’re going to be in an airport, check out the websites of the ones you’ll be visiting and make note of all bathrooms. But, if you’re road-tripping, you’ll be able to map out strategic spots that you’ll be able to stop.
2. BYOS (Bring Your Own Snacks)
This might seem obvious since pregnancy and hunger go hand in hand. But, there were a few times I forgot to bring snacks, the whole pregnancy brain thing is real.
Healthy snacks are so important in fueling a pregnant body, but they’re not easy to find in an airport or on the road. In the off chance that you do find something that’s not loaded with grease or calories, it will probably cost a small fortune, and that’s money you could be spending elsewhere on your trip. It’s much easier to bring your own.
3. And Don’t Forget the Water
Staying hydrated is key! Again, not bringing water isn’t going to ruin the trip, you’ll be able to buy some. But, you’ll just be spending money you could be using elsewhere, and just adding another plastic bottle to the landfill.
Pack your favorite water bottle, and if you’re at the airport, remember to empty it prior to going through security. There are plenty of water bottle fill stations inside most gates.
4. Be Aware of Medical Obstacles
Of course, your trip will most likely be wonderful and you hopefully won’t even have to worry about anything medical related. But, there are a few things that you’ll want to bring with you or research ahead of time. March of Dimes suggests doing these three things:
- Check with your insurance on what kind of emergency care they’ll cover.
- Research your destination and familiarize yourself with the medical care that will be available.
- Bring your medical records. If you don’t want to carry extra paperwork, scan them to yourself or take a photo to keep on your phone.
- Keep a list of emergency contacts, including your medical provider, close by. Either a physical list or one in your phone’s photos.
- Check with your medical provider to see if they know of any doctors or other medical professionals that they would recommend in the area that you’re traveling to.
5. Pack Carefully
If you’re like me, you overpack for everything, yet under pack at the same time. I might have enough outfits to last me an extra five days, but no contact solution or pain reliever. Set aside some time to really focus on what you’re packing.
Making a checklist can be really helpful. And, just plan on checking your luggage. You don’t need to be carrying around anything other than your handbag. Just make sure all of the important things are in there, such as medications and vitamins.
6. Keep it Moving
Travel means a lot of sitting, whether it’s on a plane, in a car, or on a train. Sitting for long periods of time is not great for us pregnant ladies, and can cause some serious health issues such as blood clots. Not to mention, getting up after all that sitting is next to impossible, it’s not worth the added aches and pains.
So, keep it moving. Any chance you get, stretch your legs. It’s a little easier to pull the car over and get out to walk around. But, getting up and moving can be done on a plane or train, too. Just let your flight attendant know that you’re pregnant and you’ll be pacing up and down the aisles.
7. Clean all the Things
Germs are not a pregnant gals’ best friend, but they’re everywhere in travel. Pack a few cleaning helpers in your travel bag, and don’t be afraid to use them. Nobody can judge a pregnant lady, so now’s the time to do all the crazy cleaning. Here are a few things that you can do:
- Bring a travel air purifier that you can plug in at your hotel or one that fits into a USB car port.
- If you’re traveling by car or RV, make sure it gets a good cleaning and detail before you embark on your journey.
- Steam cleaning is a great way to sanitize surfaces, you can’t exactly pack one in your carry-on luggage. But, a small baggie with some sanitizing wipes will do the trick, too.
8. Don’t Be Shy
If you need help lifting something, ask for it. Don’t be embarrassed or nervous to talk to strangers. Or, if you’re in line to use the lady’s room, don’t hesitate to ask if you can go ahead, people are very kind when you’re pregnant, take advantage while you can!
In my first trimester, I was barely showing, so I made sure to tell the flight attendants on my first flight while pregnant. That way, there was no question of whether or not I was actually pregnant, or just really bloated. This is also helpful in case of medical emergencies. So don’t hold back, if you find yourself in a moment and you think you should make it known that you’re pregnant, then do it.
9. It’s OK to be a Picky Eater
Like we discussed earlier, eating healthy can be a challenge when you’re away from home and pregnant. But snacks aren’t the only time that can be tricky. Navigating meals can also be a bit of a speed bump.
Foodborne illness is definitely a risk and can be dangerous to you and your baby. But also, travelers’ diarrhea is a real thing, and it’s particularly awful to have when pregnant. Here are a few foods to avoid, and things to be conscious of at mealtimes:
- Steer clear of any dairy that’s not pasteurized.
- Avoid buffets that have anything that’s been sitting out at room temp.
- Raw meat or even meat that’s been undercooked can also be dangerous.
- Only drink water that’s bottled, and just say no to ice.
- Eat only food that is cooked and served piping hot.
- Food that’s packaged adds an extra layer of caution because it’s been sealed before leaving the factory.
- Make sure to wash all fresh fruits and veggies, and if at all possible, only eat ones that have to be peeled.
10. Travel Insurance is a Good Thing
Again, pregnancy is full of surprises. And, new symptoms seem to pop up as soon as an old one fades away. If anything comes up that might prevent you from traveling, having insurance as a backup is extremely beneficial.
If purchasing travel insurance isn’t an option, then be sure to at least book things that have a refund policy, if at all possible.
Again, these are all things that I’ve added to my traveling while pregnant list of to-dos, after not doing them and having major regrets. My hope is that I can save someone else a little bit of added stress. Those pregnancy hormones already have us filled with worry, there’s no need to have any extra while you’re traveling.
Guest Author: Amy Anthony is a stay-at-home-mom of two kids and three dogs who thrive on having a clean and organized home. As a writer by trade, Amy enjoys teaching others how they can achieve their own spotless home with minimal effort on her blog Oh So Spotless.