How, when and what is the best way to travel during pregnancy?
How to travel and whether it is possible to fly during pregnancy? Is it at all possible to travel during pregnancy? Well, after all, pregnancy is … illness? In this post we will try to summarize all our practical advice about how best and when to travel while pregnant, because there is nothing more beautiful than being able to explore our world in a two-pack 😉
Do you remember our post summarizing the year 2015? We have written m.In. about plans for the coming year, including the fact that there are a lot of changes ahead in our private lives. If you follow us on FB or Instagram then you probably guessed what it was all about 🙂 Well, at the beginning of July we became the parents of the gorgeous Olivia – so we have Baby on Board! 🙂
Probably every parent will agree with us that the birth of a child is a wonderful event that changes the whole life, and even makes it even more meaningful! 🙂
But this is not a post about childbirth and life for three. Today we will describe to you how to travel during those 9 months leading up to the birth (although in our case it was only 8 months 😉 ).
Whether to travel while pregnant?
At the outset, there must be no shortage of disclaimers – always, but always, consult your doctor whether it is possible to travel during pregnancy in your case. Below we describe how we traveled during pregnancy, but it is important to remember that every woman and pregnancy is different, and something that came easily to one, will not necessarily be so for another person.
When I talked about pregnancy, many people asked "What about your blog?", "It is now for 9 mths you will not go anywhere?" etc. None of these things! Pregnancy was a period when we continued our trips although they were closer and less intense. We flew on planes abroad, drove a car in Poland and took a ferry. What's more, pregnancy has just been conducive to traveling and discovering new places, because it has effectively limited the range of locations where you can go 😉 Finally, we were motivated to look for places in Poland where we had not yet been. At the end of pregnancy, we replaced long-distance travel with many weekend trips.
Pregnancy is one big unknown – it's impossible to predict how a woman will feel in each trimester, what will annoy her, what she will crave, which can often be inconvenient for companions. All the more reason it can be hard to plan a trip 🙂 Nevertheless, it can be assumed that it is the second trimester that is the most sensible for traveling – the discomforts of the first trimester disappear, and the belly is not yet big enough to take away all the pleasure of traveling.
Pregnancy is not a disease, this is not the time when we should limit ourselves as much as possible and sit at home, which can only be more frustrating for the mother-to-be. You can continue to fulfill yourself professionally, find time for physical activity, travel and develop your own passions. However, it is necessary to measure the strength with intentions and consult a doctor. Below we describe some tips on how, when and what to travel with 🙂 We will write about where you can go and the benefits of traveling during pregnancy later.
What to travel and whether it's okay to fly on a plane while pregnant?
The question of being able to travel/Flying by plane during pregnancy comes up probably most often. We traveled quite a lot, both by plane and by car.
In the case of the former, they say Best to fly in the second trimester. In the first trimester, a lot of women have concerns that it may badly affect the forming organs of the little person (airport equipment, cosmic radiation, pressure changes…) or the trip itself for the mother may be tiring (nausea, nausea, headaches, swelling, etc.). In the last trimester, attention is drawn to the inconvenience of increased size and discomfort as well as the possibility of premature labor.
As for passing through the gates – a pregnant woman has the right to refuse this type of inspection at the airport and will then be subjected to inspection by airport staff. It even happened to us that without our intervention they invited us to separate entrances, at least to avoid standing in long lines (the whole family benefits, of course 🙂 ). Space radiation is nothing to worry about, as we are actually exposed to it even while on the ground.
Basically, the most important thing is the attitude of the woman , and personally I think that it is the stress and nerves that can harm the baby the most. If we are going to have sleepless nights, we will not be able to eat anything and the very thought that we are to make a trip by air will keep us awake at night, we'd better consider whether there is any point in going under such stress.
Before my first flight, I tried to find some reliable studies or information on the effects of flights on pregnant women, but no one seems to have undertaken such studies, and I only came across studies on flight attendants. However, this is not a representative sample, because let's remember that in addition to the flights themselves, you also have to take into account their working conditions, changes in climate and time zones, etc., which can significantly affect the course of pregnancy.
Important! Airlines may refuse to allow women with advanced pregnancy on board or require an additional certificate, so it's worth checking before flying to see up to which week of pregnancy the carrier allows you to fly. E.g. PLL LOT requires a MEDIF form above the 32nd week of pregnancy, and Ryanair can refuse to allow a pregnant woman above 28 tc to board without a doctor's or midwife's certificate that there are no contraindications to flying.
