You’ve probably prepared for how you will travel once your baby arrives. You’ve bought the car seat and done your research. What about the next several months, however? Traveling while pregnant comes with unique risks and challenges. Use these tips to get to your destination without pain, discomfort, or risking the health of you or your baby.
You will need to change the way you’re used to wearing your seatbelt as your belly grows. Lift the bottom of your tummy up so that the lap belt rests low and flat on the top of your thighs. Do not let the lap belt cross over your stomach. Pull upward on the shoulder belt until it’s snug and laying between your breasts. Tilt the steering wheel as far up as it goes to avoid your uterus striking it in an accident.
Pregnant women are more at risk of infections and disease from other places because of the risk of health problems and defects to the fetus. Always check health warnings and travel advisories before going someplace new. The Zika virus, for example, can cause microcephaly and brain defects in an infant if the mother contracts it during pregnancy. Avoid traveling to destinations with records of Zika while pregnant.
Most doctors will discourage pregnant women from flying during the ends of their pregnancies, as it could induce preterm delivery. Some might suggest not traveling during the third trimester at all – especially if the mother is at risk of premature delivery. The best time to fly when pregnant is in your second trimester. You’ve overcome your nausea and fatigue from the first trimester, but it isn’t so late that you’re at risk.
Your body will need certain things while pregnant that you might not normally bring with you on vacation. Pack a survival kit to make yourself as safe and comfortable as possible. Bring prenatal vitamins, pregnancy-safe medications for motion or sea sickness, nasal strips, plenty of water, a pillow for the car or plane, flat and comfortable shoes, and plenty of layers for comfort in all types of weather.
Even if you don’t usually buy travel insurance, do so while pregnant. You never know when you’ll need to cancel a trip, flight, or reservation because of a pregnancy-related health complication. Your doctor might put you on bed rest the week before your cruise. Purchase travel insurance to be safe.