Have a babymoon on your mind but afraid to travel during your pregnancy? While moms-to-be may face a few more challenges when planning a trip, thorough planning can help you safely hit the road. Here are a few things to keep in mind when making your pre-baby vacation plans.
Your First Stop
Before you head out the door, you have a must-do stop to make first: your doctor’s office. It’s important to check in with your healthcare practitioner before making any travel plans. Depending on how far along you are and other factors, your doctor may or may not be comfortable with travel. Some doctors also have specific guidelines for when travel should stop during pregnancy. If your doctor does express concern, you may want to reevaluate whether your trip is truly necessary.
It’s also smart to schedule an appointment with your healthcare practitioner in the days before your departure: this can help identify any issues that may have come up since your last checkup.
While “pregnancy brain” is a common affliction for expectant moms, the more organized you are before you travel, the more you’ll be able to relax during your trip. Keep all of your prenatal records and other important documents with you at all times, as well as any necessary medications. You should also travel with your doctor’s contact information handy, and make note of the nearest hospital in case of an emergency.
The average pregnancy is 40 weeks, but pre-term labor is a factor of life. Trip insurance can be a good investment if your baby decides to come early and/or another issue arises and you have to cancel your trip.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles
According to the Mayo Clinic, air travel is generally considered to be safe during a routine pregnancy. Women with certain pregnancy related complications may not be advised to fly. So be sure to consult with your doctor if you are expecting multiples or suffer from another consideration such as placenta previa, preterm labor, or hypertensive disease. Also keep in mind that different health care providers have different guidelines: many restrict travel at 36 weeks.
Even if your doctor does clear you to fly, the airline may not: most airlines have a rule restricting travel in the last month before your due date. In general domestic travel is more secure than traveling outside the country where access to safe food, water and medical care are unknown.
It’s also important to drink plenty of fluids while traveling to prevent dehydration and Braxton-Hicks contractions. And don’t forget that many airlines no longer serve food so make sure to pack your own healthy, travel-friendly snacks to ward off nausea and hypoglycemia.
If a cruise is on your bucket list, know this: the trip will be anything but paradise if you suffer from seasickness. Pregnant women are not only more likely to experience nausea while on a cruise, they are also subject to more germs due to the close contact on the ship. Be sure to discuss your cruising plans with your physician.
Blood volume traffic increases by a whopping near-50 percent during pregnancy, according to Pregnancy & Newborn. While fostering circulation is important for anyone who is sitting on a plane or train for extended periods of time, it’s particularly critical for pregnant women to get up and move around: the more sedentary you are, the higher your risk factor is for developing a life-threatening blood clot. This also applies when you’re traveling by car: make sure to walk around frequently to keep blood flowing.
With clearance from your doctor, it’s important to continue your healthy lifestyle behaviors while you’re traveling. Many hotels now have well-equipped fitness centers so you can take still take your daily stroll on the treadmill or spin on the recumbent bike so don’t forget to pack your maternity workout gear. Swimming is the perfect low-impact sport, so pack a suit and take a dip in the hotel pool. If you’re short on time, space or facilities, even a brief daily stretch in your room can help you stay nimble and fit.
Whether you’re flying the friendly skies or cruising the high seas, avoid starting a new fitness regimen on vacation: all exercises should be approved in advance by your doctor.
While traveling for two does involve some extra consideration, that doesn’t automatically mean you should skip the trip and stay home. In fact, with the right prep work and planning a relaxing pre-baby getaway may be just what the doctor ordered.
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