Business travel FAQs: Business Travel While Pregnant

There are plenty of challenges that business travelers face, but a few are specific to women. One of those is pregnancy. Planning to get pregnant or being newly pregnant is stressful as is; adding frequent business travel on top of it and a Road Warriorette might think she’s going to lose her mind! Here are some of the questions I get often about business travel while pregnant.

Do you have to tell your employer earlier than a non-business traveler?

The short answer is no, absolutely not. The long answer is still no. Even when I was pregnant with twins I didn’t tell my manager until I was 15 weeks. Now, that’s not to say that you can’t tell your boss earlier. But unless there is a real medical reason why you can’t perform your job duties, I woudn’t recommend it. (See this post for my answer to a similar question.)

What are the various issues you faced during business travel while pregnant?

All of the same issues women face during pregnancy, but on a plane and in hotels! At the beginning I felt sick often. I was always very tired. Toward the end I was also very slow. I wrote a series of posts about traveling while pregnant, but the most important thing is to give yourself plenty of time and always have snacks. Also, get a good pair of compression socks for flying–otherwise your feet and ankles will swell tremendously.

Once you go back to work what changes in your travel experience?

This is a great question. Obviously you miss your baby tremendously. If you’re nursing you have to plan the logistics of pumping on the road and transporting milk back home. Then there is making sure that everything will go smoothly at home while you’re gone. But one thing that isn’t talked about too much is the conflicting sense of guilt and heady freedom that many business traveling moms feel. I mean, you can sleep through the night, talk to grownups, not change any diapers, and eat with two hands! But you’re not there taking care of the baby that you miss dreadfully. It takes a few trips, but eventually you’ll work out a system both for the logistics and for the guilt/freedom.

Did you prefer to bring your baby with you on your business trips?

During my older son’s first year he and my husband traveled with me several times and it was honestly a mixed bag. It was nice to have them there, but logistically it was incredibly difficult to bring all of the baby gear and I felt like I couldn’t concentrate on work as much.  Obviously when the twins came along it was easier for me to travel alone! That’s not the case for everyone though–you have to see what works best for your family.

Readers, do you have any other questions about business travel while pregnant? Any answers that are different from mine?

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