7 Tips for Traveling While Pregnant
by Natalie Fitzgerald
Planning to ship off one last time before baby arrives? Whether you’re traveling by car, plane, ship, or train,
make sure you check out my 7 tips for traveling while pregnant before you go!
It’s recommended pregnant women should consume 100oz of water daily, and if you plan to travel it’s a good idea to drink that, if not more, especially if you’re flying.
Airplanes typically have low humidity levels, which can bring on dehydration faster.
Buy a bottle of water once you get through security and keep sipping throughout the flight. It’s a good idea to request an aisle seat too, for easier access to the restroom.
2. Mama Snack Pack
In addition to drinking plenty of water, make sure you’re well stocked with healthy snacks too. This can help curb some of the side effects of pregnancy, like nausea and constipation, which can be harder to manage while traveling. So what kinds of things will you find in my mama snack pack? Apple slices, Lara Bars, oranges, and I love the Rosemary Marcona almonds from Trader Joe’s! You can also put together your own version of a trail mix, just make sure the foods you choose are high in fiber and protein to help keep you feeling satisfied and avoid the dreaded constipation!
3. Pregnancy Essentials
Speaking of constipation, it’s never a bad idea to pack some Senna tabs or magnesium to help things regulate while traveling. I love the magnesium supplement Natural Calm, which can be added to cold or hot water, and they even have packets to bring with you on the go. Also important to pack are plenty of prenatal vitamins and compression socks for circulation.
Compression socks will help keep the blood flowing and even though they’re not the most fashionable, they can definitely be helpful on longer travel days
4. Time Your Travel Right
Because the first and third trimesters during pregnancy can pose more medical emergencies for pregnant women, the best time to travel is during the second trimester, between 14-28 weeks.
It’s always a good idea to check in with your doctor before traveling, and if you’re traveling by plane, contact the airline before booking travel – sometimes airlines have their own cutoffs for approving travel for pregnant women.
5. Plan for the Unexpected
and Purchase Insurance
Pregnancy is such an uncertain phase, so if you’re planning to be far from home or gone for an extended period of time, bring prenatal documents and touch base with your doctor before leaving.
Most airlines offer travel insurance which is a good thing to purchase if you’re pregnant in case you have a change of plans last minute.
6. Travel Light
Try to plan out your outfits and rewear/mix and match tops and pants so you have less to pack and can carry-on if flying. Traveling with a spinner/all-way roller suitcase is easy to maneuver and will help take the pressure off your back and feet. When the handle is extended, it also creates a shelf for your purse or bag so you don’t have to tote that around over your shoulder.
This one is my favorite – it’s lightweight and has an optional expander.
7. Budget Time
Traveling can be exhausting as is, and traveling while pregnant can be even more so. Try to budget your time so you’re not running from gate to gate, or rushed trying to get somewhere by car.
Allow bathroom and food stop breaks, and try to book nonstop flights when possible so you’re not stressed trying to catch a connecting flight or tote luggage to another area of the airport. Try to make things simple for yourself and most importantly, as I say with all things, try to be flexible and stay relaxed! It will make for a better travel experience all around, even when things don’t go as planned
BONUS: Breastfeeding and Travel
Have concerns post-baby about breastfeeding while traveling? It can be tricky but good thing is the breast is always accessible! Bring two nursing covers – one you plan to use and a backup just in case. Wear something easy to pull aside for easy access. Button-downs or nursing tanks like these are great. If you’re traveling with your newborn in tow, try to feed your babe just as you’re taking off and landing to help release the pressure during the rapid change of altitude. However, if your baby is asleep during takeoff and/or landing, let the baby sleep! Pack an extra change of clothes for both you and baby. Keep a small bag with wipes, diapers, and burp cloths at the top of your diaper bag for easy access.
Go with the flow and if you ever need to nurse for comfort while traveling, go for it! It’s a lot of change for babies and a very stimulating environment.
The breast can be a great source of comfort for babies in these situations.
Natalie Fitzgerald is a Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Postpartum Doula. Natalie’s approach to sleep training is tailored to each family she works with, meeting them exactly where they are and developing a customized plan to help them reach their sleep goals, based on their unique baby’s needs and their parenting style. Natalie walks alongside families during the time they need the most support, encouraging parents and helping them find a rhythm that works best with their baby and lifestyle. Natalie is also a member of the Postpartum Health Alliance, a non-profit dedicated to raising awareness about Postpartum Mood and Anxiety Disorders. She lives in San Diego with her little ones: Connor (7yrs), Kate (4yrs), and Makenna (1.5yrs).