Travelling with Baby on Board

Pregnant and thinking of going away? Here’s what you need to know, so you can enjoy a safe and comfortable journey.

Whether you’re driving or flying, travelling with a baby bump has its own set of challenges. But enjoying a holiday with family, or even a babymoon, is a great idea before the wonderful chaos of baby arrives. Here are our top pregnancy travel tips:

The no-fly zone

If you’re planning to travel overseas, think about going sooner rather than later. Apart from the obvious discomfort of flying with a big belly, lots of airlines won’t let you fly if you’re too far along in your pregnancy journey. Check the airline rules before you book – they may stop you flying anywhere from 32 weeks, and you may be required to bring a doctor’s note if you’re more than 28 weeks along. Midwife and antenatal educator, Sr Louette MacCallum, says you should check with your doctor to see if you need anti-clotting medication for flights longer than ten hours. She also recommends moving around as much as possible and staying hydrated during the flight.

On the road

If you’re driving long distance, especially in the heat of summer, remember to drink lots of water. “Stop every two hours, mobilise and empty your bladder regularly,” Louette says. She also recommends stretching, as well as flexing your calves and rotating your ankles in the car to help promote blood flow and prevent swelling. And of course, always wear a seatbelt – the strap should sit snugly underneath your belly and across your shoulder.

Research your destination

Wherever you’re going, make sure you know where the nearest hospital or medical centre is, and ensure that you have travel insurance to cover any emergency medical expenses. Some destinations require vaccinations – check with a doctor to make sure these are safe to have while pregnant, or if there are any special precautions you should take. Try not to travel anywhere you might be exposed to malaria, a potentially life-threatening illness for both you and your baby. When booking accommodation, think about some small creature comforts that might make your stay more enjoyable, like a bath or air-conditioning. You might have days when you just want to put your feet up and relax, so having a home-away-from-home could help make your holiday more enjoyable.

Packing for your bump

There’s no need to be stuck indoors on your holiday! You can enjoy most of the activities you did before you fell pregnant, including hiking, swimming, boat rides and sports. If you’re outdoors, remember to wear sunscreen – your skin is especially sensitive when you’re pregnant – and pack sensible shoes for any walking. It might be a good idea to pack your favourite pillow too, so you can have some extra comfort during your travels, as well as for sleeping at night. Tell your tour guide or instructor that you’re expecting, so they can plan accordingly and keep your doctor’s details somewhere easy to find.

Whatever your destination, relax and enjoy this special time. The next time you take a trip, there will be an extra little person in tow!

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