Going stir crazy? You don’t have to be stuck inside your house. Traveling during pregnancy is definitely an option if you’ve been healthy overall. Pregnant women can typically travel up until the 36-week mark, but you should discuss with your doctor the right cutoff point for you.
The best time—and the time when you’ll be most comfortable—is between weeks 14 and 28. The morning sickness you experience during the first trimester should be over, and the fatigue that comes in the third trimester should not have begun yet.
If you’ve experienced preterm labor, preeclampsia, premature rupture of membranes or any other pregnancy complication, including carrying multiples, your doctor will likely recommend not traveling.
Travel Tips During Pregnancy
Follow these tips for having a safe, enjoyable trip:
- Tell your doctor about your travel plans, and schedule a checkup before you leave.
- Bring all necessary over-the-counter and prescription medications you’ll need during your travels.
- Make your travel plans as easy to change as you can—travel insurance will often cover the costs of nonrefundable tickets—and choose the shortest route possible to keep yourself comfortable.
- Check the area you’re traveling to and ensure there aren’t any health situations that may pose a risk for pregnant women.
Types of Travel
If your travel involves the road, split up your drives into short segments. Take breaks to get out of the car and move around. Always wear your seatbelt. The most comfortable way is low on your hips, beneath your belly, with the shoulder across the center of your chest, to the side of your belly.
If you’re flying somewhere, you should take specific precautions. For example, past 36 weeks, some airlines require a certificate from your doctor when you fly within the country, and international travel is often cut off as early as 28 weeks. Make sure to double-check with your airline.
Get up and walk around every couple of hours to stretch your legs, wear your seatbelt at all times when seated and consider investing in a pair of compression socks to combat the (relatively small) risk of deep vein thrombosis.
Take time to travel, and take time to enjoy yourself. Whether you’re visiting family, sightseeing or taking a “babymoon” (one final vacation before baby arrives), if you take the proper precautions, you should be able to go (almost) anywhere.