We all love a good vacation now and then, but sometimes, a pregnancy has other things to say about it. Traveling while a woman is in her first trimester can be incredibly easy or slightly challenging depending on her baby's gestational age, but don't worry -- We've got the straight facts and tips for moms-to-be about how they can travel safely. While some things are restricted when she's traveling while pregnant, there are many ways to travel that will be perfectly safe for her. We know exactly what she should avoid, what's harmless, and things she might want to think twice about before purchasing those plane tickets.
There are no legitimate reasons for why women shouldn't travel while they're pregnant, it's just something that needs to be entered into with care and caution. If mom is thinking about traveling in her first trimester, this is a great place to start as far as what to consider and how to go about it. She might find that a change in her choice of transportation or packing an extra bag of medications might be all she needs to feel a bit more comfortable going the distance.
20 Traveling Out Of The Country Isn't A Great Option
If you've thought about an overseas trip to an exotic country but recently found out that you're pregnant, you might want to rethink your travel plans if at all possible. Many women do travel to other countries while they're pregnant, but it's not strongly advised. This could all depend on where you're headed but overall, your best option is to stay somewhere domestic. Between the potential antibiotics you might need to be on to how food is prepared in other countries, there are plenty of situations that could become sticky very fast while your immune system is suppressed.
19 It Will Probably Be More Uncomfortable Than Traveling During The 2nd Trimester
If you can hold off at all, traveling during your second trimester is often a much better option. At this point, you've reached your "glowing" stage, where you'll most likely be handling pregnancy with grace and ease (obviously, this is not the case for everyone, but for most). At this point, you've started to creep away from morning sickness and your body has become a bit more comfortable carrying a baby. You'll probably be more likely to be cleared by your doctor for this since you've hit a midway point. Overall, it's your choice, but it's definitely something to think about if you've yet to plan a trip.
18 When Possible, Travel Via Car Rather Than Plane Or Ship
Planes do expose you to some level of radiation. You're going up in the atmosphere to heights that human beings aren't built for and this will have an effect on your body. During your first trimester, your body is getting ready to help your baby to start growing, meaning it's important to keep it as healthy and stable as possible. Planes are not only cramped but are essentially breeding grounds for viruses and bacteria if you're on a long flight. Simply put, you're in an environment that's incredibly challenging to control and putting you and your baby at risk.
17 Prenatal Records Are Important No Matter Where You're Headed
Even if it's just a short trip, take your records with you. You might not think that a long weekend upstate is a big deal but in the event that you have to go to the hospital or a doctor, you'll need those records to speed up the examination process. They're important to hold onto in case of an emergency and something that should definitely be number one on your "to bring" list -- Along with medications and vitamins, of course. Medical records are something that many people don't even have hard copies of, and if history is any indicator, it's better to be safe than sorry.
16 Beware The Airport Security Scanners
We're not talking about the metal detectors that you walk through, those are perfectly fine because they emit low electromagnetic frequencies to pick up on any metal or electronic devices. The full-body scanners are what many women are uncomfortable with and because of this, many opt for pat-downs instead. While there's no definitive evidence to show that the frequency levels that are used by the scanners can cause damage or harm, many won't take the chance. The choice is up to you; Just know that requesting a pat-down is not a big deal in the least but also has its pros and cons.
15 Snacks And Water Are Absolutely Necessary
It doesn't matter what mode of transportation you're taking to travel, having extra snacks and especially water are a must. You can get dehydrated very easily while you're pregnant so even if you're not traveling, it's a solid idea to have a bottle of water on-hand at all times. If you're traveling via car, it's easy enough to put together some trail mix or other snacks to hold you over for a while. If you're traveling via plane, don't be afraid to request extra snacks and explain that you're pregnant -- Flight attendants will be more than happy to help you out.
14 Pay Attention To Your Assigned Seat And Avoid The Window
It's no secret that during your first trimester, you'll probably be getting up to pee a lot. Between the increased hormones and the fact that you have a growing baby that will be leaning on your internal organs, this is just common knowledge. If you know you'll be traveling by plane in advance, try to see if you can snag an aisle seat before it comes time to get on that flight. Trust us, by the fifth time you're getting up to run to the bathroom, you'll be thanking us for reminding you. If you can't get an aisle seat, it can't hurt to see if someone wants to swap -- People love windows.
13 Some Places Might Not Have Nearby Medical Facilities
This is a fact that must be dealt with before you follow through with or make travel plans. It doesn't matter whether you're traveling out of state or out of the country, make sure that wherever you go, you're near a hospital. While it might not be as big of a concern when you're in your first trimester, you never know. With the increased amount of walking you could be doing, carrying around luggage, or experiencing more elevated stress than usual, it's always good to be prepared rather than stuck searching for a doctor later on. This is something you can discuss with your doctor prior to traveling as well.
12 The Proper Way To Wear A Seatbelt While Pregnant
1This is another thing that feels like it should be common sense or at least a natural instinct, but it's not. Many women become stumped as to how to properly wear a seatbelt when they start to show, and there is a correct way to wear it. While you're in the car, you must wear both the should strap as well as the lap belt. You can actually put yourself in an even more dangerous situation if you avoid wearing either one of these. The should strap should sit perfectly diagonal across your chest and sit above your stomach. The lap belt should sit comfortably below your baby belly, but rest above your hips for optimal safety. Regardless of how long the ride is, buckle up!
