Skip to Content

Traveling While Pregnant: Tips To Have The Best Experience

A lot of people don’t know this, but I got on a plane last year at 35 weeks pregnant to see my also pregnant sister-cousin that was having complications with her pregnancy. She was on bed rest in the hospital for a really long time, so I decided to show up for a surprise visit.

Traveling through JFK airport that far along was not easy but I was able to do it with little trouble. My sister cousin had the baby and they are both just fine but I learned a few things while traveling pregnant.

Whether you are traveling during your first trimester or during your third trimester, here are a few tips that will help you to have the best experience!

Travel is still an option for pregnant women provided that care is taken to ensure that the health of the mother and the unborn child is not compromised. Being pregnant does not always mean that one has to remain at home.

However, there are a number of issues that should be addressed prior to traveling to ensure a good time during the journey and that both the mother and unborn child remain in good health.

Pregnant Mothers Should Get Doctor’s Advice Before Traveling

Expecting mothers should seek the advice of their doctor prior to undertaking any major or long distance travel. This is especially crucial should the woman be traveling overseas, or flying. However, travel should be limited especially in the later stages of pregnancy.

If there is a need to travel, then it pays to have a friend or family member travel as a companion to ensure that support is close at hand should the need arise.

I traveled solo and was just fine, but my trip was under 2 hours flight time and I only traveled with a backpack. Anything more and I may have needed some assistance.

Check Airline’s Policy on Pregnant Passengers

It must be noted that many airline companies will not allow women who are expecting to fly seven months into their pregnancy, earlier if a woman is expecting multiple births, so check with the airlines to get first hand advice. Unless it’s an emergency, women should not be undertaking long or extended travel that could expose themselves or their unborn babies to anything bad. It should be noted that a doctor’s referral may be required by the airline and even then there is no guarantee of a flight.

When flying or driving ensure that the seat belt is placed around the pelvis as low as possible to minimize the belt being close to the baby. Stand, stretch and walk as much as is needed. If a drive requires more stops then do it. Do not sit for long periods without stretching.

Pro tip: My favorite airline, JetBlue did not require a doctors note, as a matter of fact, no one said a word about my huge belly. I found out later that you can fly as late into your pregnancy as 1 week before your due date!

Research Available Medical Facilities

Research the area where you intend to visit, especially if close to full term and consider the “what ifs” when planning to travel. It helps to know and be fully aware of available medical facilities.

Since I knew I would be staying inside of the hospital room with my cousin, I felt pretty safe about being there. I knew that even if I started to feel weird, or if the baby decided to come–I wouldn’t even have to leave the building.

Stay Hydrated

It’s so important to have your own water before you board the plane, the last thing you want is to be super thirsty without a flight attendant in sight. Staying hydrated also helps with any dizziness or feeling uncomfortable. It may lead to more bathroom breaks but it’s so helpful for you and baby to stay hydrated.

Taking a few simple steps in planning the travel or holiday will assist the expectant mother and unborn child to make the best of the experience. Do some homework, use the above information as a guide, seek out as much further information as possible and above all, enjoy all that a good vacation has to offer.

Traveling during pregnancy is common, whether it’s for a business trip, visiting family, or perhaps that last romantic getaway before baby arrives (often termed a ‘babymoon’). To ensure you have a pleasant and safe journey, consider the following tips tailored for expectant mothers:

so to wrap up, here are my top tips!

  1. Consult with Your Doctor:
    • Always get a green light from your healthcare provider before planning any trip. Some pregnancies have higher risks and may require more attention.
  2. Choose the Best Time:
    • The second trimester (weeks 14 to 28) is often considered the best time to travel. Morning sickness is usually less severe, energy levels are higher, and there’s a lower risk of preterm labor.
  3. Stay Hydrated and Nourished:
    • Carry a water bottle to stay hydrated, and pack healthy snacks to munch on, like nuts, fruits, and protein bars.
  4. Dress Comfortably:
    • Wear loose-fitting clothing and comfortable shoes. Consider compression stockings to promote blood circulation, reducing the risk of blood clots during long journeys.
  5. Stay Active:
    • If you’re flying or driving, make it a point to stretch and move every 1-2 hours. Walking or doing simple stretches can prevent swelling and discomfort.
  6. Understand Airline Policies:
    • Some airlines have restrictions on traveling during late pregnancy. Always check ahead and carry a medical certificate from your doctor if required.
  7. Prioritize Your Comfort:
    • If you’re booking a hotel, ensure it offers the comforts and amenities you need, like proximity to a local hospital or a room with easy bathroom access.
  8. Pack Smart:
    • Always carry essential medications, prenatal vitamins, and relevant medical records. Consider a pregnancy pillow for better sleep.
  9. Stay Updated on Destination Health Issues:
    • Research the healthcare infrastructure of your destination. Avoid areas with outbreaks of diseases, especially where vaccines are contraindicated during pregnancy.
  10. Avoid High Risk Activities:
  • Skip activities that have a high fall risk or could lead to abdominal trauma, like skiing or horseback riding.
  1. Opt for Travel Insurance:
  • Ensure it covers pregnancy-related emergencies. This provides peace of mind and can be a financial lifesaver.
  1. Stay Calm and Relaxed:
  • Travel can be stressful, but try to stay calm and give yourself ample time to rest. Consider practicing meditation or deep-breathing exercises.
  1. Limit Caffeine and Avoid Alcohol:
  • Opt for decaffeinated beverages and avoid alcohol to keep the baby safe.
  1. Beware of Foods:
  • Avoid foods that are known to be risky for pregnant women, such as unpasteurized cheeses, certain seafood, and raw meats. Also, research common food and water safety issues in your destination.
  1. Stay Connected:
  • Always have a way to connect with your doctor or midwife. Whether it’s through phone, email, or another medium, it’s crucial to have a lifeline to medical advice when you’re away.

While traveling during pregnancy requires a bit more planning and consideration, it can be a joyful and memorable experience. With the right precautions and preparations, you can savor your journey while also prioritizing the well-being of you and your little one. Safe travels!

Here are a few tips that will help you to have the best experience traveling while pregnant! Whether you are in your 1st, 2nd or 3rd trimester!

Do you have any tips for traveling while pregnant?

For more pregnancy articles check out:

5 Tips To Stay Safe When Driving Pregnant

How to Deal with Unsolicited Advice During Pregnancy

5 Unique Baby Shower Gifts for Moms to Be

Janine Huldie

Tuesday 24th of September 2019

Jetblue, btw, is my favorite, too :) And truly good to know about the regulations if flying while pregnant as I admit I am not up-to-date with my youngest almost 9 now. So, a great refresher.