Helpful tips for traveling while expecting

Pregnancy brings about its fair share of challenges, some of which you won't even think about until you're further along in the baby development process. Once your tummy begins to expand, you'll find that it's tougher to do everything from carrying bags of groceries to walking up a flight of stairs without a little help.

That being said, women who've been through pregnancy before will tell you that travel is one of the trickiest aspects to deal with throughout the nine-month period. Whether you're going to fly or travel by train, there may be certain restrictions you need to abide by as you carry your little bundle of joy.

Traveling by plane
Many women who're expecting fear traveling by plane for a number of reasons - what if the water breaks while you're 20,000 miles in the sky? What if the airline doesn't allow pregnant women to travel with them altogether? Luckily, you can quell some of your worries by familiarizing yourself with facts behind flying during pregnancy.

First, talking to your specific airline you're interested in flying with prior to departure can help you solve the mystery of whether your pregnancy will cause travel complications. A majority of airlines stress that women speak to their physician before flying, but otherwise have no restrictions. Some prefer expectant mothers to avoid traveling close to their due date to prevent going into labor while in the air.

In general, you should plan your travels accordingly once you find out you're pregnant. For example, you're going to be more comfortable flying before your third trimester, as you're stomach will then be large and space-consuming.

Getting to your destination by car
If you're going to be traveling a long distance by car during your pregnancy, you'll want to make comfort a priority. This means bringing everything along that you may want or need to get cozy, such as a travel pillow, extra pillows for your back and an eye mask. Recline your chair if necessary to give yourself more room (especially if your tummy has grown. Finally, don't forget to stop and stretch if you're in the car for an extended period of time. This can help you combat the pregnancy aches and pains that you may experience in your feet.

Revamping your travel routine
In general, there are a few tips you can take into account to make sure you're comfortable regardless of how you're getting to your final destination. For instance, don't underestimate the power of a comfortable pair of shoes. Wearing heels may make it difficult for you to endure back aches and cramps throughout your nine months of baby development, which is why you may want to skip the balancing act and opt for comfort!

Next, make sure you have a pillow on hand to relax, unwind and even sneak in a few Zs. While pregnant, you may find the need to catch some shut eye and relieve fatigue more often.

Also, you should make an effort to stay hydrated while you're traveling, especially on a plane where air cabins have low humidity. Drink only bottled water in transit and at your destination to avoid subjecting your body to microbes that might irritate your digestive system.

Finally, be mindful of the food you eat while you're in transit and residing in a new location. For example, your morning sickness may become more evident while you're up in the air on a plane. Prepare for this by avoiding food that may upset your stomach even more, such as greasy or spicy items.

How have you traveled while pregnant in the past? Do you have any tips for expectant mothers? Leave your feedback in the comments section!