Travel during pregnancy: Your trimester by trimester travel guide

Travel during pregnancyby Julie Snyder

If you're pregnant and your work, vacations or holidays are going to require travel, get equipped with these plan-ahead safety tips.

Most travel plans, shouldn't cause any alarm or issues.

Depending on your condition, check-in with your healthcare provider to make sure you can travel first. They will be able to give you the thumbs up or not.

Better to be safe!

Traveling in the first trimester of pregnancy

The first trimester can be exciting, fun and adventurous. Does this describe you? Grab that wanderer spirit and take a trip across the state or further. Are you more into surviving until bedtime without throwing up on anyone? In that case travel can be a challenging. Still have to go on that trip? Try these mom-tested survival techniques:

Combat nausea by bringing along your own snacks. For some moms-to-be, getting too hungry triggers morning sickness.

Outsmart exhaustion. Plan easy activities. Can you split up your day and return to where you're staying for a midday rest stop?

Plan frequent bathroom stops. You can't always predict where the next bathroom is going to be, but it helps to be in the "know." If you're flying, try to sit near one of the restrooms, or snag an aisle seat if you are able to arrange it.

Your pre-trip check list:

  1. Get an okay from your midwife, healthcare provider or doctor
  2. Put together an emergency list (care centers, doctors, your numbers)
  3. Pack snacks
  4. Bring your own BPA-free water bottle
  5. Go for light activities and consider a mild climate
  6. Include rest in your schedule

Tip: Is nausea more a concern than potty breaks? Some moms-to-be find sitting by a plane's window eases queasiness.

Traveling in the second trimester of pregnancy

Women find the second trimester an ideal time for fun vacation getaways! Morning sickness has usually eased up, energy levels are improving, and your overall comfort is easier to achieve. Celebrate your beautiful pregnant body and the life growing within!

Schedule sensibly. While you do have more energy, set reasonable expectations and don't overdo it.

Keep close to the ground. Trade in the stilettos for something a little more practical. You can still be stylin' while flaunting that bump -- but make allowances for your new center of gravity!

Soft and comfy. Going camping? Packing that air mattress is worth the extra effort vs. sleeping on the ground.

Have fun! Seriously, relax! Relaxation creates a healthier environment for you and baby while lowering your blood pressure, increasing endorphins, and a happier spirit.

Add these items to the first trimester's pre-trip check list:

  1. If you're traveling long-distance, carry a copy of your prenatal records.
  2. Dress for comfort -- stretchy knits and spandex wiggle and grow with you.
  3. Include stretch and rest stops in your schedule.
  4. Wear your seat belt. Your belly provides a cushion around your growing baby so the best way to protect your baby in a car is to buckle up and protect yourself.

Tip: Some expectant ladies report being more interested in sex at this stage, too!

Travel in the third trimester of pregnancy

Aisles might have gotten smaller and your energy could be lagging, but you can still enjoy your getaways. These ideas can help make your journey more pleasant:

Check airline policies. Most airlines restrict travel for pregnant women after 36 weeks. You could need to get a note from your doctor or midwife with your due date verifying that you're fit for travel.

Make time to eat. Sit down and get a snack while you're waiting at the airport or train station.

Stay hydrated. Dehydration can lead to preterm labor. Your water bottle should be your best friend. Don't be shy about asking the flight attendant for plenty of water.

See if you can get a front row seat on the plane. Typically, there's better air circulation, it's easier to get to your seat and has better access to the bathroom.

Stretch often. If on the train or plane, take occasional walks up and down the aisle if possible. While seated, flex and extend your ankles.

Add these tips to the first and second trimester's pre-trip check list:

  1. Pile on the layers of clothes. Others in the car or plane don't share your metabolism. Layers allow you to personalize your environment.
  2. Bring your favorite pillow/s.
  3. Schedule frequent rest breaks. Your legs appreciate frequent stretches and your bladder will thank you.

Tip: Bring along two pairs of shoes. After a day of sitting or walking your feet can swell as much as a size larger. Do you have a pregnancy travel tip? Share it in comments.

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.