Travelling when pregnant is a perfectly sensible idea, but it can be super hard work (really doing anything when pregnant can be hard work, you are carrying a little person inside of you after all) so it’s important to do it the right way, so neither you nor baby find it too strenuous.
Take a look at our top tips for travelling when pregnant so you can get where you need to be with minimum hassle…
Picking your destination
Choose the right destination
When simply sitting down can feel like a chore, do you really want to spend 8 hours stuck on a plane? Be sensible when choosing a destination and select a location that you can get to easily and quickly, ideally in no more than two hours. For some ideas, check out our nearby family friendly destinations.
Pick the best weeks for your bump
According to medical research, the pregnancy period during which medical emergencies are least likely occur is between 14-18 weeks, making this the best time to travel with your baby bump. You should also still have plenty of energy at this time, so won’t feel too drained. However, it’s always worth double checking with your doctor or midwife that you’re safe to travel.
Know where to find help
If you’re carrying a little one and travelling abroad, it’s really important to know where the local doctors, hospitals and medical care can be found (Tots to Travel lists this for every property on our site, in the ‘Hard Facts’ tab). It can also be worth keeping a few key emergency phone numbers to hand for your destination, on the off chance something goes amiss. If you’re concerned about needing help on holiday, it might be worth considering a resort holiday, where there will always be highly trained staff and medical care on site if you should need anything.
Before you go, why not fill out this great pregnancy travel emergency contact sheet from babycenter.com: Emergency Contact Sheet
Be selective about your travel
Sometimes it’s okay to just say no! For example, if your friends suggest meeting across London for a coffee, but you know it’s going to be a stressful battle trying to get there, offer to host coffee at your house. You need to prioritise you and your baby’s health so if it’s not feasible then give it a miss, or suggest an alternative.
It’s difficult to turn down opportunities, especially if you love getting out and about, but if a journey or holiday is going to cause you a great amount of stress and body ache and you feel like you could cope without attending, just don’t go. Learn when to say no, and be selective about the events/places you attend and the travel you need to take.
Talk to your airline company
Many airlines offer special measures for pregnant women, such as priority boarding, or may also have certain safety restrictions in place. Before you book your flights, speak to your airline to find out more about their policies and the assistance available to pregnant travellers.
Give yourself time to travel
Even if you’ll only be taking a short journey, just walking a few steps can take double the time when you’re pregnant. Don’t rush or push yourself too hard; instead walk slowly and carefully, wear comfy shoes and carry a light bag to minimise the strain.
Get the badge
If you’ll be using busy public transport to get to your destination, although it might be somewhat galling to don a fetching ‘Baby on Board’ badge, it’s definitely worth doing. Before you’ve got a fully-fledged baby bump, it’s not always obvious that you’re pregnant, meaning you may be jostled in crowds or may not be offered a seat by strangers who don’t want to make the dreaded mistake of offering their help and congratulations to a lady who they’re not 100% sure is actually carrying another passenger in her tummy!
Raise your mum guard
In busy public areas, often crowds are too busy rushing around to even notice whether you’re pregnant or not. If you’re being jostled as you walk, put a couple of protective arms around your bump. This will offer baby a little more protection and provides an even more obvious indicator that you’re expecting, to passing strangers.
Don’t be polite
If somebody offers you their seat on a bus or train, or assistance with your bags at the airport, then just say yes. Don’t end up regretting your decision and suffering throughout a journey, because you’ve been too polite!
Up in the air
Try and avoid fizzy drinks before and during travel, as cabin pressure can make you feel more bloated and uncomfortable. If possible, book an aisle seat so you can get up and use the loo as often as you’d like. Bring a blanket in case you get chilly and a mini-fan in case you get too hot, plus if you’re concerned about nausea or motion sickness make sure you come prepared (learn how to deal with motion sickness in our article HERE)
During pregnancy, there can be a risk of developing blood clots if you sit still for too long. As a result, make sure you get up and stretch your legs once the seatbelt signs have gone off on the plane, or if you’re driving, stop and stretch your legs after every one-two hours. Try not to take journeys that are over six hours long. Make sure you keep hydrated and after checking with your doctor, get a pair of compression socks that will help avoid any blood clot risks during flights. It may also be worth bringing some hand sanitizer, as during pregnancy your immune system can be weaker.
During your holiday
We all like to indulge a little on holiday, but make sure you are getting the nutrients you’ll need. Pack plenty of snacks with protein and fibre and when buying fruit or vegetables at local markets abroad, try and select those with thick skins and make sure they’re washed before you eat them. If you do get a funny tummy on holiday (it happens!) keep yourself hydrated. Make sure you’ve checked if the water is safe to drink before you go and if not, keep plenty of sealed bottled water to hand and avoid ice in drinks.
It’s definitely a good idea to relax and take things easy on holiday, but don’t forget to do a bit of exercise. Simple activities like taking a dip in the pool or heading off on a short walk around a local town are ideal for getting your blood moving a bit and keeping both you and baby in good health.
If you’re not obviously showing yet or you’ve not been offered any help and you need it, just ask. Whether during travel, at your destination or even before you book (call us on 0800 014 2770 any time for help and assistance) don’t be afraid to ask for help for anything you need, be it baggage assistance, extra pillows or just some advice and support.
Remember it’s all worth it
It might take a little extra planning, but whether you’re holidaying whilst pregnant with your first child or spending time abroad with your current kids before you add another little bundle to the family, it’s all worth it in the end when you get the chance to build those happy holiday memories. At Tots to Travel, we aim to provide families with the most stress-free and blissful holidays possible- so pregnant or not, you can have the relaxing holiday you deserve!
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Visit www.totstotravel.co.uk to see what baby and toddler friendly options we can offer your family!
Tots to Travel offer baby friendly holidays and child friendly holidays both in the UK and abroad. Our range includes child friendly villas, including perfect villas for kids, baby friendly cottages, baby friendly villas and more…