As your due date nears, fatigue may set in after an energy-packed second trimester and your risk for complications increases – including premature delivery.
Your baby continues to develop during this period, as their fine hair known as lanugo falls out and their nesting instinct kicks in, prompting you to organize and prepare for their arrival.
As your pregnancy advances into its third trimester (week 28-40), your energy levels may begin to decrease significantly as more of your resources are allocated to growing your baby. But that doesn’t mean traveling in this trimester is off-limits – just plan ahead for any travel plans.
Travel during pregnancy should ideally take place during the second trimester, between weeks 14 and 28. At this point, women typically feel their energy return, morning sickness has subsided or completely resolved itself and miscarriage risks have decreased significantly.
When traveling during your third trimester, always consult an obstetrician-gynecologist first. They can offer guidance on whether it is safe and how far from home it would be wise for you to venture.
They may provide tips to help you prepare for your trip, including packing anti-nausea medication and snacks, bringing along a travel-sized bottle of water, pacing yourself throughout the day and booking an aisle seat to easily get up from your seat to stretch or use the bathroom during flight. In addition, be sure to review your health insurance coverage in case it doesn’t cover medical care in your destination country; otherwise consider purchasing travel and medical evacuation insurance as this can cover unexpected expenses should delays or cancellations arise during travel.
Check Airline Policies
During the third trimester, your baby’s organs may expand rapidly and begin putting pressure on certain areas, making traveling and sleeping uncomfortable for extended periods. You may also experience heartburn and breathlessness due to stretching in your uterus in response to its growing embryo.
At this stage of gestation, it’s crucial that pregnant travelers understand what the policies of airlines regarding plane travel are. Each carrier may have differing rules; some may even require a doctor’s note before you board. Therefore, calling the airline ahead of time to inquire about its guidelines.
Women usually can travel safely up to 36 weeks of gestation; however, certain airlines may restrict travel beyond this point due to an increased risk of complications.
If you’re traveling after 28 weeks of gestation, many airlines require that you bring a medical certificate as documentation to ensure you can board the plane and in case your symptoms change suddenly or during flight. Furthermore, choose an aisle seat and wear your seat belt across both thighs below your bump; also request an extender should it become necessary during your flight. Finally, pack hand sanitizer and wet wipes as these may come in handy!
Prepare for Public Transport
At this stage of pregnancy, morning sickness and fatigue should have subsided considerably – making long-distance travel less of a discomfort. Just ensure to check with the airline and if necessary obtain clearance from your physician that allows for flying.
If you’re taking the bus, try to avoid standing as this can become quite tiring on a long trip. Instead, find an empty seat and inform the conductor that you are pregnant so he or she can provide appropriate assistance during your journey if required. Also ensure you’re not sitting too closely to other passengers so as to prevent getting jostled around by other riders.
Staying hydrated on any journey, especially long bus rides, is paramount to remaining safe and comfortable. Make sure to drink lots of water and pack snacks like granola bars or fruits to boost energy levels while on board the bus. Be wary of unbottled waters or eating non-cooked foods (including ice) which could contain bacteria that is potentially harmful for pregnant women (1).
Make sure to carry with you a digital version of your prenatal chart so you can refer back to it at any point during your trip, for easy reference if necessary. Include information such as the date of your last menstrual period, due date and results from any lab tests or ultrasounds conducted as well as pertinent medical advice that might help should illness arise while traveling.
Travel during the second trimester can often be the most comfortable time for expectant mothers, with morning sickness usually having passed and energy levels enough for sightseeing trips.
However, this period can also present challenges: some airlines impose restrictions on flying when pregnant; they may also request a doctor’s note at this stage. As premature delivery is still a risk late into gestation, it is wise to be extra vigilant.
As they progress into their third trimester, many women begin experiencing new pregnancy-related symptoms, such as increased urination, shortness of breath and extreme tiredness (words cannot adequately express how exhausted this can be!). Therefore, it is vital that travelers plan their trips ahead and choose accommodations with easy access to restrooms.
Pack extra comfortable clothing such as long pants and loose-fitting t-shirts to ensure an optimal ride. Furthermore, having an ergonomic neck pillow at hand may ease stiffness or soreness from sitting still for long periods of time.
As an added precaution, don’t forget to pack plenty of snacks! Doing this will help combat hunger pangs if you find yourself stuck in an isolated location or traveling by plane with limited meal choices.