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A Trimester by Trimester Guide to Traveling while Pregnant

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Pregnancy Travel

A Trimester by Trimester Guide to Traveling while Pregnant

Throughout my pregnancy, I’ve traveled quite a bit! Boston in my first trimester, Disney World, London, Paris and Salzburg in my second and Colorado and North Carolina in my third! Of course, I made sure to run it by my doctor each time. Remember to talk to your OB before traveling while pregnant. As long as you’re not a high risk pregnancy, being pregnant doesn’t mean you need to put life on hold or not do the fun things you want! You just have to do things a little slower and listen to your body (and baby!). I compiled a list of tips to give y’all a trimester by trimester guide to traveling while pregnant since I traveled during each trimester. These are the things that helped me immensely along the way!

Trimester by Trimester Guide

Traveling in the 1st Trimester

I found this to be quite the challenge. Chloe’s first adventure began at just about 8 weeks gestation when JP and I went to Boston with Rachael and Joe. At this point, no one knew I was pregnant except for my husband, mom and sister! If you have to hop on a plane or take a long car trip during your first trimester, here are some tips and tricks to feeling your best!

  • Get anti nausea medicine from your doctor before traveling if you’re experiencing morning sickness. In Boston, I didn’t have medicine yet and I was quite miserable for part of the trip. 
  • Pack lots of snacks. You never know when you’ll be hungry or nauseous. Pack crackers and ginger chews or hard candies for nausea and other snacks that sound good and are easy on your stomach for when the hunger urge strikes and it’s no where near meal time.
  • Prepare to take potty breaks. They’re going to happen. Warn your travel companions if necessary especially on a road trip.
  • Listen to your body. Need to sleep a little longer than planned? Do it. Don’t feel like staying out late? No problem. You’re body is going through so many changes, so just sit down at a coffee shop or restaurant for a while if you’re out and about and feel like you need a break!

Traveling in the Second Trimester

By the second trimester, usually the nausea has gone, people know you’re pregnant and you’re starting to have more energy! I’ve found this is the BEST time for traveling! It was perfect that my annual Disney trip fell right at the beginning of my second trimester.

Beginning of Second Trimester tips

  • Get out of your seat and walk around once every other hour especially when traveling by plane. Changes in your body mean changes in your circulation. Pregnant women are more likely to get blood clots, so be sure to move around and get your blood flowing!
  • Pack belly bands for shorts and pants even if they still fit just fine. Comfort is key! I found myself unbuttoning my shorts after meals and wished I had a belly band.
  • Snacks. They’re important and necessary so bring them! I needed to eat something as soon as I woke up to keep nausea and starvation at bay, so rice cakes with peanut butter, crackers, trail mix, and other easy snacks to keep on hand were great.
  • Have fun! This is one of the easiest times for traveling and enjoying your changing body!

End of Second Trimester Tips

At 24 weeks pregnant, we ventured across the Atlantic on our 2 week babymoon adventure! We went to London, Paris, Salzburg and Vienna. It was a whirlwind and completely worth it. If you want to travel overseas when pregnant and are cleared by your doctor, be sure to plan for plenty of time in each place because rest time is a must!

  • Get out of your seat and walk around once every other hour especially when traveling by plane. Changes in your body mean changes in your circulation. Pregnant women are more likely to get blood clots, so be sure to move around and get your blood flowing!
  • Wear compression socks or stockings if taking a long flight. You will thank me later. I wish I would have packed mine because my feet and ankles swelled up like crazy on the long haul flights!
  • Drink TONS of water. Hydrate! I can’t stress it enough. You’ll feel so much better.
  • Take breaks. You will not regret it. We took 1-2 hour late afternoon/early evening rest breaks. During this time I could take a nap, shower or bath or I could just relax on the bed and read or watch TV.  The key is to put your feet up and just rest! 
  • Bring supportive shoes. Pack shoes that are supportive and comfortable. You may want to look cute, but go for comfort over style. Trust me on this one! I ended up buying a pair of Converse to wear because I was constantly wearing tennis shoes and needed another option! My boots worked great for the cooler weather in London, but the rest of Europe was pretty warm in my boots!
  • Pack lots of underwear and socks. Thanks to pregnancy, you’ll probably want to change your panties during your afternoon break! Sorry if that’s TMI, but it’s true. Same thing with the socks! I felt much more refreshed and ready to go after changing.
  • More snacks. I can’t describe the need for snacks enough! Avoid a food emergency and have snacks on hand at all times. During our Europe trip, the best snack we had was a giant bag of trail mix. I got a large basic bag from the grocery store then added more M&Ms, almonds and banana chips. It allowed me just to have a small handful every now and then if I felt hungry or knew my blood sugar was dropping! Energy bars, peanut butter crackers and apples were also easy to keep in our backpack and eat on the go.

Traveling in the Third Trimester

We went to Colorado at the beginning of my third trimester and plan to go to Georgia/North Carolina in a few weeks. This is a hard time for travel as you start to feel huge and uncomfortable. This is a key time to check with your doctor before every trip. Also, be aware that at a certain point, you shouldn’t fly and airlines may not let you.

  • Keep up the walking around on the airplane. Maybe even increase it to once an hour. This goes for car trips too. Let your travel companions know ahead of time that you’ll need to stop about every 2 hours to stretch your legs and get your blood flowing. Most likely, you’ll need to go potty anyway!
  • Ask for a pillow on the plane to place behind your back. The extra lumbar support is nice to have and keeps your back from killing your during the whole flight.
  • Pack only clothes that are comfortable and you know fit you. Comfort is key at this point. Leggings are your friend. Plus if you pack something that doesn’t fit the way it used to, it’s super discouraging and a little demoralizing.
  • Use the potty any time it’s available to you.
  • Drink even MORE water. You’ll feel better and it decreases swelling. Doing this also makes the above tip even more important!
  • Ask for more pillows as soon as you arrive at your hotel. I sleep with a pregnancy pillow at home and miss it when I’m on the road. Get additional pillows to support your neck, back and belly!

There you have it, a trimester by trimester guide for traveling while pregnant! The main key is always listening to your body. Head any warning signs. Plan your adventures with extra time than usual. Always have snacks on hand. Prepare for potty breaks. Have fun. Cherish every moment. And take lots of pictures!

Are you planning on traveling while pregnant?
Where are you headed and what trimester are you in? I love hearing about everyone’s travel stories especially when babies are on the way!

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