I’m not pregnant, but a recent business trip where I encountered several women-with-child reminded me of the hazards and hassles of pregnant travel. While pregnant travel is inevitable, there are some ways to cope and ensure the safety of both you and your baby.
Schedule the trip for after the first trimester. If you can, try to schedule any travel for during the second trimester, when most pregnant women generally feel the best. Traveling during the first trimester can be difficult, as morning sickness can be at its worst, and travel during the third trimester can be dangerous and uncomfortable, especially if you are near your due date.
Consult with your doctor. Talk to your doctor about your travel plans to ensure that travel is safe for you. While you’re there, get a copy of your medical records, and – if you are traveling in the second half of your third trimester – a doctor’s note approving your travel. Certain U.S. airlines have policies against pregnant women traveling past 34 weeks of gestation; if you are flying, be sure to check with your airline prior to your travels to make sure you can go.
Plan ahead for health emergencies. Plan ahead for your trip by contacting your health insurance company to make sure you are covered at your destination. It might also be a good idea to locate the nearest hospital that accepts your insurance, should an emergency arise. Write down the hospital name, address and phone number, and carry it with you.
Pack wisely. How you pack for your trip will affect how you feel while traveling. Pack as light as you can so you don’t have to lug around a big, heavy suitcase. In addition, place your essentials in a light-weight carry on with wheels and check any additional luggage. Be sure to bring along snacks, bottled water and any essential prescriptions and vitamins in your carry on luggage as well.
Rest when you need to. Listen to your body and take frequent breaks to sit down and put your feet up if possible. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and to prevent preterm labor.