11 Week 36 Is The Cutoff For Traveling Via Plane
Many doctors won't clear you for travel after your 36th week of pregnancy. After that point, it's just too risky to attempt a flight and there are too many things that can go wrong. When put like that, it makes sense to travel in your first or second trimester if you are going on a trip. Both are fine as long as you're well-prepared and not going anywhere that could put you or your baby at risk. The first thing you should do if you've already made travel plans is to do the math to see what week of pregnancy you'll be in by the time your trip comes up, and then talk to your doctor just to be cleared to go.
10 Immunizations Can Get Complicated But Might Be Necessary
If you absolutely need to travel out of the country and also need to get a shot or vaccine beforehand, you absolutely need to speak to your doctor before you make any moves. Some women might need to travel for work or to see their families, and if this is unavoidable, then there are ways to go about it that are safe for both you and your baby. However, getting any type of immunization or shot before consulting your doctor first could be detrimental to your pregnancy. This is a tricky situation and there's no one better to help than your own personal doctor.
9 Some Health Insurance Plans Might Not Reach Other Countries
Another thing that many don't think of, especially if they're under their partner's plans, is that insurance carriers have specific policies. Many have certain requirements and drawbacks when it comes to traveling out of the country, which could be a reason to exercise caution if you do plan on an overseas trip. The last thing you want to do is get to your destination and realize the hard way that you have absolutely no insurance in that country. It's super easy to check this; all you need to do is call up your insurance carrier and ask. If you're not covered, see if there's anything they can do to extend coverage temporarily.
8 Clear Your Medications First Before You Make Travel Plans
This is mostly if you're traveling by plane or planning on crossing the border. You'll be subject to a strict search and might not be able to take certain medications with you. You might also be restricted to how much of each medication you can take and, while your doctor should be able to help you with this, your best bet is to call the airline ahead of time. If for some reason you can't take a medication, find out which pharmacy you can get it from when you arrive at your destination -- Your doctor can probably even call it in for you.
7 You're Bound To Exercise More So Be Wary
So many people are surprised when they come back from vacation and realize that they've either lost weight or maxed out their Fitbit or health app for the week. This is because you're walking through airports, walking around on a cruise ship, and even walking and dragging your luggage everywhere when traveling by car. Vacations are relaxing but they're also responsible for the release of endorphins, which encourages you to move around and be more active because you're in a positive mood and happy to do it. This is great and will provide you with great benefits, but make sure to listen to your body and not overdo it.
6 You Will Face More Germs Than Normal
It's part of life. This is especially true when it comes to traveling by plane because you're essentially locked into one airtight area with a ton of other people. While there is airflow, there's just no place for all of these germs and bacteria to go rather than, well, up your nose. In addition, you have people from all walks of life on planes, and what they might be immune to, you might not be. It's a risk to be aware of, especially in your first trimester when your body is going through so many changes. Even if you're traveling by car, always wash your hands whenever you get out -- Hand sanitizer can be amazing while traveling.
5 Seat Belts Are Just As Important On A Plane
We know, we know -- Airplane seatbelts are annoying, uncomfortable, and always seem to be set to the wrong size. This can be such a pain to fuss with and adjust when you're pregnant because you're still getting used to your baby bump, but it is necessary. During takeoff and landing, in particular, your seatbelt needs to be on and fitted correctly to maximum safety while you're on that plane. Wearing it is similar to how you'd wear the lap belt in a car; make sure it sits just below your baby bump to avoid injury, but just above your hips to ensure safety.
4 You Need To Take Your Time No Matter What
Don't be afraid to slow down. Anyone you're traveling with should be able to understand that you're in your first trimester and still getting used to changes, so if you happen to feel lightheaded or fatigued at all, take a break. You might feel like you're bumming the group out but, in reality, you're really just watching out for yourself and your baby -- And that's not a bad thing at all. If you're near a bench, pop a squat. When you get to the hotel, take a little cat nap or just unwind. And if you're on vacation, just relax! That's really what it's all about, anyway.
3 Prepare For Everything, Including Remedies For Everything
If you're traveling by car or ship then you have this super easy. Morning sickness is no stranger to the end of your first trimester and remedies such as Tums, Pepto, and even Dramamine can be extremely helpful to aid in any type of nausea you might feel while traveling. The motion of a plane, car, or boat can set your stomach off even more and make you feel sicker than usual so it's always a good idea to have one of these on-hand. In addition, make sure to bring plenty of medication to help with a headache, any essential oils you might use, as well as things such as ginger capsules or other natural (but safe!) remedies for pregnancy-related discomfort.
2 Compression Stockings Are Legitimate And Helpful
They're not just for the older crowd and aren't made for people with diseases such as diabetes or heart-related conditions. Compression stockings and socks can drastically help to relieve the pressure, pain, or stiffness you might feel in your legs, ankles, and feet when sitting for long periods of time. Whether you're traveling by plane or car they'll come in extremely handy. You might notice more of a need for these in your second and third trimesters depending on how often you're sitting or standing, so it's an investment well-made.
1 The Actual Metal Detectors Are Relatively Harmless
We touched on this but now we'll go over it in a bit more detail. The metal detectors that you'll go through at airport security are safe enough for your to tolerate during your first trimester. The frequencies they emit are so, so low that it has shown no definitive sign of damaging, interfering with, or even causing stress on a pregnant woman's body or her baby. These particles simply bounce off and are intended to find metal or electronic devices, not to function as x-rays that send radioactive waves through your body in order to see what's contained in your pocket.