With summer just around the corner, you may be ready to travel while the sun is shining and the weather is warm. Whether for a beach trip or a short getaway for a much-needed break, it’s best to be prepared when you travel during pregnancy. This is especially true during the hotter months. Making your health, comfort, and safety your top priorities will allow you to enjoy your vacation and stay safe. Using this guide, you’ll be able to relax on your summer trip without worry.
1. Consult Your Doctor about Travel during Pregnancy
Traveling while pregnant, especially flying, can pose a risk for you and your baby, especially if you are already at high risk for problems during your pregnancy. Before making plans, meet with your doctor to talk about any risks. After, plan out what will make your trip safe and comfortable.
2. Choose Your Dates and Destination Wisely
When planning a summer getaway, planning your dates and choosing your destination carefully is key to a low-risk trip. Keeping locations local, within driving distance, is best. However, for those who chose international destinations or find driving overly tiring or expensive, time your trip carefully:
- In your first trimester, the risk of miscarriage is high, and you’re more likely to deal with general problems that follow early pregnancy, like nausea or morning sickness, that could be worsened by long-distance travel. Your doctor may advise against traveling during your first trimester.
- The second trimester, specifically between 20–30 weeks, is best, or at least minimal risk, for longer-distance and air travel. You’re less likely to deal with morning sickness or other discomforts connected with the first or third trimester of pregnancy.
- Most medical professionals advise against traveling after the 36th week of pregnancy (and the third trimester in general).
When choosing destinations, make sure you’ll have access to medical care and that your accommodations are pregnancy friendly.
3. Travel Transportation during Pregnancy
One of the main things to consider when planning out your summer trip is how you’re going to get there. When choosing, it’s best to keep your limits and comfort in mind and talk with your doctor about what the best option may be for you.
The best mode of transportation for traveling while pregnant is driving. As the safest and least demanding option, driving keeps stress low and offers a reliable method of travel.
However, there are some things to keep in mind if you are thinking about driving:
- Driving time should be limited to six hours per day, including plenty of breaks for stretching and using the restroom.
- While driving, wear sunscreen. If you are driving during the day, you should wear sunscreen on any exposed skin. Pregnancy makes skin extremely sensitive and more prone to damage or harm from the sun.
- Keep hydrated. Even if you are only traveling a few hours away, the car should still be stocked with plenty of water and snacks to stay hydrated and keep your energy up.
- Pregnancy can worsen car sickness during travel, so talk to your doctor about safe anti-nausea medication before you go.
- When fastening your seatbelt, place it below your stomach, against your hips. This is the safest position, and if you’re driving, make sure the steering wheel is at least ten inches from your breastbone.
Air travel is generally considered safe for the first and second trimesters, but still considered risky, and third-trimester travel is greatly discouraged due to the increased risk of premature birth or other problems. If you are planning to fly, there are a few things you can do to ensure you’re both safe and comfortable before, during, and after your flight:
- First and foremost, do not lift any heavy luggage. The safest thing for you to do is either have your travel companion or another passenger or airport employee assist you with lifting your luggage onto or off the conveyor.
- Before deciding, check the airline’s policy regarding pregnant passengers. Some airlines may have guidelines or restrictions on allowing pregnant passengers to travel to ensure their health and safety. Just in case, bring along documentation from your doctor about your due date.
- Get an aisle seat to ensure you can comfortably get to the bathroom and stretch and walk around.
4. Preparing to Travel during Pregnancy
Unfortunately, pregnancy can bring many unexpected discomforts, especially during the hot summer months. To plan for this and make sure you enjoy your vacation as much as possible, it’s best to be ready ahead of time and come prepared for any possible issues you may run into.
Pack roomy, comfortable shoes: Swelling feet can be worsened by heat or overwork, and some sandals can become uncomfortable or tight or cause your feet to sweat or ache. To prevent this, try to pack a few pairs of roomy, ultra-comfortable shoes that you’re sure you can walk in.
Pack lots of sunscreen and deodorant. Your skin is extra sensitive during pregnancy, and your metabolism is working overtime. Protecting your skin and accommodating your body’s effort to keep you cool is the best way to keep yourself safe and worry-free.
Add Sunscreen to your shopping list:
- Ethical Zinc Mineral Natural Zinc Oxide SPF 50+
- Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40
- La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-In Milk Body & Face Sunscreen SPF 60
- EltaMD UV Aero Broad-Spectrum SPF 45
- Sun Bum Mineral SPF 30 Sunscreen Spray
- CeraVe 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50
Pack breezy, light, comfortable clothing. It can be difficult for pregnant people to find comfortable clothes to wear during the hotter seasons, and the last thing you want to do is feel smothered or over-exposed while on vacation. Try to find things that you feel secure in that also keep you cool:
- Floppy Beach Sun Hat
- UPF 50 Bold Cursive Embroidered Adjustable Beach Floppy Sun Hat
- Diva Large Oversized Women’s Designer Fashion Round Sunglasses
- Leopard One Piece
- High Waist Floral Ruffle Bikini
- Halter Ruffled Maternity Monokini
- Mesh Swimdress with Side Ties Bikini Bottom
- For more options, check out our page: Style Meets Comfort | Pregnancy Swimsuits Amazon Edition
Make sure to bring fans or portable air conditioners on your trip if you can manage. Pregnancy makes the body likely to overheat and keeping you cool and cozy is important for your comfort and well-being.
Find belly-friendly accessories for an extra dose of summer fun but with added comfort!
- The Original Inflatable Pregnancy Pillow
- Sport-Brella Beach Chair with UPF 50+ Adjustable Umbrella
- Fluffy Oversized Beach Towel
- Rechargeable Battery-Operated Fan
Most importantly, take breaks. Whether from traveling, walking, sitting out in the sun, or just being out and about, make sure you plan to take plenty of breaks throughout the day. Overexertion can lead to problems, and your body is already doing a lot of work as it is. Try not to push yourself out of your comfort zone and make sure you stay rested and well hydrated.
For Further Questions about Traveling during Pregnancy
If you have any further questions or would like to schedule a consultation before your summer vacation, contact us here at the Woman’s Clinic in Little Rock.
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