Awesome Tips Traveler's Toolbox
With so much conflicting information on the Internet, newly pregnant women can easily be confused and intimidated when it comes to travel. Of course, every pregnancy is different, but we’ve traveled several times while Nicole was pregnant and we’ve never had any issues or reasons for concern.
There are many reasons why you can, and should, travel while pregnant.
If this is your first child, this may be the last trip you take for a while. If it’s a second or third child, you should take advantage of the calm before the storm. Reward yourself with some pampering and do something you’ve always dreamed of – don’t wait for someday after the baby is born.
That said, it is advised that women travel in their second trimester and limit unnecessary or strenuous travel in the third trimester. We do not advise leisure travel in the final month of pregnancy.
When Nicole was pregnant with our first son, we backpacked through Central America for a month, visiting Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico. She was 5 months pregnant and felt pretty good throughout the trip. But it was super hot, so we limited our activities during the day and slowed down the pace.
With the second pregnancy, we traveled to Hawaii, Mexico, Ontario (we live in Vancouver), and, most recently, to Santa Monica, California. The trip to California was our final trip as a family of three. This time Nicole was further along at 7 months. She had a prominent belly and was noticeably uncomfortable.
But it was a fun trip and we’re grateful to have had the time together.
Having travelled at different stages during both pregnancies, we don’t believe some of the sources that state women should not travel during pregnancy. But you should take extra care and consider the following:
What is your physical ability?
Every belly is different, at varying stages of the pregnancy, so pick a destination that matches your physical ability. We were able to hike the ancient ruins of Tikal in Guatamala when Nicole was 5 months pregnant, but we would not have attempted this if she was in her third trimester. When she was 7 months pregnant, we opted for the beaches and boardwalks of California instead.
Also consider a destination where vaccinations are not required, since it’s unlikely they can be administered to pregnant women.
Will you be covered by travel insurance?
It is possible to travel in your third trimester and still be covered by travel insurance. However, every travel insurance company has different policies and they can vary greatly. Some might not cover past 30 weeks, while others will cover all the way up to 37 weeks. Do your homework.
It’s also smart to check the airline’s policy prior to booking because most airlines have a deadline of around 35-37 weeks. Remember to consider the timing of your return flight home.
Visit your doctor before you go
It’s wise to have a check-up with your doctor before traveling. In some cases airlines require a doctor’s note stating that you are fit to fly. It will also give you peace of mind and extra assurance that your trip will be problem free.
Relax – don’t create unnecessary stress!
Soon you will have a wonderful bundle of joy who will demand your time and attention. Take the opportunity to sit back and relax. Don’t overload your day with sightseeing and activities – this is not the time to scale mountains. Instead, have a pre-natal massage, treat yourself to a nice meal, sleep in late, go for a swim, read a trashy magazine.
Traveling while pregnant can be very rewarding. Provided your pregnancy has been without complications, there’s no reason to stay home and avoid travel experiences just because you are pregnant. Go have some fun – you deserve it!