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Tips for Pregnant Travelers

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Traveling with a young baby can be challenging so there's no better time than now, before his arrival, to take a trip. Check in on family, reconnect with out-of-state friends, or enjoy a romantic second honeymoon now and you'll be recharged and ready for the joys and challenges of having a newborn. Some pregnant women feel anxious about traveling during this time, but as long as you keep a few simple, healthy tips in mind, there's nothing to worry about.

 

The second trimester is the ideal time to travel. With luck, your first-trimester fatigue and nausea have abated, and you're still far enough away from your due date that you don't have to worry about going into labor. For otherwise uncomplicated pregnancies, aim for something in the 20- to 30-week time frame. Experts recommend against traveling after week 36, and some airlines restrict travel for pregnant passengers after that time. (As always, talk to your physician about what's right for you. For higher-risk pregnancies you may want to stay close to home even in the second trimester.) After 28 weeks, most airlines require a note from your doctor or midwife saying it's safe for you to travel.

The minor discomforts of travel can feel even worse when you're pregnant, so plan ahead! Pack plenty of healthy snacks like dried fruit, nuts, granola, or veggie sticks, and as much as water as possible! Air travel, in particular, can be dehydrating. Also be sure to get up, move, and stretch to avoid muscle cramps or blood clots. Schedule time for plenty of bathroom breaks, and bring along anything that helps you sleep, from essential oils to ear plugs. Many pregnant moms like to pack their own small pillow to use as back support in the plane or car, or to put between their knees when sleeping in bed at night. Be sure to pack comfortable shoes, especially if you plan on doing a lot of sightseeing on foot.

Health complications are unlikely, but just to be safe, make sure you're traveling with your medical records, insurance information, and the contact information for your doctor. Take a moment to locate a nearby hospital or clinic at your destination, and for international travelers, be sure you understand where to go and how to get there in an emergency. Also be aware that while most international travel is perfectly safe, there are travel bans on certain destinations. Check with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website before you go to make sure you aren't headed anywhere with specific health risks for pregnant women.

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