Whether you’re planning a babymoon or a family trip, pregnancy travel calls for some special considerations. Safe ventures for babymoons and beyond.
Here’s how to stay comfortable and safe, pregnancy travel tips for moms-to-be:
1. First, talk with your doc
The biggest concern with pregnancy travel is the risk of having a preterm birth, says Debbie Gilmore, founder of VacationHomeRentals.com. So before you book those non-refundable airline tickets to Tahiti, be sure to discuss your schedule with your doc to get the all clear. Many cruise lines won’t allow moms-to-be who are past the 24-week mark on board, and most airlines don’t permit women over 8 months pregnant to board without a doctor’s note.
2. Prepare for the unexpected
Travel insurance and refund policies that cover events like cancellations or flight changes, lost baggage, and medical emergencies are always a smart idea. But they’re especially worthwhile for pregnancy travel, since there’s always the possibility that your plans could change at the last minute. And when you do head out for vacay, be sure to carry a copy of your prenatal records and contact info for the local hospital, in case you need medical attention unexpectedly.
3. Eat and drink safe
When traveling abroad, experts often recommend steering clear of tap water and raw or undercooked foods, which could harbor illness-causing bacteria your body isn’t used to. That’s extra good advice when you’re pregnant: Stick to bottled water, make sure milk is pasteurized, avoid fresh fruits or veggies unless they’ve been cooked or have a thick peel, and stick with meat or fish that’s cooked well done, recommends the American Pregnancy Association.
4. Stay comfy
Pregnancy travel is best done during your second trimester, says Gilmore: Morning sickness from your first trimester has subsided and you have more energy than during the exhausting third trimester. No matter when you decide to travel, don’t push it:
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends limiting pregnancy travel time to five hours, max. En route, be sure to plan in breaks (if you’re driving) or snag an aisle seat (if you’re flying) so you can stretch your legs occasionally. If possible, you might want to situate yourself near a bathroom, too.
Just because you can’t go ziplining in the rainforest doesn’t mean you can’t have a memorable trip. Plan activities that won’t leave you feeling wiped, like lounging on the beach, seeing a show, trying new restaurants, or indulging in a couple’s massage, says Gilmore. Remember, pregnancy travel is the perfect time to bond with your spouse—and relish the peace and quiet—before your little one arrives.