These restrictions are rarely for the entire duration of the pregnancy, unless you are extremely high risk or have complicating medical conditions that need to be monitored. When the restriction kicks in depends upon two things, your doctor and how your pregnancy is progressing.
Usually these restrictions are placed somewhere between the beginning of the third trimester and the beginning of the final month so 28 to 36 weeks.
When considering that once baby arrives it will be harder to get away, many couples find themselves planning romantic trips as one last hurrah, or trying to work out visits with family members in other parts of the country. Some have long-standing annual family vacations that they want to make, and some women might have careers that require time away from home.
Regardless of your reason for traveling here are a few tips to help make your journey as comfortable as possible.
Check With Your Doctor
Always check with your doctor before traveling. This doesnt have to be every time you get in the car to take a short weekend trip, but you should definitely ask about restrictions early in your pregnancy.
Discuss any complications you might be having, where you are going and your mode of transportation. Air travel may not be advised, and certain parts of the world carry increased risk for pregnant women and are discouraged. Also, if you get motion sick and tend to take medication for the condition while traveling, verify that the prescription is safe for your developing baby.
Evaluate When Youll Be Traveling
The when here is in relation to not only how far along in your pregnancy you are, but also the time of year.
The second trimester is often the most comfortable time for most women and usually beats the earliest of travel restrictions doctors place on mothers-to-be. As a result, weeks 15-28 tend to be the best for travel. Youve gotten your energy back, the morning sickness is gone, and youre not feeling like a beached whale yet. For vacation purposes, this may be the best time since youre most likely able to enjoy yourself during this period.
Another consideration is the time of year you will be traveling. While pregnant your blood volume increases as do your maternal fat stores. Both of these contribute to overheating. You can go from a summer loving sun-goddess to an air-condition clinging woman quite easily. Similarly, if youre planning on a winter trip, learning how to ski while your center of balance is thrown off might not be the wisest of activities.
Take Frequent Breaks
Okay, if youre on a 10 hour flight you cant ask the pilot to land when you want a break, but you can get up and stretch your legs. Sitting for too long can be uncomfortable for anyone, but it is more so for a pregnant woman. Staying in one position too long can lead to back pain and restrict circulation in your legs. If youre in your third trimester, it can also cause discomfort in your swollen belly. Changing position usually helps with all of these discomforts. So try to get up and move every one to two hours.
Also, ignoring your bladder for as long as possible because you dont want to use a grimy gas station bathroom or trying to maneuver in the tiny stall on a plane is a bad idea. Resisting the urge to go to the bathroom can lead to urinary tract infections, which can cause complications in your pregnancy.
Watch Your Diet
It can be hard while traveling to maintain the healthy diet you have been keeping to at home. Whether its a dearth of healthy options at the roadside cafe or that your family wants to eat out every night, there are definitely more obstacles in your way.
To help minimize the number of candy bars youre grabbing to stave off the munchies, plan ahead. If youre traveling by car, pack a bag or a small cooler full of healthy snacks, such as fruit, granola, and nuts. If youre traveling by another means, throw a handful of healthy snacks from home in your purse. A handful of nuts mixed with dried cranberries is a great alternative to trail mix with Mamp;Ms, and the individually wrapped fiber bars are a great way to make you feel more full to get you through the trip.
Once you are at your destination, be menu savvy. Look for things that are low on fat and add vegetables whenever possible – even if its insisting that you add green peppers, olives and mushrooms to a pizza. Ask waiters if they make substitutions for their sides. Apple sauce instead of french fries may not be as good as steamed veggies, but its less grease and fat.