A million questions crop up in your mind when those pink lines of confirmation appear on a pregnancy test. How will your life change? Will you be able to fit into your clothes or will you be able to travel like you used to? The questions are endless and the answers, as I found out, limitless. It’s up to you though to pick the right ones and move along.
Now, every pregnancy is different. This is the very first thing I learnt when my pregnancy was confirmed. However, that never stopped people from bulldozing me with advice. Thankfully, though, I had decided quite early on to not let expertise based on Google search influence my actions during those 9 months. And as I type this with my 4-month-old on my lap, I can say I’m glad I didn’t.
Of all the advice that came my way, travel during pregnancy certainly was right at the top. You should not travel. Or, something like, how could you even think of travel at this point, were comments I had to hear often. So, today as I write this, I don’t want to burden you or come across as a know-it-all. Also, I don’t want this piece to be just another of those hundreds already thriving on the internet.
What I’m about to tell you is based on my very own experience. And personal experience, I have found, always makes a stronger case than a simple Google search. It is about the hows and whats of my travels during pregnancy. I hope it helps you plan and decide in your very own way.
The first thing you hear when you are pregnant is the need to avoid travel. That my friend is not true unless advised by your doctor. I think, if you are doing well health-wise, and you are not planning activities like climbing the Everest, traveling is very much feasible. Of course, you need to be extra cautious during the first trimester and, based on what most doctors advice, avoid it during the last trimester. But it still isn’t something which is completely off the table.
Every decision needs to be made from the point of view of your and your baby’s health.
I remember going on a trip to Goa when I was 20 weeks pregnant. All I had to do was talk to my doctor, get her go-ahead and I was ready to detox. Remember, pregnancy is one of the most difficult and stressful times in the life of a woman and what better than a short trip to help cope with that?
Also, being a working woman, I was office bound all through my pregnancy. While going to the office might not count as travel at other times, for a woman carrying a baby inside her, it certainly does.
If you are doing well health-wise, and you are not planning activities like climbing the Everest, traveling is very much feasible during pregnancy.
So, here are a couple of things that helped me during my travels while I was pregnant and maybe they could help you too someday. I don’t want to sermonize or say that my way is the best or the only way. It’s just what one pregnant woman did which might help out another.
So, travel during pregnancy?
One of the most important things to do is to consult your obstetrician/gynecologist about your pregnancy and if travel is an option open for you. Every decision needs to be made from the point of view of your and your baby’s health. So, only once he or she gives you the nod, you can move on the rest of things.
Once you cross the first hurdle, the mode of transport comes next. Now, I don’t have to tell you how very important that is. If you are traveling by road, then you need to make sure that the driver knows you are pregnant and drives accordingly, avoiding potholes and taking extreme care while going over speed bumps. If speed was not something to be cautious about before then it certainly becomes one during pregnancy. It could also help to take the road which is in a better condition than going for the worn-out shortcut. And always remember to put that seat belt on.
Air travel is also a very good option because it usually reduces the travel time and is often more comfortable than the former. Doctors usually advise not to fly post 36 weeks of pregnancy. Therefore, the best time to fly would be the second trimester. Long haul flights, however, are better avoided. But if absolutely necessary, I suggest break them up into several short ones with ample time for rest in between. Needless to say, you need to check with your doctor if air travel is safe for you.
If speed was not something to be cautious about before then it certainly becomes one during pregnancy.
From my own experience, long distance travels become extremely uncomfortable during pregnancy. It is a time when no position is comfortable even while sleeping let alone sitting. Hence, that along with being confined to an enclosed space is better avoided. However, if travel is still on the cards and cannot be done without, a couple of things like carrying a pillow for back support, drinking water and snacks, are a must.
Long haul flights, however, are better avoided. But if absolutely necessary, I suggest break them up into several short ones with ample time for rest in between.
Of the aspects common across most pregnancies, frequent trips to the restroom is one. Now, I don’t need to tell you how difficult bladder control is when you have a bun in the oven. It is always an emergency as if the baby is squeezing your bladder, squeezing hard too. The urgency and the reality of using the restroom is part and parcel to this journey. Hence, needs to be kept in mind when you are planning your travels. Also, you cannot use just any restroom because you are susceptible to infections too. I had to spend an entire week in the hospital suffering from extremely high temperatures owing to urine infection when I was 7 months pregnant. I could have avoided that if I had been more careful while using washrooms outside of my home. So, make sure you do not go to a place where hygiene is compromised and suffice to say, you also don’t go anywhere or on any trip where finding one becomes a challenge.
Well, those were just some of the things that I learnt while I was pregnant with my baby girl. I certainly hope it helps you in some way. Remember, consult your doctor and follow advice from everyone else after careful consideration, at your own discretion. It’s about your and your baby’s well-being at the end of the day.
To the pregnant ladies reading this, wish you safe travels during pregnancy.
And to the moms, tell me what did you do about traveling during yours?
Labels: MommyTalks, Motherhood