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Being pregnant isn't fun. There's morning sickness, the inability to consume alcohol, and that weird heaviness you might feel in your groin when you reach later months before the baby is born.
Traveling while pregnant is difficult, but that doesn't mean that it's impossible. It's times like these that a little bit of research and preparation can go a long, long way.
If you are going to be traveling while expecting, you might as well read about everything you need to know about traveling pregnant — and how to prepare.
Pack morning sickness meds and other meds your OB-GYN approved, too.
Things like acetaminophen and Dramamine can be absolutely wonderful travel aids if you're prone to aches and nausea during pregnancy. If you're not sure what to grab, ask your OB-GYN. He'll tell you everything you need to know about traveling pregnant — at least, in terms of medicine.
If you're dealing with a high-risk pregnancy, ask your OB-GYN if it's okay to go.
Regular pregnant women will usually have no problem when it comes to traveling, even in the later stages of pregnancy. High-risk pregnancies, though, are something you should always be wary about when traveling.
If you've been labeled high-risk, it's wise to talk to your doctor before you plan any trips. Most high-risk pregnant women can still travel as long as they take reasonable precautions.
However, there are certain cases where travel is just not something you should undertake, especially if you're in the later stages of pregnancy. If you're extremely high-risk, your best bet is to wait until after the baby comes to see the Great Wall of China.
Time your trip for best results.
Weeks 14 through 28 are the best times to travel while pregnant, hands down. Why? Because it's a low-maintenance time and the chances of miscarriage have decreased during this timeframe.
Any guide telling you everything you need to know about traveling pregnant will suggest this timeframe since morning sickness ceases and you often don't feel as bulky as you would during the later part of the third trimester.
After week 28, most OB-GYNs want to see you every week — just to check and see how things are going. At this point, you will probably end up being forced to stay near home, if only because of the checkups.
Certain places will require immunization before you can go there safely — and if you can't get the immunization while pregnant, that means those places are off-limits.
In many parts of Africa and Southeast Asia, mosquitos carry malaria. This well-known disease is known for causing serious health complications in fetuses. Many pregnancies affected by malaria also may result in stillbirth. Malaria, though, can be prevented by a vaccination.
Not all vaccinations, though, can be gotten while pregnant. So, if you were hoping to check out South Africa while carrying, you might need to take a rain check.
Obviously, listening to travel warnings is also fairly important for pregnant women.
Riding in a car will require a little bit of extra skill.
There's a lot of things you can do to make car travel safer. For example, taking frequent breaks and keeping your feet raised using a pillow can make things easier on your bladder and circulation.
You also will need to relearn how to wear a seat belt. Expecting mothers should keep the bottom portion of the seat belts below the bump, not on it. Similarly, if you're really not feeling good to drive, it's okay to ask your partner to drive for you.
With air travel, make sure that you have your feet feeling comfortable, and drink plenty of water. Air travel has a way of dehydrating us all — especially pregnant ladies.
For obvious reasons, do not do overly physical things while you're traveling.
Since this is literally a guide on everything you need to know about traveling pregnant, I'm going to state the obvious. Rock climbing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, MMA, and other ridiculously dangerous things should not be done while you're expecting.
Light exercise is okay, but listen to your body and know your limits. If in doubt, check with the OB-GYN and avoid traveling to dangerous places.
Some airlines and cruise ships may bar you from traveling while in the later stages of pregnancy.
A baby delivery is considered to be a medical emergency, and companies in the travel industry have the right to turn passengers away if they feel they may end up causing an emergency or a problem while traveling with them.
Though it is rare, there are cases in which airlines have barred pregnant women from entering the plane due to being 36 weeks pregnant or more. It's made the news, and you may need to call to confirm that this will not happen to you.
If you are worried about this, bringing enough money for a backup plan is important. Above all, avoid traveling on the worst airlines currently in existence, since they'll be more likely to mess things up for you.
It's absolutely crucial to have a backup plan or to make the call to just drive instead when you're after week 36. You don't want to be a pregnant woman failed by the system airlines use during your later trimesters.
In many cases, airlines will require certificates or doctors' notes before you can get on the plane.
Always check to see airline policies when it comes to pregnant women. Some airlines now require a certificate or doctor's note clearing you after you reach the middle of the second trimester.
Wearing loose clothing is always wise.
It's important to realize that you aren't always going to be your most glamorous. Since this is a guide on everything you need to know about traveling pregnant, I'll offer some fashion tips.
- Wear loose clothing. Loose clothing is comfortable clothing and will ensure that you don't have blood clots and other issues while on the road.
- If going on the road long-term, grab clothes that are one size larger than you. You will likely grow into them as the weeks progress.
- Don't wear heels. High heels are bad enough without pregnancy. Don't do this to yourself while you're pregnant, as a single misstep might end up hurting you and the baby.
- If you're in the earlier stages of pregnancy, a nursing dress will be stretchy enough to work with your baby's growth and also will be comfortable enough for you. Nursing dresses will be your new best friend. Trust me on this.
Lastly, one of the more annoying parts about traveling while pregnant is that you may need to deal with people judging you.
It's sad but true. People, even other women, will judge the heck out of you for traveling while pregnant — despite it being absolutely safe most of the time. Just stay comfortable and forget the haters.