The No Bullsh*t Guide To.. Travelling Abroad While Pregnant
Whether you need to travel for work or you fancy a trip away, just the two of you, before the baby comes, being pregnant doesn't at all mean that you can't travel.
Of course, you have to check with your doctor before you plan any kind of a trip abroad while pregnant, but if you get the go-ahead, then here are a few things to consider:
Should I travel when pregnant?
Travelling while pregnant is a gazillion times easier than travelling with an actual baby or toddler. It might seem like a bit of a pain to lug that bump on board an aeroplane but believe me, it's a walk in the park compared to the buggy, baby bag, toys, bottles etc that you'll have to drag around with you when baby comes. So do it, do it now.
When is a good time to go abroad?
Assuming that you have no pregnancy complications, the second trimester (14 to 28 weeks) is probably the best time to travel abroad. The first three months can be tricky with morning sickness and any possible complications that you might have should be well caught by your doctor at that point. Also, you might just feel too uncomfortable during your third and final trimester and really need more space than an airline might offer you.
Furthermore, you might find it impossible to sit down for long periods of time and could tire easily and there's no enjoyment in that!
What's my cut-off point?
Most airlines have their own rules and regulations about when they will no longer allow you to fly with them - in some cases, your cut-off point could be as early as 32 weeks. That's fair enough, isn't it? Sure who wants to give birth in front of a plane full of people on their way back from their hols in Tenerife? Check in with each individual airline to know what your options are.
Are there any potential risks?
Any type of travel that lasts for four hours or longer could pose potential problems it you remain still for the duration. It could lead to the swelling of feet and ankles or worse, the development of blood clots. Compression socks help as does getting up and walking about as much as possible (at the very least, every hour on the hour).
What should I bring?
1. The loosest, most comfortable, elasticated-waist-free clothes you can think of, especially for the flight
2. A pillow for your neck and back
3. Your medical records and any medication you are taking
4. Food, food and more food. There is no panic like the panic a pregnant woman feels when she gets hungry and realises she is at the mercy of airline staff. Do not be this soldier.
5. Water. Stay hydrated, mammy-in-waiting. It's a must. (Sidenote: always drink bottled water when abroad, you know what I'm talking about)
Do I need to go through the metal detectors at the airport?
Nope. While there is no evidence to say that the metal detector poses any risks to your unborn child, you can certainly request not to go through it (which I did) and have a hand or wand search instead. It's entirely up to you.
Where will I go?
My advice would be for a short hop somewhere relaxing. I know everyone will tell you to get your rest and relaxation in now before the baby comes and if it's your first baby, you will be taking that advice with a pinch of salt. As a mum of two small kids, I am now going to scream this at you: GET YOUR REST IN BEFORE THE BABY COMES!
Lie in the sun, dip in the pool, walk on the beach, talk to your partner about how excited you are to meet your new baby and most of all, enjoy every minute of it. We are sooo jealous over here..
Any other tips?
1. Try to get a seat near the bathroom on the plane so that you don't have too far to go if you feel those emergency wees coming
2. Request one of the seats with extra leg room so you can stretch those pins out
3. Don't go anywhere that you know is a stag or hen party destination. Those flights are the pits of hell
4. Tell everyone that you're pregnant. Everyone. Who knows if you might get upgraded by the girl on the check-in desk.
5. If you think your preggo farts are bad now, wait until you're preggo on a plane..
Are you planning a trip abroad with the bump? Let us know where you're off to!