Pregnancy travel isn’t as hard as it seems! Find out why it it’s actually encouraged and learn how to plan that much-needed vacation getaway as easy as possible.
With so many preparations and plans being done for the bundle of joy on its way, it has become too common to lose sight of another very important factor during your pregnancy—yourself.
What most may not know is that caring for both baby and mother come hand-in-hand—and mothers-to-be may sometimes forget this.
You need a day-off from your busy, hectic life. Your comfort zone will always be there for you, so why not take a trip out of it for a while? Travel and take that well-deserved breather you’ve been dreaming about! The time is now to close your eyes, relax, and enjoy yourself before the new chapter of your life begins.
Don’t worry, this is nothing to feel guilty about—according to the experts, this is actually highly encouraged!
At first, you may be daunted by the thought of traveling while pregnant. What for? Won’t it add more stress? Do I really need to? What about my responsibilities at home? As these questions plague your mind, it is important to remember that doctors themselves encourage that mini-vacation! Studies show that it reaps many benefits for you and your baby, even in the long run.
Firstly, embrace this perfect opportunity to kick back and relax—a key factor in maintaining your pregnancy health, your peace of mind, and your baby’s state. Maternal stress and anxiety is completely normal and unavoidable, but dwelling on it is not. Studies have suggested that maternal anxiety can have immediate and long-term effects, not only on your emotional health, but also on the baby, such as a lower birth weight or increased fussiness.
Researchers believe that moms-to-be who are continuously stressed release hormones that may affect blood flow to the baby, making it difficult for him to get the nutrients he needs. Stress during pregnancy may also increase the risk of preterm labor.
Secondly, this time away from all the hustle and bustle of daily life can also give you and your partner a chance to spend more quality, uninterrupted time together. Reconnect over talks about your growing family as you two bask in the excitement of your new family addition. You can even go over plans of how to sustain your intimacy after the baby arrives! This opportunity for one-on-one bonding can create a stronger, more intimate partnership as you face your new life challenges as parents.
PLAN, PREPARE AND ENJOY
Now that the why’s have been established, the how’s shouldn’t be a problem either! Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you plan your much-awaited R&R break:
Timing: We know that you can’t just pack your bags and go. You have to consider how you feel, especially the timing of your pregnancy. To truly enjoy your intimate holiday, it’s best to plan for a time when your morning sickness episodes have passed. Consider scheduling your vacation for your second trimester, as it’s typically considered the most comfortable and safest time to travel.
Destination: Simplicity is best in this context, especially when a vacation is supposed to relax you and not add stress. Perhaps choose a nearby location, one that doesn’t require days of travel time or multiple modes of transportation. It would also be a good idea to check into medical provisions (and insurance coverage) at or near your destination, especially if it’s later in your pregnancy.
Itinerary: Considering an action-packed trip? Remember that you never know how you’re going to feel, particularly if that bout of morning sickness lasts a bit longer than expected, or if your back pains return out of nowhere. Some resorts and hotels offer ready-made pregnancy travel packages that take the stress out of planning a getaway. They feature accommodations, romantic dinners, relaxing spa treatments, and gift baskets for the parents-to-be. Explore the many options around you! However make sure that your activities won’t be too strenuous on your body.
Transportation Safety Details: Be sure to do your homework and talk to your doctor before traveling far from home. If you plan to fly, find out from your doctor and check with the airlines as to whether there may be any potential restrictions with flying. Because pregnancy can increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis when flying, walk around the cabin regularly throughout the flight (when it’s safe to do so, as indicated by the flight crew). Try to avoid stowing your carry-on under the seat, as it can restrict movement and your ability to stretch your legs. If possible, request a bulkhead or aisle seat for extra legroom. Then take advantage of the extra space to frequently flex and extend your ankles to encourage blood flow in the lower legs. If you’re traveling by car, stop often to get out and stretch your legs.
What to pack: Bring along anything you might need for common pregnancy symptoms, such as heartburn, constipation, and hemorrhoids. Carry a copy of your medical records with you (just so you’re prepared in the event of an emergency). And don’t forget to pack some nutritious snacks, as staying nourished with healthy choices is more important than ever.
With these simple factors in mind, your pre-baby vacation can finally now become the reality you’ve been waiting for! Relieve some of your stress right now and indulge in that well-deserved getaway you (and your baby!) will be sure to thank you for.