Though lots of women moan about the heat, Summer can be a fabulous time to be pregnant. No need to squeeze into maternity jeans or closed-toe shoes, just let the mumuus and maxi-sundresses flow! If you’re doing any Summer vacationing while pregnant though, there are a few things to consider.
1. Ask your care provider for recommendations!
Every midwife and doctor will have their own recommendations for how far along is “too far along to travel,” but airline policies say they require a note from your care provider if travel is within your “due window,” which is typically 37-42 weeks. Basically, if you are still in your second trimester but look like you’re about to have a squatting birth in the airport lobby, bring a note and save yourself the unnecessary comments/hassle
from airline staff.
If your travel is just a road trip to a great spot a few hours away, you’ll likely have plenty of time to get to your desired birthing location in case labor begins.
2. Take care of yourself from the inside out.
While you’re packing your bags, don’t forget the things that make you feel your best during pregnancy. Fruit and nuts to snack on easily, nettle or red raspberry leaf tea, a good calcium-magnesium supplement, and a refillable water bottle to keep you hydrated. It can be really easy to fall into the vacation mindset of treats and salty processed snacks, but trying to make the most nutritive choices when dining out and for your in-flight snack/beverage selection will make all the difference in how you feel during your vacation.
3. Make full use of your surroundings for rest, relaxation, and support.
I had a friend who packed her gigantic pregnancy pillow in its own suitcase when she traveled, but I’m sure you’d rather save that space for shopping and essentials. Ask for extra pillows in your hotel room, soak your feet in a nearby stream, dig a hole for your belly in the sand and take the best nap on your stomach you’ve had in months. See if there is an awesome prenatal yoga class offered nearby, a recommended massage therapist, or a local mama & baby boutique where you might find something special.
And don’t be afraid to ask for help from the service professionals around you. If an airline attendant doesn’t immediately offer to lift your bag overhead for you, you can ask for that. If your bones are aching and you want to ride on the little cart across the parking lot, flag it down. Let yourself be taken care of if you need it.
4. But don’t forget to move your body.
Especially if you are flying for an extended length of time, the air pressure in the cabin coupled with
the body’s changes in pregnancy and sitting still for some time may put you at higher risk for swelling and blood clots in the legs. Get up to walk
when the seatbelt light goes off, and don’t be afraid to do some some gentle hip stretches or squats where you can find the space in the airport or
on the plane. Get up to use the bathroom as much as possible too–though I probably don’t have to remind you to do that.
Take advantage of a walkable beach, hiking trails, hotel fitness center, or a shopping trip in the city to get your blood flowing and good mood
going at your destination. Look into a local prenatal yoga class too!
5. And really really ENJOY.
Though travel can still happen with a small and easily transportable baby whose primary food and comfort sources are right on you at all times, it
will never be the same as this. Soak it up. Go dancing. Snorkel. Skinny Dip. Order the appetizer. Eat the biggest piece of cake. Stay up late.
Sleep in. And dream about the little one who will soon be joining your travel adventures.