Both my daughters are spring babies, and I loved travelling while pregnant. Some of you might wonder if it was an intention, but it was not. It just happened that their birthdays are a month apart, which always puts a lot of pressure on me while preparing their parties.
Anyway, I enjoyed being heavily pregnant over the colder months and then popping the babies out in the spring like most animals do. This has also meant that the girls were a few months old for their first summer holiday and lots of sunshine.
Isabelle has recently turned 11 years, but I still remember travelling while being pregnant with her. I am by no means an expert (you always need to consult your doctor if you have any issues or concerns), but I would love to share a few tips for the mums-to-be.
How to choose your destination?
We all are different and love spending our holidays in many different ways. If this is your last holiday before becoming a parent, make the most of it and do something special. Don’t get me wrong, I love going on holiday with my husband and our two daughters, but I also like escaping for a few days without the kids!
Don’t be afraid of flying. Most places with great weather are far away, and the easiest way is to fly. Staying in Europe would be probably the easiest option as long-haul flights might be a bit too much especially if you are nauseous. On the other hand, if your GP gives you all clear, why not to have a great holiday in the Carribean?
Another reason why you would want to go for that kind of holiday is that the prices for a beach holiday in paradise for a family of four during term time are rocket high. You can utilize the fact you can fly out of school dates and afford places you could not when traveling during school holidays.
What to pack?
After so many years of packing for our family holidays, I have learnt one very important thing, that is that “stressing out” does not help anyone. I used to be so worried about what if I forget something…. so what? What would be the worst thing that could happen?
It was actually my husband who told me years ago to relax and enjoy the journey to our holiday destination. He has traveled the world, mostly on business so a very different to when you need to care for a family, but I still admire how relaxed and calm he always is when we travel somewhere.
I might be the only one, but I don’t do lists. The way I pack is literally to open my wardrobe and think about what I would love to wear during my holiday.
When pregnant you want to look nice but also feel comfortable, so make sure you pack sensibly. The same is about shoes. Say a goodbye to those super high heels and swap them for some lovely accessorized flats. I love wearing trainers when flying and also walking on holiday.
If you travel to hot places, always make sure you bring a sun hat, plenty of sunscreen and some Insect repellant. I don’t think I have to mention sunglasses, do I? According to Patient.info, the choice of sunscreen is also important. During pregnancy, your skin becomes drier and more sensitive, meaning that as well as sunburn, you are at greater risk of melasma, a darkening of the skin. Ideally, pick a mineral-based sunscreen that contains no oxybenzone.
Slow down & Relax
While on holiday, make sure you really take time to slow down and relax. This will be probably the last holiday when you can do all this. Concentrate on you and your partner. Spend loads of time together, but also make sure you get some pampering time just for yourself.
Who said napping a few times a day is not allowed? I remember very well how tired I used to be while pregnant, and napping on holiday is a brilliant opportunity to get some more strength and feel great. When mummy is happy, the baby is happy too. All this is not just good for you, but also for your little one developing in a relaxed environment.
Stroll along the beach with your love and talk about your future. These memories will stay with you forever.
Food & Water
Enjoying your holiday also means indulging in great food. Try to make sure you get plenty of healthy foods like vegetables and fruit every day.
I also remember I was given a list of foods to avoid while pregnant (pate, uncooked eggs, brie, blue cheese, prawns, etc) by my GP, but please check for the current advice with your doctor. Don’t forget to pack your vitamins and folic acid for the best development of your unborn child.
Make sure to pack any medication you regularly take, alongside other essential medications you might not be able to access. Chances are you won’t need medical attention, but you want to feel safe and confident no matter what occurs.
Along with all your other essential documentation, make sure you have your travel insurance documents and emergency contact details for your doctor. If you’re past 28 weeks in your pregnancy, you should also include a letter from your doctor permitting travel, as your airline or ferry may require this.
I wish I knew that when I was pregnant with my first-born daughter. No idea why I didn’t but I learnt the hard way. When we traveled to visit my husband’s family in Belfast, I was asked how many weeks I was pregnant. As I was just 28 weeks there were really hesitant to let me travel without a letter from my doctor.
Luckily I was allowed to fly, but it was quite stressful and wish I had known this rule as getting a letter from my doctor could have saved me a few tears.
I would love to hear some of your tips for travelling while pregnant. Let me know in the comments below.
In collaboration with Patient.info