When you’re pregnant, things that you’d normally do without thinking twice become something that has to be thoughtfully planned out in advance. Travel is one of those things. This list of dos and don’ts is the latest advice for pregnant women everywhere that have a trip planned before their due date.
Do Wear Pregnancy Leggings
Pregnancy leggings or compression leggings built for a pregnant body are a must when the travel mode requires long spells of sitting. The leggings will improve blood circulation in the lower body so that blood clots are less of a concern.
Do Wear Very Comfortable Shoes
A woman’s feet can grow up to a whole size larger during pregnancy thanks to edema. Time to break out the Uggs and Crocs.
Do Travel During Your Second Trimester
The second trimester is usually morning sickness-free, and you aren’t carrying around too much extra weight. Doctors often suggest taking longer distance trips between the 20 and 30 week mark.
Do Check the Airline’s Pregnancy Flying Policy
It appears that airlines don’t want women going into labor mid flight. Each one has established their own pregnancy flying policies that may require you to provide a note from a doctor if you are a month or less from the delivery date.
Do Prepare Medically
Bring your prenatal records with you wherever you go, and locate the hospital nearest to where you’ll be staying. You’ll also need to keep a copy of your health insurance handy.
Do Consider Traveling by Car
Cars may not be the quickest mode of transportation, but they do offer distinct advantages over other types of travel. The most important being that you have more control over when and where you can stop just in case there’s an issue. Just keep it to a maximum of six hours in the day.
Do Pay Attention to How You Wear Your Seatbelt
Once your bump starts to grow you’ll have to be careful about where the seatbelt straps are placed. The lap belt should be below your belly and the shoulder strap should go across the middle of the chest and around the stomach.
Do Get the Aisle Seat at the Front or Back of an Airplane
To keep the blood circulating doctors advise that pregnant women get up and walk around at least every few hours. An aisle seat at the front or back will make it easier to get up to go to the bathroom, stand out, stretch and walk during the flight.
Do Drink the Right Beverages
Some beverages help make the trip easier (water), and others could make things more uncomfortable (caffeinated drinks). Guzzling water also has the added benefit of keeping you hydrated and keeping your skin from getting dry.
Don’t Forget to Factor in Frequent Bathroom Breaks
Having to go more often is a normal side effect that starts much sooner in the pregnancy than many people realize. From the first trimester on the urge to go is more frequent, which is going to factor into long car rides. Women have reported urinating as frequently as every hour, so give yourself extra time to get where you need to go.
Don’t Leave Without Talking to Your Doctor First
No matter how far along you are, let your doctor know if you plan to take a trip out of town. They can provide specific advice on what you should and shouldn’t do to avoid issues while traveling.
Don’t Travel in the Last Month of Pregnancy
Doctors typically advise against traveling once your pregnancy reaches 36 weeks. Only travel after this if it’s absolutely necessary.
Don’t Go Through the Imaging Machines at Airports
Because no long-term studies have been done, doctors say pregnant women should play it safe and avoid the Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) scanners at airports. Request that they give you a pat down if necessary after going through the metal detector.
Don’t Sit Still in Your Seat
Whether you are in a car, on a train or a plane do stretches while seated every 30 minutes. Extend your legs out in front of you and flex the feet, wiggle your toes and rotate your ankles.