By Michelle Mayefske
Many expectant families like to take a trip or “babymoon” before their little one arrives. While travel during pregnancy is different, that doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be difficult! These simple planning tips will help you easily prioritise your comfort and health without compromising your experience!
When to travel
It is generally safe to travel during uncomplicated pregnancies. Keep in mind that the closer you get to full-term, the more likely you are to run into travel restrictions with different agencies (or to have your baby early). Planning a holiday in your first trimester may not be ideal if you are experiencing sickness and you may want to avoid the third trimester when you become more easily fatigued. Many people travel during the second trimester, also known as the “honeymoon” phase of pregnancy.
Expect the unexpected
Pregnancy symptoms have a tendency to sneak up on the best of us! One week is smooth sailing but the next may bring constipation, swelling and fatigue you haven’t felt before. Be prepared by purchasing travel insurance and bringing stool softeners, probiotics, antacids, paracetamol and anything else which may provide relief. While some of these items are accessible while on holiday, you may not know what over-the-counter products are safe or be able to read the packaging if it’s not in your native language.
Water and snacks
It’s easy to underestimate how much water and snacks are needed during pregnancy. Pregnant women are recommended to drink three litres of water per day. Make sure you bring your own refillable water bottle or purchase enough water before you get on a train, plane or vehicle. Staying hydrated is important to ensure amniotic fluid is renewed and it also helps relieve constipation. Along with water, ensure you have a good supply of snacks. No one wants to be ‘hangry’ and nauseated while on holiday! Bring something that has protein to help keep you full and some fibre to, again, help with constipation.
Bring sleep aids
Getting a good night’s sleep can be extra difficult while on holiday. The hotel beds may be uncomfortable, you’re in a new environment, you wake frequently to urinate and other travellers may be loud during the night! Extra pillows, ear plugs and an eye mask can do wonders for rest. If you’re on a long commute, bring along a neck rest so you can relax further without head bobbing or waking with neck pain.
While you may not currently be experiencing much fatigue, it’s still wise to prepare a holiday which may be more low-key than you’re used to. Wanting to go sight seeing is understandable but expecting yourself to walk around for eight hours may not be realistic. You are likely to tire more quickly and you don’t want swollen ankles or pains because you’ve have pushed yourself too much. A great solution is to create built-in time for rest at a restaurant, café, beach or spa. Your body will thank you for it!
Michelle is a birth and postpartum doula and the owner of Limerick Doula Services. She provides support services for new and expectant parents, ensuring they have a smooth transition to parenthood. She is a mum of four and seasoned traveler!