Tips for Travelling While Pregnant

Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you need to pause your travels. You can easily travel if you’re having a normal, healthy pregnancy. Whilst pregnant with my first child we went to Japan for a week and while pregnant with #2 we travelled constantly over the course of the first six months throughout Australia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore. If I can do it, so can you.

Here are some tips and things to be mindful of if you’re planning on travelling while pregnant:

 

Tips for Travelling While Pregnant

 

 

Avoid travelling in the first trimester. The first three months of a pregnancy can be difficult. Morning sickness, food aversions and low energy are not really conducive for travel. Travelling in the second trimester is great. Most women find this the easiest trimester because energy returns, morning sickness ends and you’re still relatively normal-sized. Travel in the third trimester can be done but limit yourself to short trips. You’ll be bigger, less mobile, more tired and need beaucoup de bathroom breaks.

Pick the right destination. This can be key to how much you enjoy your travels while pregnant. Places that are too hot or crowded can be hard work if your travelling with a big bump. You don’t want to be travelling for hours by bus or car either as pregnancy can play havoc with your bladder.

Factor in flight time. Flying can be uncomfortable at the best of times. 11 hours squished into a back row, economy class seat is even less fun at 30 weeks pregnant… believe me! We had a shockingly uncomfortable return flight from Tokyo to Auckland. If you are travelling long haul, look for opportunities to break travel up into more manageable flight segments. Look into the quality and comfort of the airline, especially the seats, before you book any flights. If you can afford it, business class makes for very comfortable pregnant flying!

Stay on the beaten path. Don’t plan on being too far from a good doctor or hospital just in case complications arise. It’s not worth the risk.

Don’t stuff your itinerary with too much activity. Plan on having downtime, naps and rest days where you just chill by the pool or in a comfy hotel room.

Think about food. I have food aversions throughout my entire pregnancy. I just spent ten weeks of my second pregnancy travelling around South East Asia and really struggled with my food choices during this time. Normally I love Thai food, curries and a bit of chilli but while pregnant all I want is plain food and dairy products. During my first pregnancy we travelled to Japan and I really missed out by not being able to enjoy all the sushi and sashimi on offer.

Bring snacks on the plane in case the airline food isn’t pregnancy friendly. There is no option for pre-ordering a pregnancy-friendly in flight meal as you would a vegetarian or kosher meal. Have some food in your bag in case you aren’t offered anything suitable on board.

Wear compression socks on flights. Being pregnant can put you at a higher risk for blood clots.

Find out before you leave what travel medications are safe to take while pregnant. I used to need motion sickness pills (Antinaus) while flying but these are not recommended for pregnant women.

Travel Insurance will cover you for travel up until a certain number of weeks pregnant – usually somewhere between 20 and 32 weeks dependent on your policy. Your pregnancy won’t be covered if you received IVF or are expecting multiples. This doesn’t mean you can’t travel – it just means your pregnancy and any health complications related to this won’t be covered.

Airlines may require proof that you are fit to fly. Get a signed letter from your doctor or midwife stating your due date and the date up until which you are considered fit to fly. I have been asked by this only once by an airline (Air New Zealand). Other airlines require you to sign a waiver on check-in if you are visibly pregnant (Air Asia).

Think carefully about what you pack, especially if you’re on an extended trip. Every woman is different but my body usually changes quite a lot around the 20-week mark and can be rapidly different from week to week thereafter. Maternity clothes and bigger bras are not readily available in many countries so plan ahead! Bring clothes that are stretchy, comfortable and will accommodating a growning bump. Think leggings, tunics, empire line tops and maxi dresses.

 

19 Comments

  1. When my wife was pregnant with our son we didn’t take any trips that required flying, but we did take several road trips. The further along she was the more often I found myself stopping for her to walk around. Early on it wasn’t a big deal, but by six, seven months she made me stop at least once per hour.
    Lance | Trips By Lance recently posted..Five Spring Break AlternativesMy Profile

  2. Pingback: Traveling with Kids in Asia | Poppy Mom

    • I travelled throughout the first 6 months of this pregnancy – 15 flights & 6 countries and it was pretty easy actually! I’m glad we stopped at 26 weeks though. I only had another week or so left in me. That nesting urge kicks in and all you want is a home for the last few months anyway.

  3. good tips! I’ll be 34 weeks pregnant in the Dominican Republic and didn’t even think about taking buses from city to city with the bathroom situation! I made need to reconsider the details!

  4. You have to be really careful with the travel insurance fine print for outside-the-box stuff like pregnancy, and check with each new policy as they might have changed the wording since the last time you bought the policy.

    I couldn’t find a policy that covered pregnancy in any real sense when I was first pregnant (they claimed to but the list of specific exclusions was ridiculous). Last I checked they had a more reasonable list of exclusions but I couldn’t find a policy which covered the first or last trimesters at all. I wrote a whole thing:
    http://journeysofthefabulist.wordpress.com/2013/08/10/travel-insurance-the-devil-in-the-detail/

    We chose to travel within our home country both times. It was great! I even went snow shoeing.
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  5. We both travelled from our London base during my wife’s first pregnancy. Me to San Francisco for a new job and her to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria where our first child, Daniel, was born. 14 years later, he’s been joined by Alex who was born in the UK and Tommy, again in the Canaries. Great advice. Although we have no plans for a fourth.

  6. Great tips!! I think the most important thing is to pick your timing well – like you said, first trimester can suck! I went overseas twice in my first trimester with #1. The first time was at 4 weeks and that was ok, but I was so so sick the second time at 10 weeks. It was a completely wasted trip as I did not enjoy it at all. It was so much nicer travelling at 20 weeks in my second pregnancy
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  7. Great tips! I traveled during both my pregnancies, cause I’m not one to pass on a trip. I LOVE Las Vegas and even though I was nine months pregnant I went there for a weekend. The hardest part was the heat. I remember siting on the patio at my favorite pub and looking down at my swollen ankles. If you like your cocktails (like this mama) then that is kind of a bummer to be somewhere like Vegas and not be able to partake in the fun libations. Any who, great blog! Don’t stop traveling just because there’s a baby in your belly!
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  8. Excellent tips. We did a bus tour in Europe while my wife was 6-7 months pregnant. It was relatively easy. One fun thing after your child is born is that you can keep telling him/her the places he/she has been. It usually starts with your child stating that he/she has never been to a country and you correct immediately that she has indeed been to that country (in mummy’s tummy). Nice blog by the way.

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