Occasional travel into the third trimester may still be possible; however, airlines typically won’t permit pregnant women who have reached 36 weeks to fly; some cruise lines also impose lower limits. A letter from your doctor verifying your eligibility to travel will help ease concerns.
At this point, your morning sickness should have subsided, while fatigue and heartburn should no longer be a major problem.
1. Know Your Limits
Pregnancy changes a woman’s body in ways that make sleep and movement harder than normal. Travel during pregnancy should ideally occur between 14-28 weeks when miscarriage risk and early labor risk is lowest; if traveling at other times during third trimester is necessary, be sure to speak to healthcare provider first for approval and keep all vaccinations current while carrying your medical history with you just in case of emergency.
Many airlines do not permit pregnant women to fly after 36 weeks gestation, with international travel being prohibited at even earlier stages of gestation. Be sure to read up on each airline’s policies before booking, and ask your physician for a note clearing you to travel. Once on board, for longer flights ideally try sitting in an aisle seat, walking up and down every half hour in order to improve circulation and reduce leg cramps; additionally avoid gassy foods or beverages during your flight as these could contribute to gas build-up and cause discomfort during transit.
2. Pack Comfortable Clothes
Packing for a pregnancy trip can be uncomfortable if you forget the essential items. While you won’t require all of your hospital’s equipment, packing some pregnancy essentials may make your trip more bearable – for instance bringing pillows that provide comfort at home (via BabyCentre), as well as any items which have helped bring ease to you in previous trips.
Medical experts often advise travelers during the second trimester when their energy has returned and morning sickness has subsided; and it is safer. Every pregnancy differs, however; therefore it’s essential that you pay attention to your body and select an optimal time and date to travel.
If you’re traveling during your third trimester, pack light maternity clothing that can be easily layered. As bathroom breaks may become necessary more frequently, comfortable pants or maxi dresses will make for an easier journey. Compression stockings may help with swelling too – make sure you bring a pair along just in case airlines restrict travel after 34-36 weeks! However, note that many airlines restrict travel for women after 34 or 36 weeks so bring along an official letter from your physician as proof.
3. Take a Prenatal Vitamin
Prenatal vitamins are an essential travel companion, especially during pregnancy. Look for ones that have been third-party tested and are free from artificial ingredients; if you have food allergies or specific dietary preferences, consult with your healthcare provider about what supplements will best meet those needs.
The second trimester (weeks 13-26) is considered the safest time to travel during pregnancy as you’ve likely overcome morning sickness and energy levels remain relatively high. Many couples looking for “babymoon” trips–one last romantic vacation before their bundle arrives–tend to plan such trips during this period.
Be sure to consult with your healthcare provider prior to travelling abroad while pregnant; they may offer specific recommendations – for instance avoiding areas with lower medical standards until approved by a physician. It’s also a good idea to research your destination so you have an understanding of what awaits and how best to navigate it.
4. Be Prepared for the Bathroom
In the third trimester, your baby’s growth puts additional pressure on your bladder, prompting more trips to the bathroom than usual, especially during air travel. Furthermore, this discomfort could cause leakage of urine upon coughing, sneezing or bending over; this condition known as stress incontinence typically disappears postpartum.
At this stage of gestation, nausea may continue to be an issue, particularly if you’re carrying twins or multiples. Headaches are another common symptom and can be caused by smells, lack of sleep and stress; to lessen their impact during flights take small sips of water periodically and stretch your legs and feet often during flight time.
Before booking any travel plans, speak to your OB/GYN. They may suggest staying closer to home until close to your due date or postponing travel until after 36 weeks — usually around 36 weeks gestation. If you choose to continue with a trip regardless, check airline rules about pregnant women travel as well as local hospitals nearby that may provide emergency care if needed.
5. Make a Plan
Although travel in the third trimester may still be feasible, it’s wise to speak to both your obstetrician and midwife before leaving home and get their approval before embarking on any journeys involving travel – they might advise staying close to home or avoiding certain types of trips with high risks of Zika or malaria infection.
In general, the ideal time for travel during pregnancy is the second trimester (weeks 14 through 28). Morning sickness and fatigue should be at their lowest points and your growing belly should make getting around easier.
Most airlines allow women up to 36 weeks gestation to fly domestically, though many restrict international travel after this point. Before booking your flight, always double-check with your airline for their policies on pregnant travelers. Also bring along an official statement from your doctor that states you’re safe to travel; this may help in case there are issues at the airport and prevent unnecessary hassle. Also bring snacks just in case hunger sets in during travel!