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I'm a travel agent, so just deciding I wasn't going to travel for 9 months, once I learned I was pregnant, in addition to taking maternity leave after the baby was born, just wasn't going to work. I took 3 road trips while pregnant, and I flew to Walt Disney World. And I only threw up during one of those road trips, so that's a win.
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Some women love being pregnant. Some women glow while pregnant. One of my friends told me that she had never felt better in her life. I was not one of those women. I wish I had been one of those women. I had morning sickness for my ENTIRE pregnancy. Not only that, did you know postpartum morning sickness is a thing? I didn't either. But it is, and guess who had it? It's a good thing babies are so cute, right?
If you're one of the women who finds being pregnant a bit of a challenge and have felt like crap during most of your pregnancy, then this article is for you.
I was high-risk for my pregnancy, so every trip started with a call to my beloved OBGYN, who, by the way, is now enjoying a well-deserved retirement. I'm pretty sure I'm the straw that broke that camel's back with all my travel plans, but I was pleasantly surprised by just how much she let me do.
She even let me travel out of state for Thanksgiving at 37 weeks pregnant, as long as I raised my right hand and swore I wouldn't board an aircraft.
Flying While Pregnant
A few other things to consider. You can't fly, generally, once you're past 36 weeks. Check with your airline -- they might have an even earlier cut-off, and for good reason. While the potential to earn free flights is tempting, I definitely don't want to give birth in flight. Last I checked, flight attendants cannot give epidurals.
Cruising While Pregnant
Pretty much every cruise line won't let you on board if you are more than 24 weeks pregnant. Many of the cruise lines also require you to get a note from your doctor or midwife. You should check directly with your line, especially if you're close to the cutoff, but you can read this general overview before you get too deep into your research. If you're high risk, your doctor might cut you off sooner than that. One of my OB's caveats was that I should be able to access medical attention anywhere I traveled if, God forbid, I needed to.
Helpful hints and tricks to help you enjoy your babymoon and any other travels while you've got a bun in the oven!
Dealing with Nausea
I was throwing up in the bathroom of my travel agency before I even had a positive pregnancy test, throwing up 2 months after having my baby, and throwing up all the time in between. Let's just say I have some experience with this. For me, I had to keep something in my stomach all the time. If I had an empty stomach it was game over. So when I traveled, I always had crackers, pretzels, and goldfish in my bag. I can't explain why, but for some reason, grapes were also super easy for me to keep down. I know this doesn't make any sense, but Taco Bell was one of the few things I could eat. I asked my OB about it and she said "junk food is better than no food."
So my advice is to eat whatever you gotta eat while traveling. And I know it's gross, but keep a barf bag with you, and some baby wipes, in case you do actually hurl. Just trust me. I bought some individually wrapped wet ones to keep with me.
Travel Insurance When Pregnant
I generally encourage my pregnant clients to get travel insurance. You just never know, and if you end up unable to travel due to complications, you don't lose all of your money. I would highly suggest that you get Cancel For Any Reason coverage. Generally speaking, travel insurance covers cancellations for very specific reasons, typically something like a death in the family, illness, etc. With Cancel for Any Reason coverage, insurance companies are more lenient. I know of someone that canceled her trip because her hair got ruined at the salon. And they covered it. If you have questions about what exactly your policy will cover, make sure you talk to an agent at that travel insurance company directly. Insurance lingo can be confusing. A good one to try that lets you compare different policies is Travelex.
Finally, consider how you're feeling and where you are comfortable traveling before you set off on that babymoon. If you're super nauseous, a meal plan or an all-inclusive might not make sense for you. Most of my pregnant clients love to hit up the beach, a lake house, or other relaxing adventures. If you aren't comfortable flying, reach out to a local travel agent for the scoop on the best getaways in your neck of the woods. A good agent will know every spot within driving distance of their home. I frequently send clients to the Outer Banks in North Carolina, because there is a little bit of everything, or to the Gulf Coast. The Gulf is usually a little warmer than the Atlantic Ocean, which makes for better swimming.
Don't knock unconventional ideas either. Everybody looked at me like I was growing permanent mouse ears when I said we were taking our babymoon to Walt Disney World, including other travel agents. But I LOVED it. I got to ride smaller rides I never take the time to ride, enjoy all the shows, and even do a pirate treasure hunt with my husband. And if it's late in your pregnancy, you might not want to leave your country, just in case baby comes a little early. Although hey, dual citizenship for the kid might not be all bad.
Packing for Pregnancy Travel
Make sure you pack plenty of extra clothes. I'm normally a "pack light, you can always hit up a Target" person, but when you're pregnant, the logic changes. I couldn't just run out to any Target and get clothes that fit me easily anymore, especially as a plus-sized pregnant person. So make sure you pack yourself a little extra.
Another thing you should make sure you don't forget is your medications. When you are pregnant, the list of medications you can take is pretty small. You can't just hop into any gas station and get a pill for your headache. So to make sure you are comfortable, pack some OTC medications that are doctor approved. Since the list is super small, it won't take up much room in your bag anyway.
Take Lots of Photos
My final thought is this: use this opportunity to take some photos! I'm the kind of person who really doesn't like being photographed. Even when I was pregnant, I never documented my bump. And I regret it now. Being on vacation is the perfect excuse to take lots of pictures of your bump! And get some with unique backgrounds, like the beach!
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