Traveling While Pregnant: What You Need to Know

You’re likely to make a variety of positive choices to protect your baby, such as eating healthily, exercising when you can, and avoiding alcohol and cigarettes. But what do you do when traveling while pregnant? Find out below, then take the travel pregnancy quiz at the end to test your pregnancy-travel knowledge.

The Best Time for Traveling While Pregnant

Traveling during pregnancy is generally safe, but it can be difficult. While morning sickness and fatigue make you want to stay in bed during the first trimester, traveling during the third trimester can be just as complicated. You may struggle to move, and it’s uncomfortable to sit still for prolonged periods.

Therefore, the best time to travel is when you are between 14 and 28 weeks pregnant. This is when you’re likely to be over morning sickness, have more energy, and still be mobile enough to get around with ease.

Flying During Pregnancy

Whatever your reason is for traveling, sometimes you need to fly to make it happen. But is it safe to travel by air during pregnancy?

Unless you’re on bed rest, it’s usually OK to travel via plane. Just remember to take care of yourself while on the flight. Remember to wear comfortable shoes and loose-fitting, comfortable clothes. If it’s a long trip, get up every hour to maintain circulation and avoid deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a condition typically caused by blood clots in the leg that can occur when traveling. Pregnant women are at increased risk of DVT.

Also, plan your trip early. Most airlines won’t allow pregnant women to fly once they reach 36 weeks gestation.

Is It Safe to Go on a Cruise While Pregnant?

In the early stages of pregnancy, going on a cruise is very safe. After 24 to 28 weeks of gestation, however, most cruise companies have policies that prevent you from boarding. If a cruise ship will let you board after 28 weeks, you’ll likely need a note from your doctor.

Is Bus Travel Safe During Pregnancy?

As with other modes of transportation, bus travel is generally safe for pregnant women. But there are some things to consider.

Bus aisles are normally narrow and challenging to pass through, especially for pregnant women. And if you need to go to the bathroom, plan for a tight squeeze. The small restrooms can make things difficult.

Be sure to take advantage of every stop by getting off the bus to stretch your legs and walk. This will help you maintain good circulation and prevent DVT.

Tips for Traveling While Pregnant

Want to make your pregnancy travels as pleasant as possible? Remember these tips:

Be food smart. One of the joys of traveling is trying new foods. Unfortunately, pregnancy isn’t the time to try local cuisine at foreign locales. Avoid raw or undercooked meats, unpasteurized dairy products, and ice from unknown sources, as it may contain contaminated water. Pack your own snacks, so you’ll always have what you need.

Break it up. You may have a 14-hour drive, but don’t do it all at once. Take a break after five or six hours and start again tomorrow. It will make the trip longer, but it’s safer for you.

Choose safely. When planning an international trip, avoid locations where Zika, malaria, and other mosquito-spread viruses are common.

Drink water. While flying, don’t drink soda. It can cause gas, which will make you uncomfortable at high altitudes. Stick with water instead.

Get seated near the aisle. On a plane, you’ll need to get up often. Choose an aisle seat to make it easier.

Know the rules. Transportation companies have different pregnancy-related regulations. Contact them before booking your ticket to ensure you’ll be able to board.

Tell your doctor. Talk with your doctor before traveling to discuss any possible risks.

Wear your belt. Whether in a car or bus, keep your seatbelt secured above and below your stomach for maximum protection. Take the Henry Mayo travel pregnancy quiz.