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Pregnancy and Travel: Tips for a Safe and Comfortable Journey

By Dr. Christy Carosello PT, DPT

Embarking on a journey during pregnancy is a unique experience that requires a bit of extra planning to ensure comfort and safety. Whether it's a babymoon, visiting family for the holidays, business trip, or any exploit in between, these travel tips will help you navigate the adventure of traveling while pregnant.


General Travel Tips

  1. Consult Your Birth Provider: Before making any travel plans, consult with your healthcare provider to ensure that you are fit for travel. They can provide personalized advice based on your health and the stage of your pregnancy.

  2. Choose the Right Time: Consider traveling during the second trimester when many women experience a boost in energy and are past the discomforts of the first trimester. However, check with your doctor to determine the most suitable time for your specific situation.

  3. Plan Your Route: If possible, opt for shorter/direct flights or car rides to minimize the time spent in transit. This reduces the risk of developing blood clots and decreases overall discomfort.

  4. Pack Essentials: Bring a well-packed travel bag with essentials like prenatal vitamins, snacks, water, any other necessary medications, comfortable clothing, and important documents. Don’t forget to include a copy of your prenatal records. You may also consider picking compression stockings, a pregnancy pillow (if you use one regularly), and a belly band (if you plan on walking more than usual at your destination).

  5. Comfortable Clothing is Key: Opt for loose, breathable clothing and comfortable shoes to minimize swelling and promote circulation. Dressing in layers can be helpful for travel.

  6. Hydrate and Snack Smart: Stay hydrated throughout your journey, and pack nutritious snacks to keep your energy levels stable. Avoid overly salty or sweet snacks. This helps combat fatigue and ensures you have a pleasant travel experience.

  7. Choose Comfortable Accommodations: When booking accommodations, prioritize comfort. Choose a room with amenities that support relaxation and ensure a good night’s sleep. Call ahead to your accommodations (whether at a hotel or with family/friends) and request extra pillows for added sleeping comfort.

  8. Avoid Stressful Schedules: Pregnancy often comes with fatigue, so plan for rest breaks during your itinerary. Whether it’s a short nap or a leisurely break, prioritize moments of relaxation to ensure a more enjoyable journey.

  9. Communicate with Travel Providers: Inform airlines, hotels, and other travel providers about your pregnancy when making reservations. Some may offer additional support or have specific guidelines for expectant mothers.

  10. Research Healthcare at Your Destination: Know the location of healthcare facilities at your destination and have emergency contacts readily available. Consider purchasing travel insurance that covers pregnancy-related issues.


Air Travel Tips

  1. Flying During Late Pregnancy: Most airlines allow pregnant women to fly up until about 36 weeks of pregnancy domestically. Travel may be restricted earlier in pregnancy for international flights. Check with each individual airline prior to booking. As previously mentioned, it is worth discussing travel plans with your birth provider before booking, as certain health conditions (such as preeclampsia) may put you at high risk for health complications during air travel.

  2. Planning for comfort: Move often, if possible book an aisle seat so you can walk around during the flight to improve circulation. Wearing compression stockings, and performing seated heel raises and ankle circles can help promote blood circulation when walking the plane is not an option.

  3. Safety first: When the seatbelt sign is on, make sure to wear your seatbelt low and snug over your hip bones and below your belly.

  4. Hydrate: Air travel can increase risk of dehydration. Drink plenty of water before and during your flight, and avoid carbonated drinks leading up to your flight. Gas expands at higher altitudes and may cause discomfort.


Car Travel Tips

  1. Frequent Breaks: Plan to alot extra time for road journeys, with frequent stops to walk around and stretch your legs. This can help to minimize discomfort and risk of blood clots.

  2. Safety First: Wear your seatbelt at all times. The lap belt should be low and tight over your hips and under your belly. The shoulder strap should be worn between your breasts and to the side of your belly.

  3. Optimize Seat Position: Adjust the seat to a comfortable position to support your back. You may consider bringing additional pillows to place behind your back or a small towel roll to place at your lower back for support.

  4. Hydrate: Just as with air travel, it is important to drink plenty of water. Utilize the need to stop for bathroom breaks to stretch your legs and move around!


With careful planning and consideration, traveling during pregnancy can be a positive and memorable experience. By following these tips, you'll be better equipped to enjoy the journey and arrive at your destination feeling refreshed and ready for the next chapter of your adventure. Safe travels!


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