If you’re pregnant, that doesn’t mean you have to forego summer travel plans. In fact, a baby-moon (traveling while pregnant) can give you some valuable bonding time with your partner. Here are seven tips and tricks to help expecting mothers stay healthy during summer vacations.
1. Air Travel Tips for Summer Travel
Occasional air travel is generally safe during pregnancy. Many studies suggest that pregnant women can fly up to 36 weeks into a pregnancy. However, check with your airline since most won’t allow women to fly past 36 weeks of gestation.
Pregnant women are at a higher risk of blood clots while flying. Purchase travel socks to promote circulation and prevent blood clots from forming on long trips. To fend off cramps and back pain, get up and walk around as much as possible.
2. High Altitude and Pregnancy
High altitude is defined as 5,000 feet (1,500 meters). To put that into perspective, one mile is 5,280 feet, and Denver sits at 5,260 feet while Santa Fe is at 6,989 feet. If you already live in a high-altitude area, the risks during pregnancy aren’t as pronounced as those traveling from a low altitude area to higher altitude. You may be putting yourself at an increased risk of pregnancy complications.
Patients with high-risk pregnancies may want to avoid traveling to high altitudes. This includes those at risk for premature labor, such as twins, multiple births, prior preterm labor or placenta previa.
To reduce risks, avoid skiing, heavy exercise, climbing and cycling, at these activities increase your need for oxygen. Ascend into areas of higher altitude gradually, taking frequent breaks to acclimate. Drinking lots of water and getting lots of rest reduce your risk of dehydration and other complications.
3. At the Pool or Beach
It’s good for you and the baby to stay active during pregnancy, according to womenshealth.gov. Going to the pool or beach to swim provides a venue for low-impact exercise and works out your whole body, great preparation for giving birth. Swimming alleviates strain on your joints associated with carrying around extra weight. Here are a few precautions to follow at the beach:
- Do your best not to swallow the water since it may contain bacteria and other health risks.
- Don’t stay in the sun too long
- Exercise caution against dangers, such as sharks, jellyfish, waves and strong currents.
4. Stay Hydrated
Drink 8-12 glasses a day to prevent dehydration while traveling. Additionally, here are a few other steps to ensure you and your baby stay well-hydrated:
- Avoid products that contain caffeine, which increases your urine output, putting you at risk of dehydration.
- Avoid strenuous activities like certain exercises or staying in a hot environment too long.
- Bring along a water bottle to help you stay hydrated.
5. Driving Trip Tips
Many vacations involve long drives between destinations. Allow yourself plenty of time for bathroom breaks and map out likely stops to avoid an emergency pitstop. Small snacks help curb hunger pangs and the temptation to eat fast food.
6. Seek Compassionate Help
In an emergency, don’t be afraid to use your belly to get special treatment. You may not like to take advantage of people, but if you’re in a long line and have to use the bathroom, ask for special consideration. Remember, it’s what’s best for the baby too.
7. Best Time to Travel
You can’t control whether your second trimester occurs during the summer, but this is the best time to travel while pregnant. Nausea typically occurs most during the first trimester, and the last trimester can be an uncomfortable time to fly or drive long distances — and may introduce unnecessary risks to your baby’s health.
By following these tips, you can make the most of your summer travel plans while pregnant.