It’s the final stretch! You’ve gotten through the nausea of the first tri, had a grand old time during the second tri, and now you’re in your final trimester. In case you haven’t realized it, traveling while pregnant requires a lot of adjustments. I’ve covered tips for making travel easier during the first and second trimesters, so now onto the third tri. My final flight was at 34 weeks and my final trip was at 36 weeks. I was huge, hot, and very slow moving. In a nutshell, my advice is to take it easy and give yourself lots of time! Trust me, you will need it. (Pictured: Motherhood Maternity Side Ruched top, on sale on Amazon for $9.99.)
Compression socks. Even more important in the third trimester, compression socks will help keep your circulation going. This reduces your risk of a blood clot while flying, as well as keep swelling to a minimum.
Stay hydrated. Even though you are probably running to the lav every thirty minutes, it is SO important to drink enough fluids. Being dehydrated can cause false labor contractions, and those can sometimes turn into real labor, which you definitely don’t want while far from home! So drink up.
Check your bags. I wouldn’t recommend trying to carry on your bags in the third trimester. They are probably too heavy to comfortably lift. Plus it’s hard enough just getting yourself around a large airport, much less muscling suitcases around.
Give yourself lots of time. Typically I arrive at the airport about 45 minutes before my flight takes off. But during that last tri I got there about an hour and a half ahead of time. It just took me sooooo much time to get around that I needed the cushion. It also alleviated a lot of potential stress to know that I had plenty of time.
Take assistance if you need it. If your connecting gate is too far for you to make without over-exerting yourself, use airline assistance. Either a cart or a nice person with a wheelchair will get you to your gate. Just remember to bring a few dollar bills for tip! Another option is to schedule more time than normal between flights.
Preboard. There’s no shame in preboarding. Get on the plane and get settled so you don’t have to worry about holding up the line. Also, aisle seats are still your best bet.
Put your personal item in the overhead bin. I would never suggest this to a non-pregnant person (or anyone who is able to bend from the waist normally). By 30 weeks, there was no freaking way I could reach my personal item under the seat in front of me. The only thing I could do was put it in the overhead bin. Since I wasn’t carrying on a large suitcase, I didn’t feel too guilty.
Walk. Get up and walk around the plane (or office) every hour. It will keep your circulation going, prevent blood clots, and alleviate back pain.
Take it easy. Like, really easy. On my last trip I got to the hotel from the office around 5, ate downstairs in the hotel restaurant, was in bed by 7 and asleep by 9. Normally I would have wanted to get out and eat something local and authentic, but my body couldn’t handle it.
Dress in layers. Assume that you will be ten degrees warmer than everyone else. At one conference, I turned to the woman next to me and said, “Wow, they really need to get a handle on the air conditioning!” She said, “I know! It’s so insanely cold!” Oh. Totally the opposite of what I meant.
Take frequent breaks when traveling by car. The Home Warrior and I drove seven hours to Oklahoma City when I was 36 weeks pregnant. On advice of my doctor, we stopped every hour so I could get out and walk around (and use the restroom).
So that’s it! It’s possible to travel while pregnant, but it will be way easier on your body with a few modifications.
The next installment: traveling as a new mom…..
Readers, any tips for traveling at the end of your pregnancy?
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