Despite what your mother or even your friends may tell you, it’s simply not true that you can’t travel while you are pregnant. You might have close friends and family who protectively tell you that traveling is not recommended during your pregnancy, but as long as you don’t have any pregnancy complications, traveling, either flying or driving, should be fine.
In fact, enjoy your trip.
Naturally, you’ll want to take some safety precautions if you’re driving or flying for any length of time while pregnant. It will be easier if you’re not going by yourself, of course. A friend or your partner can take turns being the driver, or help carry things for you at the airport, to lessen your load.
Driving While Pregnant
You may have your own worries about traveling. You may be worried that you’ll spend most of your time in the air or in the car with your head in a paper bag, unable to enjoy the scenery. There’s no evidence that pregnancy increases your chances of suffering motion sickness. However, if you’ve had motion sickness in the past, you may get it again while expecting.
If you are driving to your destination, try to sit in the front seat and keep the window cracked open for a fresh flow of air circulating through the vehicle. It can help to focus on a distant object on the horizon while in the car.
It’s important to properly wear your seat belt when traveling during your pregnancy. It might be uncomfortable, but the belt will protect both you and your baby. Your lap belt should be tight across your hipbones, or directly below your belly. Don’t allow the seat belt to ride up and cross or go above your belly. The shoulder belt should be positioned at your breasts, not at your neck.
If your seat has an air bag, it’s recommended to slide the seat as far back as possible.
Since the baby is probably pressing on your bladder, you may have to take frequent stops to use a restroom, giving you the opportunity to get out and stretch your legs.
If the worst case scenario happens and you are in an accident, don’t hesitate to get examined in an emergency room, even if it was a minor crash. While your uterus is a safe, protective environment for your baby, there are complications that could occur as a result of a car accident. Get checked out – just to be safe.
Flying While Pregnant
As long as your pregnancy is normal and healthy, you should be able to fly on a commercial airplane up to 35 weeks.
While there isn’t an increased danger to women who fly during the earliest stages of their pregnancies, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has recommended that the safest time to fly is when you’re 18 to 24 weeks’ pregnant. This is the time when the chance of miscarriage has decreased, and before you may be most at risk for pre-term labor.
If you’re planning to fly, it may make you feel more comfortable to sit in an aisle seat or a seat in the bulkhead, since they tend to have more leg room.
Just as you should do when you are driving, make sure your seat belt is securely fastened at your hips and below your belly.
Make an effort to get up and walk every 30 minutes or so when flying. If you’re unable to do this, try to flex your feet and ankles as much as possible to help with your circulation.
Whether you’re traveling by boat, car or plane, enjoy your vacation. Drink plenty of water, eat healthy meals, get plenty of sleep, and have fun.
Your greatest adventure is about to happen with the arrival of your baby. Before this happens, take time to take care of you.