Traveling while pregnant? What to pack?

Traveling while pregnant?  What to pack?

I’ve traveled on more international flights than I can remember throughout all trimesters during both of my pregnancies, and yes, it’s completely safe as long as you’re having a normal and healthy pregnancy and your health care provider gives you the thumbs up.  Depending on how far along you are, though, there are several things you might want to consider bringing along for your trip to make things more comfortable and enjoyable.

All Trimesters:

Belly butter to smother on the growing tummy, even before it starts to grow.  Although there is no evidence that it actually prevents stretch marks, I smothered my belly in butter daily and did not get stretch marks.  Either way, it’s a nice way to connect with growing baby and do a little belly massage each day.

Compression socks for long air travel to prevent swelling of the ankles (in combination with drinking lots of water, walking around on the plane, and stretching).

* Prenatal exercise DVDs that can be practiced anywhere to stay fit and healthy and keep energy levels up while you travel

* A pregnancy journal that can help keep track of medical check-ups, healthy weight gain and diet, and information necessary to bring to a medical practitioner abroad in case of an emergency or for a routine check-up while away from home

*A good point-and-shoot camera to document not only your travels, but the growing belly traveling along with you.  I have a semi-professional camera, but wanted a good, reliable point-and-shoot that takes good indoor/ low-light photos, has a video setting with quality sound, and takes all around great photos.  Take photos each month!!

* Comfortable clothes: think loose, stretchy, and cotton.  Even if you’re in your first trimester and haven’t ballooned out yet, trust me an opt for forgiving waistbands, or better yet no waistbands at all with loose or stretchy dresses.  Also keep in mind that you might start busting out of bras and tightly fit shirts as well, so opt for loose and stretchy tops and pregnancy/ nursing bras.  Check out Gap Maternity, Old Navy Maternity, and Ann Taylor Loft Maternity for more affordable options- I personally don’t like to spend a lot of money on clothes I am only going to wear for a few months. I also have some suggestions for clothes for those of you in your first trimester, post-partum, and nursing.

Half-way through the second trimester and into the third:

These items below are definitely not necessary for travel during the first trimester, but as your belly grows travel will become increasingly more uncomfortable.  It helps to have the following:

* A body pillow that really helps for comfortable rest, especially when the belly gets big.  We still use it now for Veda to cuddle during nap time.  This pillow is large, but smushable, and has traveled the world with us throughout my pregnancies

* Hypnobabies Home Study Course is a fantastic self-guided birthing preparation that includes CDs for guided relaxation and positive pregnancy and birthing affirmations;  this can be taken and practiced anywhere where there is a quiet space, and focuses on preparing expectant mommas for a natural and enjoyable birthing experience

* A few good pregnancy/ nursing bras that are comfortable and provide good support.  Breasts change and are sore and sensitive during pregnancy, so it’s nice to have comfortable, stretchy bras, comfortable enough to wear at night, as well, if your breasts are particularly sore/ sensitive

* A heating pad, or two, to put on any painful or tender spots, like the lower back leading up to child birth; these are also great for birthing and after baby is here for any lingering aches and pains

Related Pages:

Eating Healthy During Pregnancy While Traveling in Foreign Countries

Travel Friendly Clothes for Pregnant and Nursing Moms (Spring 2012)

Prenatal and Postnatal Exercise on the Go

Is it Safe and Allowed to Fly Pregnant?

8 Ways to Make Flying While Pregnant More Comfortable