To ensure your comfort during air travel, It is good to inform the crew about pregnancy (just in case, or so that we are treated a little better), take care of food and water to drink (you can not count on the food on the plane to respond to pregnancy cravings), you can choose convenient seats (with legroom, close to the toilet), get compression socks, move during the flight and, of course, do not carry anything, but ask others for help.
I personally had no problems during the flights, and there were a total of 8 (!) during pregnancy, the longest of which lasted 6 hours. The only inconveniences were the frequent need to go to the toilet, and in the 3rd trimester it was just uncomfortable to sit for 4 hours in a cramped seat 😉 In addition, the doctor recommended that I sip something against blood clots before the flight, just in case, and recommended ginger-based drops in case of nausea.
While we are on the subject of health, remember that the airplane is a huge breeding ground for viruses, so take special care of hygiene and moisten your mucous membranes!
Traveling by car
As for the car, for me it was worse than flying by plane 🙂 Mainly due to the fact that I developed motion sickness in the first trimester, so I was wiped out on the mountain roads in Tenerife… And this was the biggest surprise for me among pregnancy ailments, because you don't talk about it or read about it in books. Fortunately, the recommended ginger drops helped a lot 🙂
In the second trimester, these ailments passed, and we were able to take further trips. It didn't last long, because at 6 months it was already really uncomfortable for me to drive more than two hours by car, mainly because of my back. So it's worth getting a back cushion, or at least some kind of sweatshirt, and be sure to make frequent stops.
We definitely choose the car more often than the bus or train, and in pregnancy the independence that car travel gives is very valuable. You can stop at any time, take a different route or even lie down in a comfortable position. Of course, you need to be careful to drive safely, not on potholes and potholes, to save yourself extra shocks. So for the duration of our pregnancy we took slightly larger rental cars, drove more often on the highways, and when planning our route we looked on the map how many gas stations with a toilet we had on the way 😉
If a pregnant woman feels well then it is also acceptable to drive almost until the very moment of dissolution, and it is always advisable to wear a seat belt (not only as a driver, by the way)! Despite the fact that our Polish regulations allow pregnant women not to wear seat belts, but safety first: the lower part of the belt under the belly, and the upper part over … if you are uncomfortable then you can also buy special belts for pregnant women, but I do not know how with their usefulness, because I did not have 🙂
Trains and public transportation
By trains and public transport we also traveled (mainly in Poland, England and Portugal), but these were routes of 2 hours at most. On the train you can always walk around and straighten up, in the bus about it is already worse or less stable, so of the two I recommend the train.
As for public transportation: girls, take advantage of the privileges and seats for pregnant women ! They are for you 🙂 I, at first, was reluctant, or at least until the belly began to protrude significantly. Somehow I didn't have the need, I thought there were people who needed this place more than I did, and I didn't even expect anyone to give way to me.
Until. In fact, it is not really about whether you have the strength to stand or not. It is mainly about safety – imagine sharp braking or any maneuver during which there is a danger that a pregnant woman will fall over! Or at least some belly bumping or being hit by other passengers. It's better to really sit down and hold on to the railing.
My belly quite late began to stand out on clothes (or maybe it only seemed so to me?), but as soon as it appeared many times people gave way to me. In fact, I have not once had a situation where I had to demand a seat. Whether in Poland, England or Portugal regardless of age, almost always someone offered me a seat, which was very nice and I always took advantage of it.
Only in Portugal there were two situations where I did not have the opportunity to sit down – they were typical tourist streetcars and really crowded… it is worth it then to be with your husband, who always holds and belays 🙂
Ferries, ships, boats
Here, as with traveling by car – motion sickness can bother you. Make sure you have a comfortable place, strategic in terms of toilets 😉 We did not sail much: by ferry and small boats between the Canary Islands and a cruise on the Elbląg Canal. There were no problems, but as I mentioned at the beginning, you need to be prepared for many scenarios, because you do not know how a female body subjected to a swing of hormones will react to rocking, humidity and new olfactory sensations 🙂
Travel while pregnant! Yes!
And so in conclusion – if you go somewhere, of course, not alone. It's always a good idea to have someone to help with luggage, or to be more organized and focused (in pregnancy there are often problems with concentration, so you can easily confuse trains 😉 ). It may also happen that you are weak, feel worse or whatever – it is better not to be alone then!
We also recommend you other texts about traveling during pregnancy:
I guess that's it when it comes to traveling while pregnant, if you have questions -> ask! Comments are yours! 🙂
And how are your experiences?