Travel does not need to be off-limits when you are pregnant. Here are a few tips to help you plan and have a relaxing vacation or business trip.
The best time for travel is your second trimester (13-26 weeks). By this point you should be past morning sickness and daily queasiness, but you still have plenty of time before you deliver.
- When choosing a destination, avoid high altitudes. You may experience shortness of breath, which can diminish a baby’s source of oxygen. You may also want to steer clear of places where there is questionable local healthcare or the risk of disease is high.
- Before your trip, visit your OBGYN for a prenatal check-up. Let your doctor know about your plans, and request a copy of your medical and prenatal records to bring along. Make sure that you are up-to-date on vaccinations. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that pregnant women have a prenatal screen for rubella (German measles) and hepatitis B as well as a prenatal assessment for varicella (chicken pox).
- Pack your prenatal vitamins. You may also want to bring healthy, energy-boosting snacks to keep with you and a neck pillow for the plane or car.
- Plan pit stops for your journey. As an expecting mom, you will need to take bathroom breaks frequently. If you are travelling by car, scope out rest stops ahead of time. If you are travelling by plane, choose an aisle seat so you won’t have to climb over other passengers. Seats near the front or back of the plane are typically closest to the restrooms.
- Pamper your feet. Sitting for long periods of time can make your feet and legs swell. Get up and walk around every 30 minutes to keep your blood circulating. When flying, elevate your legs by resting your feet on your carry-on luggage in front of you. Make sure to wear comfortable footwear. If you are prone to varicose veins, wear maternity support hose.
- Choose activities that will not put you at risk of falling. You should avoid skiing, ice skating, horseback riding, waterskiing and surfing.
- Have a great time and enjoy yourself!