PREGNANCY WHILE TRAVELING
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Although this blog is devoted mostly to the subject of traveling with baby, I have numerous posts devoted to the subject of pregnancy and birth while traveling. Staying healthy while pregnant, minimizing risk of exposure to disease and complications, and minimizing the need for interventions during and after birth ensures mom can recover quickly and mom and baby are healthy to travel without complications.
I traveled to over nine different countries during my first pregnancy with Veda throughout all trimesters, ran two 5Ks in my second trimester (finishing both under 25 minutes), did tough day-long hikes in the mountains in Africa, and besides being tired through much of my first trimester, for the most part felt energized and powerful.
During my second pregnancy with my son, Aksa (August- December 2011), which sadly ended at 20 weeks due to trisomy 13 resulting in severe brain and heart defects, I traveled in good health to four different countries throughout both my first and second trimesters with him. In cases like this where a random chromosomal problem determines baby’s outcome, there is nothing we can do, no matter how healthy we are.
I am now pregnant with our third baby and have been laying low through my first trimester, although I have planned international travel throughout much of my second and beginning of my third trimester.
I do believe that there are some things that I have done during all of my pregnancies that have allowed me to enjoy pregnancy through the delivery of my first baby, enjoy the time I had being pregnant with our second baby with energy and in good health, and relish a third time in my current pregnancy. I am not a medical practitioner and cannot offer medical advice to anyone, but can share what has worked for me to stay positive, healthy, and keep my energy levels up throughout pregnancy and birth of my first baby, which is a must if you plan on safely traveling overseas while pregnant:
1) Focus on being emotionally balanced. I think this is the most important thing a pregnant woman can do- embrace her pregnancy, her changing body, and the little being growing inside. It’s amazing how negative people in general can be about pregnancies. It is expected that we feel bad, that we’ll be moody, that we’ll complain, that we can’t wait to get it over with.
2) Exercise. For a normal and healthy pregnancy, exercise can be beneficial: 1) to help stay emotionally balanced; 2) to prepare for the physical endurance required for birthing; and 3) help your body to recover more quickly after birth. Check out my blog post devoted to prenatal and postnatal exercise, including recommendations for my favorite prenatal and postnatal exercise DVDs (including yoga and pilates).
3) Eat well. I always make sure I am taking good quality prenatal vitamins before and during pregnancy, as well as while breastfeeding. I try to eat small, frequent, well-balanced meals with as much fresh vegetables, fruits, and grains (add in super-grains like quinoa regularly), and proteins. I also chug loads of (boiled/ bottled, especially while traveling) water to stay hydrated. Check out my blog post devoted to nutrition while pregnant, and traveling pregnant, including recommendations for books and websites with more information on the subject.
Happy incubating and birthing!