Connor and I had the idea of traveling to Europe this summer before we ever knew about Baby KC. But just because I pregnant, that didn’t mean we couldn’t go on our trip. We did adjust the length of our trip just because I couldn’t go a month without access to prenatal care. The second trimester from weeks 18 – 24 are usually when it is most recommended to travel. We went during weeks 20 – 23.
Our trip went pretty much as planned. Aside from catching a little cold that knocked me out for one evening, we had no issues. Some people were concerned that I was flying/traveling for so long while pregnant. But I cleared everything with my midwife ahead of time, so I felt confident going on my trip.
Since we had such a successful trip, I thought I would throw together a little travel guide. Traveling while pregnant isn’t really as nerve-wrecking as it is seems. See my basic travel essentials list here.
Before You Go
Talk to your doctor/midwife. Since every pregnancy and every woman is different, you should ALWAYS discuss your travel plans with your primary caregiver prior to going on your trip. They will let you know what you can/cannot do, if there is anything you need to do before you leave etc. In my case I had an uncomplicated pregnancy, I was going to an area with minimal health risks, and an abundance of healthcare should I need it – so I was given the go ahead.
Obtain a copy of your prenatal records. Your prenatal records contain all of the information regarding your pregnancy. Information such as your due date, tests performed during pregnancy, and any complications. Should you need to go to the hospital while abroad, you want to have these records with you. Also having documentation that states your due date is helpful for when you are flying. Each airline has their own restrictions on flying – so make sure you are familiar with your particular airlines rules before you leave.
Make sure that you have travel insurance – and that it covers pregnancy related conditions. Every insurance policy varies, so it is important your verify with your particular company that pregnancy related issues are covered. Our insurance is with Allstate. Since we were traveling before 36 weeks all pregnancy related issues were covered; HOWEVER, costs that occurred for the baby did not. That meant if I were to give birth while abroad, Allstate would cover all of my healthcare costs – but none of the baby’s. We called around a few different places and found that this was generally the case. This is something you should consider before traveling – and generally why traveling abroad after 24 weeks is not recommended.
Arrange to have phone access. We purchased an international SIM card through Orange ahead of time. It was really important to me to have access to a phone should I need to call my midwife/family. Of course you can use your regular phone – but purchasing an international SIM is more cost effective. This also gave us access to data which made getting around a lot easier.
While On Your Trip
Get up on the plane. The one thing my midwife recommended I do during our flight, was to try and get up and walk the length of the plane several times. This helps prevent swelling and blood clots.
Always have water on hand. It is really important that you stay hydrated while traveling to prevent dehydration and UTI’s. We purchased two 2 litre bottles that we carried around with us everywhere. Anytime we had access to clean water, we were sure to fill up so we were never stranded without water.
Plan your bathroom trips. Public bathrooms are few and far between in both France and Italy. Therefore anytime we were at a museum, a restaurant, or any attraction – I made sure to use the washroom, sometimes multiple times. Again, you don’t want to hold it – it puts you more at risk for developing a UTI.
Find pregnancy entrances. Something we learned while on our trip (after purchasing multiple skip the line tickets), was that most attractions won’t make you wait in line if you are pregnant. When visiting an attraction, ask a staff member if they have a specific entrance for pregnant woman. This is a great perk because a) standing in line for a long period of time with a 15lb basketball strapped to your front is tiring and b) a lot of the times the line was in the sun.
Take It SLOW
Had I not been pregnant, we probably would’ve tried to do a lot more. I remember traveling back when I was living in Italy as an au pair – my days were jam packed because I usually only had a day or two to explore a place.
We set up a *basic* schedule before we left. Our big train journeys and major attractions were booked ahead of time. We created a list of the activities we wanted to complete throughout the day. But we left A LOT of free time each day. I’m glad we did this because walking places took 2x longer than normal. I got tired very easily and I needed to eat 3x as often. But we were still able to do everything that we wanted to do while we were there.
Make The Most of It
The most important thing you can do is just enjoy yourself and make the most of it! If you’re a FTM (first time mom) like me this is the last time you and your partner will be able to travel without baby in tow (or at home to worry about the entire time). This trip will be one we will never forget!
Did you travel at all while pregnant? What made the trip more successful for you? Until next time, XX.
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