Travel tips for pregnant women

“Pregnant woman2” by File photo, Canwest News Service Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Travel doesn’t have to stop once you have kids, but it does change, starting with pregnancy. These travel tips for pregnant women come from Jan Rydfors, a California gynecologist/obstetrician who is the co-creator of Pregnancy Companion: The Obstetrician’s Mobile Guide to Pregnancy, a free app.

Stay Hydrated

Hydration is extra important when you’re pregnant because more water evaporates from your skin during pregnancy. This is especially important if you travel during the summer when higher temperatures can increase fluid loss. Try to drink at least 10 eight-ounce glasses of fluid every day; even more on hot days.

Protect Yourself from the Sun

The warmth of sun feels good and getting a tan is always nice, but it’s more important to be careful of those harmful rays now. That’s because pregnancy hormones can increase the chances of skin discoloration that might be permanent. Opt for ultra-strong sun block of SPF 50 or more when you go outside. And remember to put sun block on your skin even under your clothes since clothes only provide a SPF block of 10 or so.

Be Prepared for Illness

Travel tips for pregnant women

“Pregnant woman (2)” by David Roseborough from Los Angeles, via Wikimedia Commons

Before you travel, ask your health care provider to prescribe you some nausea medication and antibiotics in case you get sick. If you do get sick, be careful to drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. The best options are coconut juice, Pedialyte and broth soups.

Flying Safely During Pregnancy

Try to get an aisle seat so that you can go to the bathroom frequently and take repeated walks down the aisles. Wear your seat belt below your belly. If you are in your third trimester and the flight is longer than a few hours, you may experience significant foot swelling, so consider wearing comfortable sandals and support stockings. Finally, check the airline’s pregnancy cut-off date. Most airlines will not allow pregnant women to travel after 36 weeks, but some cut off travel even earlier. It is always a good idea to get a note from your health care provider regarding your due date since the airline might ask for it.

Safe Car Travel During Pregnancy

Try to limit the car trip to six hours per day and remember to take breaks every one to two hours to stretch and go to the restroom. This will also help to prevent blood clots in your legs. Being stuck in a car for hours might be a little uncomfortable so bring a pillow or two with you. Finally, it is a good idea to bring some snacks and bottled water as well as a small roll of toilet paper. Always remember to wear your seat belt at all times and make sure it does not cover your pregnant belly.

water_bottlesStaying Safe on an International Trip

If you are going abroad for a last hurrah before your baby arrives, plan wisely to ensure a memorable trip. Make sure you use safe drinking water. Opt for bottled carbonated water if you are unsure about the tap water. If you can’t get bottled water, boil the tap water for three minutes before drinking it. And remember: freezing does not kill bacteria. So make sure you use ice from a safe water source. Also don’t drink out of glasses that have been washed in un-boiled water. To help prevent common travel diarrhea, eat only fruits and vegetables that have been cooked or ones that you have peeled yourself. Do not eat raw or undercooked meat and fish.

Safe travel tips for pregnant women

One the baby is born, check out these stories:

6 Best Destinations for Traveling with Babies

Visiting Paris with a Baby

Visiting National Parks with a Baby