Today I’m 22 weeks pregnant and just landed in Baltimore–my 3 year old toddler, Camden, in tow. We are visiting my husband at his business headquarters and then driving to Philly to spend a few days with his family. I’ve traveled quite a bit during this pregnancy and even more during my last. Although hitting the road when expecting doesn’t involve the massive prep that traveling with an infant or toddler does (I’ve written on it here), it still requires forethought so that your trip is enjoyable and comfortable.
This list encompasses tips for domestic air travel as well as longer car travel till the end of the second trimester. Remember to get the ok from your doctor before you go. This is critical. Each person’s pregnancy is unique (duh Chels!) and going long distances taxes you both emotionally and physically…even relaxing vacations.
Don’t be a hero lifting your luggage. I’d like to think chivalry isn’t dead in our society. Even though rude is all around, most people usually like to help. If your carry-on is heavy ask someone to help you lift it up into the overhead. You don’t want to be straining. Also you aren’t at an angle in the airplane aisle where you can brace yourself and make sure you are lifting correctly. Don’t take a chance of hurting your back or the baby. Same holds true when getting luggage in and out of cars.
Get up every 2-3 hours: It is so important you keep the circulation going. If you’re flying cross country make sure you get out of your seat to stretch and walk. If you’re making a car trip over 3 hours stop at a rest stop or restaurant to stretch at the 2 hour mark.
Book an aisle seat: One of the joys of pregnancy is having to go to the bathroom (what seems like) every 15 minutes, especially in the 1st trimester. To beeline to the restroom faster and to make getting up to stretch easier, try to book an aisle seat.
Give yourself extra time: Not leaving yourself enough time is stressful enough, but anxiety and stress are amplified when you’re pregnant because of the hormones raging through your body. Allow extra time for going through security, finding your gate and taking that important bathroom break before you get on the plane.
Wear comfortable shoes: Your feet swell when pregnant and it’s even worse when sitting for long periods. Don’t wear tight shoes or heels that can hurt your back.
Wear layers: Because of hormones and added weight, another side effect is fluctuating body temperature. Layering will help you adapt to different temperatures better by shedding your layers quickly.
Stay hydrated: It is so easy to get dehydrated when pregnant. The first thing I do when I get past security is purchase a gigantic bottle of water. If you are at an airport where you can take your own water bottle through security and they have a place for you to fill up (many do) then even better.
Bring a med list: When I became pregnant my doctor gave me a business card-sized book of all the medicines safe to take as well as which ones to avoid in the 1st trimester. Don’t feel like carrying it around? Take a picture and save it to your favorites.
Pencil in nap and rest times: Even if you are type A and go go go all the time, you need to take time to unwind. Try to work naps in in advance so they don’t get pushed out of your schedule.
Pillow talk. As you grow it gets more challenging to find a comfortable sleep position. Your pillow type is priceless. Often you can request a pillow type online when booking (soft, firm, down, etc). If you are driving consider bringing your own. Just make sure you wash it as soon as you get home so you’re not carrying anything from the hotel into your bedroom.
Healthy Snacking Suggestions:
- Bring healthy snacks and eat often: With both of my pregnancies I’ve been hungry all of the time, even during the first trimester. The desire to eat is hard and fast. My blood sugar will drop and I want to eat anything to even it back out. One of the worst things you can do is cave with high sugar, fast foods. Not only is this bad for the baby but it will make you fat and put you into a continuous blood sugar crash cycle. Best way to prevent this is preparation so you aren’t tempted by the Value Meal. This isn’t much different from healthy food prep when not pregnant except that I pack twice as many snacks and like to eat every couple hours.
- Watch your sugar: I try to keep any packaged snack under 6 grams of sugar and will limit my fruit to a piece or two because even though fruit is natural and nutritious it’s still high in sugar.
- Make sure your snacks include protein and healthy fats: This is good for the baby and every cell of your body so make it a priority. Even if I’m having a carb snack I try to even it out by making sure I have a handful of nuts or choose a energy bar like KIND that includes nuts and seeds.
Here are my favorite healthy snacks I pack while pregnant:
- apples (fuji are my favorite)
- Kind 7 grain bars (the flavors under 6 grams of sugar)
- Organic turkey jerky
- Trader Joe’s 100 calorie dark chocolate bars
- Adora dark chocolate calcium discs
- 100 calorie pack roasted almonds, cocoa roasted almonds, 100 calorie pack dill pickle cashews (yes sounds so weird but they are amazing)
- Skinny Pop Popcorn
- Chia Warrior Bars (apple cinnamon and coconut flavors)
- organic string cheese
What are your travel tips when flying pregnant? xx CC