Traveling while Pregnant

Traveling while Pregnant
My first pregnancy we were living abroad and traveling all over Europe. I didn’t ever expect to travel
so much while pregnant, and was worried about it! It ended up being a positive for my pregnancy –
distracting me, keeping me active, and being able to experience how gracious and friendly all cultures
were to pregnant women, making me appreciate it even more. This second time around we have done some
big trips (not as many) but I have noticed the hassle of it more…especially traveling pregnant WITH a toddler :)
From Utah to Israel to the Outer Banks to NYC and the Hamptons, it has still been so worth it to
travel during this time before adding to our family! Everyone and every pregnancy is different,
but here are just a few tips and thoughts that have helped me. It’s a question I get asked a lot!

— It was definitely a lot harder for me to travel early on when I was nauseous and sick (during the first trimester, until about week 18/19 for me). During that time I mostly tried to lay low, but we had some flights and trips and I definitely threw up on a plane ride or two … not the best memories, haha! It ended up being fine and there were no scares or anything, but I definitely didn’t enjoy everything quite as much to be honest. Try to plan trips where you have control of the itinerary and it’s flexible (no group tours, etc where you will throw plans off if you don’t feel well). Also try to avoid trips that involve a lot of motion travel – long amounts of time in the car, cruises, etc – where you’ll be trapped on a bumpy ride feeling nauseated. Of course some people don’t even get sick or have morning sickness, so it could be fine! But it’s smart to plan more flexibly during this early part. It’s the most important thing to listen to your body and not let a trip stress you out – it should just be fun!

— Take a gander at online guides before anything else. This will give you a decent idea of what you can expect in your chosen destination and helps you to decide if it’s for you. This Galapagos Travel Guide 2021 might be useful if you’re looking to visit the Galapagos Islands, for example.

— Look into health issues in the areas you’re traveling to: any diseases (especially things like Zika, etc) to get all information and protection. Ask any and all questions you can think of beforehand while planning.

— Bring snacks and PLENTY of water everywhere!! It really is so important to have a full bag of healthy snacks you like because you don’t want to be hungry/nauseous and not able to find the food you want. Be smart about what you eat on the trip and ask what’s in it to be sure it’s okay.

— Don’t be afraid to ask anyone, anywhere to use their bathroom because you’ll have to go so much with that pressure on your bladder haha! In certain places like Europe it can be harder to find public bathrooms, but most restaurants and places will let you once they know you’re pregnant.

— Make sure to ask before any activities on your trips about doing them while pregnant. Early on you won’t be showing, so people won’t know and tour guides/ etc may let you do things you shouldn’t while pregnant. Ex: in Greece we took a sailboat to some hot springs and I was about to jump in and the guide overheard me saying how the baby would love this, and stopped me because of the sulfur content in the water which was dangerous for anyone pregnant. After that I learned to check about everything!!

— Make sure to bring good comfortable shoes for walking and warm clothes since your immunity is down a tiny bit while pregnant…even if you’re going somewhere warm, bring layers for the plane, etc!

— The second trimester (and first part of the third) is a great time to travel. You’re hopefully feeling better, and are still not too big and uncomfortable. I still felt good enough to be active and out and about all day, but the bump was also showing and people were so nice and accommodating :) By then you can feel baby kick, so just be sure you’re paying attention and feeling the kicks multiple times per day and not overdoing it. It’s actually nice to travel pregnant because you can kick up your feet, make your husband or travel companions carry all the bags, and get as many ice creams as you want along the way ;)

— Travel insurance is always recommended, but even more so when you’re pregnant and might find yourself being treated (or, worst case giving birth :) in a foreign hospital if you have any pregnancy related issues. Be sure that you have comprehensive travel insurance and that you have notified them of your current situation. I once had to do an ultrasound on a trip and get blood drawn so you never know!

— Bring Prenatal records: Going along with the above ^^ Before heading off on your journey, it’s smart to make a copy of your prenatal records to take along with you, as well as any additional medical notes which you think could be useful. Foreign hospitals can treat you better if they know all of the facts, and they won’t have access to your records — so carry a copy or have them on your phone just in case!

— Ask for a pat down at airport security. You’re not supposed to go through certain scanners while pregnant (especially the newer stronger ones they use), so you can always request a pat down…just to be safe!

— You know your body best and so just be smart and enjoy! I think it was the best thing for me to travel while pregnant because it kept me active and healthy and the pregnancy flew by because of it! baby. Traveling puts a smile on most people’s faces and if you’re happy, so is the little one in your belly!

Happy travels and baby bumping!XO