For my friends who don’t yet know…I’m pregnant! Yes, 23 weeks along and IT’S A BOY! Geoff and I are overjoyed and as this is my first child, every discomfort, body change, and experience is new. I truly love it so far and I’m not being sarcastic.
These past three months I have done a lot of traveling, both airline and car, for my brand’s national launch at Belk Department Stores. As my mind seems to be focused on mommy-to-be topics lately, I thought I’d share some pregnancy traveling insights because logging miles sporting a bump magnifies certain challenges. Even if you are not expecting, you may find this useful for your next trip.
It is no secret that air travel dries you out. This effect seems to triple while pregnant. Plus you are dealing with hot flashes, which seem to only be soothed by directing the overhead air vent right on your face, blasting it with recirculating, face-cracking air.
What to do:
Carry mini Evian mister cans. This refreshing water spray lowers your body temperature, soothes dry skin, and can actually set your makeup.
Carry a mini lotion. I like Cetaphil because it absorbs into the skin even when your hands are somewhat wet from washing.
Carry a nourishing lip balm. Not only can you use this for your lips, but if your cuticles are dry, it will work in a pinch. I like Rose Bud Salve.
Wear layers. Because of the drastic temperature changes going on in the plane and with your own body, make sure you have a sweater or long shirt you can remove with a camisole or tank underneath.
Buy water. This is the first thing I do once I get through security…always. Don’t buy Gatorade because of the harmful red and yellow dyes.
Now that I’m almost 6 months along I feel like my bladder is the size of a penny.
What to do
Pretty obvious…use the bathroom. But now that I’m pregnant, the threat of germs grosses me out even more than usual. So…I try to always use the bathroom before I get on the plane. If I must use it while in flight, I go as soon as we get on board or as soon as the light dings signaling “you are now available to use portable electronics while in flight.” This will cut down on the traffic tainting the bathroom before me (or so I tell myself).
As mentioned above, the threat of germs is magnified when pregnant!!
What to do:
Aside from washing my hands as much as possible, I carry EO Hand Sanitizer Wipes in a lavender scent. They are awesome!
Being pregnant, one is endowed with a police dog sense of smell. This can be overwhelmingly unpleasant, from the fast food scent of a Quarter Pounder wafting through the cabin to the man who forgot to wear deodorant sitting in 6C.
What to do
Purchase an atomizer and fill with your favorite perfume. There are well priced options at Sephora as well as Amazon. Spray on your wrists before you get in the plane, so when confronted with obnoxious smells, you can just inhale your wrists. The lavender wipes mentioned above also help.
The other day I barely made my connection in Atlanta so didn’t eat for a few hours. I called Geoff to tell him I made my flight and I then proceeded to start an argument with him for no reason!!! Poor guy! This isn’t like me (swear), but because I hadn’t eaten I couldn’t control my mood swing. I called him back and told him how sorry I was before they shut the boarding doors. When he picked me up in Charlotte, he had brought me some Laughing Cow cheese minis (do I have a good man, or what?)
What to do
Obvious. Don’t get caught without food. Put snacks in your handbag, checked luggage and additional carry-on. To avoid the sky-high prices of airport stores, buy them in advance. If you are taking a long car trip, pack a mini cooler. Here are my go-to’s that I always keep stocked at the house:
Kashi Peanut Butter and Honey Almond Flax bars: These are all natural, filling and only five grams of sugar. They also don’t contain soy protein isolate that so many of the supposedly “healthy women’s snack bars,” like Luna, contain.
Natural almonds: I don’t know if it’s because I’m pregnant with a boy or what, but I mostly crave protein. Almonds work in a pinch. I bought a gigantic bag from Costco and just put whatever I need in plastic baggies.
Lentil Chips. These are my new fave snack! I can’t stand the aftertaste of potato starch, so I’m not a fan of potato chips, Special K cracker chips or the ever-popular Pop Chips. Lentil chips are higher in protein, lower in carbs and higher in fiber than any other snack chip I’ve come across. I really like the Rosemary and Cucumber and Dill flavors, but you have to deal with the powdery stuff these flavors leave on your hands, so I tend to stick to the basic sea salt kind when traveling.
Tomato Juice: When the flight attendant offers a beverage, gone are the days when my automatic response (as long as I was flying after 11:00 am) was “red wine and a red wine!” Now I get tomato juice and find it filling enough to tide me over. I know it’s high in salt, but I’m not a snack Saint.
As a final note, one of the most important things you can do during pregnancy is take your prenatal vitamins. This is one more item you have to worry about packing. I suggest purchasing a small bottle of one-a-day prenatal vitamins and just keep this in your carry-on. I’ve had to purchase multiple bottles because I forgot to put them in a baggy from my big bottle at home for a 3-day trip and didn’t want to risk going without. I use Rainbow Light Prenatal One when on-the-go and they are wonderful.
I know that my traveling experience tips will be MUCH DIFFERENT after my wee one is born! I have a feeling the blog on air travel post pregnancy will be a wee bit longer. Have a fabulous week! – CC