How to stay healthy when you travel while pregnant

Just because you’re growing a small human, that doesn’t mean you have to give up travelling. In fact, when I was pregnant I tried to pack in as many trips as possible, thinking that a baby would really slow down my travel addiction.

I just counted and I actually managed nine trips abroad during my pregnancy – maybe that is a bit extreme 🙂 My final trip was to Scotland when I had just one month to go but that was within the UK and  for that trip I caught the train!

Wandering Kiwi sleeper train to Scotland

Of course I have since found that having a child is hardly the end of the world when it comes to travelling. But before your life gets turned upside down by a tiny hurricane, pregnancy can be the perfect time to get some adventures in! As long as your pregnancy is progressing normally, there is no reason why you shouldn’t plan a few trips.

It is important to remember that you are pregnant and there are some things you will need to consider to keep yourself as healthy as possible. Here are some of the things you need to bear in mind if you want to travel whilst pregnant.

Think about the timing

Being pregnant shouldn’t stop you travelling, but there are certainly times that are better for it than others. For example, your highest risk is in the first trimester, and you are also likely to be feeling pretty sick and exhausted at this point. I had terrible pregnancy nausea for the first three months but I did manage a trip to Belgium and found the fresh air and lovely new environment helped distract me from that horrible sick feeling.

Wandering Kiwi in Rome Italy

Towards the end of the third trimester you might find yourself too large to really do much, and you will also be on standby for giving birth! Keep your due date and pregnancy progression in mind. Many airlines will not allow women to travel after the sixth month of pregnancy without a signed doctor’s letter stating that she is okay to travel. This was a problem for me on a trip to Italy for a friend’s wedding and I had to go home, get the letter and fly the next day!

So the sweet spot is during the second trimester (week 13-27), where you can feel your best! Some women even experience an energy boost during this time so it’s definitely a good time to travel. I even went on a walking holiday in Corsica! Just remember to take things easy when you need to and especially if the weather is hot.

Wandering Kiwi Corsica walking holiday

Consider your food choices

Food is a pretty important part of travel for me, but when you’re pregnant there are extra things to consider than just whether fried cockroaches are worth a gamble.

For example, when you are travelling to another country, you have to be extra careful to make sure all meat is cooked thoroughly – now is not the time for medium-rare steaks!

Avoid soft cheeses unless you are sure they are pasteurised, and both seafood and pate are also a no-go. I was pretty disappointed not to be able to eat the amazing seafood in Brittany when I was four months pregnant…

Make sure you have good insurance

Travel insurance is always important, but especially so when you are pregnant. You never know what might happen when you are away from home so do your research and find an insurance policy that will protect you while you are pregnant. Just make sure you are honest with the provider to get the best coverage.

Wandering Kiwi travel while pregnant

Pack tactically

Aside from a good book to read and some comfortable clothes, you will also need to pack your medical records, just in case. Make sure you have plenty of sunscreen, as your skin is more susceptible to sunburn. Also be sure to pack extra snacks that will satisfy those food cravings, and a reusable water bottle so you can stay hydrated. A good travel first aid kit is important too, tailored for a pregnant woman with items such as medication for indigestion or ginger tablets for nausea.

So, before you are too tired (and big!) to fly, book a travel adventure and making some amazing memories before your new little one arrives.

Have you got any top tips for staying healthy when travelling while pregnant? Let me know in the comments!

By Natasha von Geldern

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