Just because you’re pregnant, doesn’t mean you can no longer wander. ☺
While pregnancy may be an amazing phase in the lives of some women, it may also be an unpleasant experience because of the major physical changes that expecting mothers have to go through during this stage. So sure, expecting mothers can still travel. As a matter of fact, I think it’s the best time to just chill, relax, and take your mind off the awful changes that pregnancy may bring.
But there will be limitations and extra care is needed. So today, I’ll share my thoughts on how traveling has been like for me while I am pregnant. While the things you are about to read may work for some, others may find these unsafe especially for those who experience high-risk pregnancy. Remember, every woman is unique, has different body types, and definitely has varying needs.
Always consult your practitioner.
If there’s someone who you should be asking whether it’s safe for you to travel or not, it’s none other than your practitioner. She knows best if your current condition is safe for traveling since she has your records and should know everything about your pregnancy. When my OB confirmed that I am pregnant on my first consultation last September, I immediately asked her if I could push through with my plans of traveling to Kalinga the following month. Her answer led me to the next item.
Wait till you’re done with the first trimester.
Apparently, the first trimester is the most crucial part of one’s pregnancy as this is the time when your little spawn is developing all of his or her organs. Any unfortunate events may cause fetal complications, abnormalities, defects, and worst, miscarriages. When you’re expecting, these are the last things you would want to happen. So, upon learning that travel time (by land) from Manila to Kalinga may take 12 hours or so, my OB’s answer was obviously a big NO. If going away can wait, wait until you’re done with the first trimester.
Do a little research on the place you’re going to.
I know for sure that you all are aware of the health crisis happening in the Americas as of writing in which babies are born with relatively smaller heads caused by the Zika virus. It pays to know the current situation of the place you are visiting so you can do all the necessary precautions and preparations.
If you’re flying, review the policies of your airline.
Check your airline’s restrictions when it comes to their carriage of pregnant passengers. As for my experience flying with Cebu Pacific on my fourth month (16 weeks), they asked me to sign a special handling form while checking in. For those who are on their 24th to 34th week, a medical clearance from your practitioner is required. And for those who are beyond their 34th week, sorry but you will be refused to board. These policies may vary depending on the airline so, better give them a call before your scheduled trip.
Uhm, isn’t this what we should be doing whenever we travel—to pack light, pregnant or not? With your added weight because of your growing little one, exhaustion can kick in easily. This may lead to back pain, headache, uneasiness, and a lot more that only expecting women may experience all at the same time. Thanks to the raging pregnancy hormones. Just bring what’s really necessary. If you can do away with non-organic make-up and toiletries, the better it’ll be. Besides, chemicals are, if not prohibited, should be used less during pregnancy. A pillow has been my great travel companion.
I’ve never been a fan of dresses and trendy clothing. Though I did buy a couple of dresses, I bulk purchased leggings and large shirts, which I’d be using during my gestation. And just like what I’ve said, each woman has varying needs. If stretchy trousers and the likes don’t appeal to you, wear whatever makes you comfortable, especially when traveling. Consider the environment you’ll visit, the activities you’ll do, the vehicles you’ll ride, and the weather, of course. Just make sure that your bulging belly won’t get squeezed with your clothing preference.
Don’t forget to take your meds or vitamins.
When I said pack light, that doesn’t include leaving your meds or vitamins behind. Expecting mothers are prescribed tons of meds or vitamins depending on her condition. Drinking massive tablets or capsules may not be the nicest experience for pregnant women, but you and your babies need these. So, don’t skip even one day even when traveling.
Let the people around you know you’re expecting.
So far, this has been my most favorite part of my pregnancy. Aside from enjoying the perks of being a priority when there are queues, people tend to be more cautious and caring when they’re around me. This will come most handy on your third trimester when you are prone to swelling, exhaustion, and more pain because of your added weight.
Listen to your body.
Those who know me are aware that I do hooping and wholeheartedly practice Pilates before I got pregnant. In fact, I was still doing hardcore Pilates before I learned that I was already 5-week pregnant. Now that I am bigger and heavier, exercising is one of the things that I have to put on hold until I give birth. Exercising makes me really exhausted. It’d even lead to headaches sometimes. So, when you feel tired when exercising or when doing activities while on a trip, get some rest. Listen to your body and know your limits. You can go back to your normal routine after all these.
Stay hydrated and well-fed.
Don’t be alarmed if you get thirsty and hungry more often now that you’re having a bun in the oven. Remember that there’s two of you now who need drinking and feeding. When traveling, always bring a bottle of water and light snacks with you. Trust me, it’ll keep you sane and prevent mood swings.
If there’s one thing that I learned about being pregnant, it’s to be happy at all times. There are studies proving that stress is one of the leading causes of underweight and unhealthy babies, those who cry more or sleep less after birth, and sometimes those with complications. Do all of the things that make you happy. If traveling is one of them, then by all means, pack your bag, head on a journey.
Kaiz is a stay-at-home mom and currently works as an Operations Specialist for a software engineering company based in the US.