The Best 13 Hacks for Easy-Breezy Travel During Pregnancy
Are you planning on traveling this summer? If you’re pregnant, going on vacation will require a little more planning than usual.
Your baby bump can pose some comfort, safety and other traveling challenges. But that doesn’t mean you should avoid vacationing. After all, you need time to relax now more than ever!
To make your journey a breeze, we’ve compiled the best 13 pregnancy traveling hacks.
Hack #1: Plan Early & Check With Your Doctor
Nothing is worse than planning a vacation, getting amped up and figuring out that you can’t go.
Before you start getting excited about your vacation, we recommend talking to your doctor. It’s usually safe to travel during pregnancy as long as you’re not too far along; however, it depends on your specific situation. If you have a higher risk pregnancy, your doctor may recommend against it.
Once you’ve figured out your destination, talk to your doctor about that, too. He or she will tell you if that location is a safe option for you. Airlines also have certain restrictions surrounding how far you can fly during different stages of pregnancy. They may also require documentation from your doctor stating that you’re healthy to fly. To prevent disappointments, check with your airline before making any plans.
Hack #2: Request the Right Seat
If you’re traveling by plane, the seat you choose will impact the smoothness of your flight.
If you’re concerned about bumpiness, reserve a seat in the middle of the plane over the wing. If you suspect legroom may be an issue, reserve a bulkhead seat (the seat behind first class seating). Choosing the aisle seat will also mean you don’t need to move past people for your frequent washroom breaks.
Some airlines allow you to reserve your seat online. If not—or if there’s a steep charge associated with it—try calling the airline directly and inform them that you’re pregnant and need a better seat for safety reasons.
Hack #3: Elevate Legs to Avoid Travel Swelling
Traveling can involve a lot of sitting, whether it be on a plane, train, bus or car. Either way, sitting for long periods of time can cause leg cramps and may make your feet and ankles swell. Since pregnancy makes blood clots and varicose veins more likely, it’s a good idea to keep your blood circulating.
An easy hack for this is to place a piece of luggage on the floor below you for your feet to elevate and rest on. Every now and then, extend your foot in front of you and point and flex it. If you’re on a train or plane, try to walk a bit each hour. If you’re driving, take frequent breaks so you can get your legs moving.
Hack #4: Take Your Shoes Off While Travelling
Taking off your shoes on a plane, train or bus may seem impolite, but passengers will likely understand if you’re pregnant.
Removing your shoes is another trick that can help when the swelling starts. If this is the case, make sure to bring a pair of thick socks or slippers. Some women find that wearing compression socks also helps.
Hack #5: Easy Clothes = Easy Bathroom Breaks
If you find that you’re peeing a lot more frequently during pregnancy, plan your travel outfits with that in mind. Rather than removing several layers and undoing many buttons before using the washroom, aim to wear something simple, such as a dress or leggings.
If you’re traveling by car, this can help speed up your frequent pit stops. It can also make peeing on a plane less of an elaborate process.
Hack #6: Schedule Downtime
When you traveled before pregnancy, it was likely go, go, go. You wanted to see and do everything possible in the amount of time you had. However, it’s important to set your expectations for adventure a bit lower when you have a bun in the oven.
Be realistic about the activities you plan to do and keep your energy levels in mind. While you can still do many of the same activities, you’ll probably tire more quickly. Since you can anticipate this, you might as well plan for it. In addition to your adventures, also plan activities that allow you to regain your energy. This may include a massage, spa package, reading a novel on the beach, a quiet night in your hotel or simply just a nap.
Hack #7: Pack Travel Snacks
Don’t rely on airplane meals or pit stops for food. If you tend to have some pretty intense pregnancy cravings and get hungry quickly, be sure to pack a variety of snacks for the road.
Since you’re probably eating more frequently and have developed aversions to certain food, packing your own snacks for the traveling portions of your trip will be beneficial.
Hack #8: Bring Bottled Water Everywhere
If you’re traveling domestically, be sure to bring a reusable water bottle with you during your travels and whenever you leave your hotel. Since you’re more prone to dehydration during pregnancy, keeping water by at all times is important.
If you’re traveling in a foreign country, the water quality may not be safe, so it’s best to stick to bottled water.
Hack #9: Bring An Extra Bathing Suit
Pregnancy makes you more prone to yeast infections than usual. There’s not a worse time for such an uncomfortable problem than during travel. Since yeast grows in humid and warm conditions, if you’re traveling to a tropical or beachy area, you’ll need to take extra precautions to prevent yeast infections.
After you swim or get the lower portion of your bathing suit wet, change immediately. If you want to hang around in your bathing suit all day, bring another dry bathing suit so you can switch back and forth while the other dries.
If you’re already prone to yeast infections, bring along an over-the-counter yeast infection cream just in case.
Hack #10: Bring a Heartbeat Monitor to Decrease Worry
If you’re a woman who is always nervous about whether her baby is okay, traveling may bring you an extra load of anxiety. Heartbeat monitors allow you to hear your baby’s heartbeat, which may help ease your concerns and let you know that your baby is okay.
Once you’ve reached your destination or after a day of sightseeing, lay down, spread some ultrasound gel over your belly and glide the probe to detect the heartbeat.
Hearing your baby may provide you with the reassurance you need to continue your vacation worry-free.
Hack #11: Plan to Prevent Motion Sickness
If you’re already experiencing morning sickness, it’s likely you’ll also suffer from motion sickness during travel. It can be hard to tell which is which.
If you think you may suffer from motion sickness during your travel, you should plan ahead with these following tips:
- Talk to your doctor about which anti-nausea medications are safe for you to take during pregnancy.
- Take vitamin B6 to prevent pregnancy-related nausea. You can take up to 10-25 milligrams 3 times a day.
- If you’re traveling in a car, sit in the front seat and focus your gaze on the horizon in the distance.
- Wearing acupressure wristbands may help prevent nausea.
Hack #12: Have Emergency Contacts Prepared & Handy
If something unfortunate happens, you want to make sure that you and whoever is with you has the appropriate information. Plus, it will probably ease your mind knowing that if something does happen, you’re prepared.
Write down a list of important medical information and contacts and keep it in your wallet while you travel. Include information about your doctor, health insurance, where you’re staying, emergency contacts and prenatal medical information. Babycenter.com has a full list of what you should include.
Hack #13: Ask For What You Need
This shouldn’t even be considered a hack because it’s so simple; however, many people don’t use the powerful tool of simply asking. If you’re shy about asking for what you need, remember that most people will see that you’re pregnant and are likely to be extra nice and helpful.
If you’re staying in a hotel and need a few extra pillows for comfort, ask a cleaner in the hallway or call the front desk. If you forgot a water bottle and you’re stuck on the plane, tell the flight attendant you’re feeling dehydrated. If you’re traveling alone and need help carrying luggage, ask a customer service person, or even a stranger, if they wouldn’t mind lending you a hand.
Are you planning on traveling this summer? If you are, comment below your destination! If you have any pregnant friends that are going on vacation, share this post to help them out, too!
P.S. If you’re a nervous person, heartbeat monitors can help reassure you that your baby is okay during travel. Fetal dopplers are handheld devices that allow you to listen to your baby’s heartbeat while they’re still inside the womb. Check them out here.