pregnant woman travelling

Traveling with a belly

Traveling when pregnant always makes me a nervous wreck. Between the fear of going into labor on an airplane and simply having to use the restroom 10+ times, I never know quite what to expect.

Most pregnant women nowadays will travel either by a long-distance road trip or by plane at some point in their pregnancies.

Whether going on a babymoon in Hawaii or visiting relatives one last time before the little one’s here, it’s bound to happen. Plus, pregnancy is a pretty long journey, and it’s just not fun staying cooped up in the house for almost a year. If you’re pregnant and planning on traveling, plan ahead and relax with some essential tips to make your life a little easier.

Carry food and water

Whether traveling by car or by plane, pack plenty of healthy snacks and water bottles in case you get hungry and you’re only surrounded by fast food. Remember, pregnant women become dehydrated much quicker than those not carrying a baby, so make sure you’re getting enough. No, this won’t help your cause when it comes to using the restroom, so we suggest getting an aisle seat on an airplane or knowing how far apart the rest areas are on your road trip.

Don’t overpack

Pack according to the weather and only bring items you’ll be comfortable in. Pack as lightly as possible. Trust us — you’ll save yourself the trouble of lugging around a huge suitcase (or two) and ten loads of laundry upon your return. You’re pregnant — it’s totally OK to be comfortable and wear simple attire. Spending less time worrying about your outfits allows you to relax and de-stress on your vacation, something you’ll be so thankful for once the baby’s here.

Here are a few essentials you won’t want to forget:

  • Prenatal vitamins
  • Medical records/Doctor’s note stating it’s safe to travel
  • Insurance information
  • Comfortable shoes (we recommend skipping heels all together as you may end up walking much further than planned)
  • A light jacket or favorite, lightweight blanket for the car or plane
  • Healthy snacks and water (see above)
  • Hand sanitizer and lotion
  • Foot insoles or blister pads in case your feet get sore and/or swell

Try not to stress

Stress isn’t good for anyone, especially pregnant women! Do your best not to stress when traveling. The best way to do this is to plan for the unexpected. Allow yourself ample time getting from one place to the next — account for bathroom breaks, getting lost, traffic jams, etc. Meditate each morning and breathe deeply when you feel stress coming on. If you’re stressed, your baby is stressed, so do your best to relax as much as possible.

Move as much as possible

Pregnant women can develop blood clots from sitting for long periods of time. Do your best to get up, stretch and walk around whenever possible. For road trips, plan on stopping every 2-3 hours to get some exercise and use the restroom. Airplanes are bit trickier — we suggest letting the flight attendants know in advance that you’re pregnant, and asking if you can walk down the aisles or stretch when needed.

Check out these tips for a stress-free vacation here >>

plan a "recovery" day

Chances are you’re going to be much more jetlagged than normal. Give yourself a day between traveling and sightseeing to relax and unwind. Same goes for when you return back home — allow yourself an extra day before returning to work or planning activities.

More travel tips

How to travel with an infant
5 Expert travel tips
10 Must-haves for pregnant travel

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Comments

Comments on "Travel tips for pregnant women"

Tina February 16, 2013 | 6:12 PM

I'd also add getting an aisle seat if possible. I know my frequent trips to the bathroom from hydration could be quite annoying if I was constantly stepping over two other people...

Erin February 15, 2013 | 4:21 PM

Great tips. I'm currently expecting baby #2 and we're going to be traveling a lot. Very helpful!

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