Pregnancy Tips for Summer Travel

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School is out and the weather is nice – what better time for a family vacation?

But for a pregnant mommy, that means planning for more than just beach time.  Don’t fret! With some advice from the American Pregnancy Association, you’ll be prepared to sit back, relax, and enjoy your summer vacation.

First of all, it is safe to travel.  There are rumors circulating that the pilot has turned off your “move about the country” light.  On the contrary, unless you have complications or concerns, you can travel at all times during your pregnancy. 

However, airlines have rules about letting you on the plane during your last month, so it’s very important to have a note from your doctor saying you’re safe to fly and telling them when you are due.

Just so you know: It’s been said that if you give birth on a plane, your baby will get free flights for life. This is mostly a myth. There is no set policy in place, even though some airlines have been as kind as to bestow this gift on new bundles of joy.  The reality is that giving birth on a plane is a really bad idea, so if you’re really close to your due date, plan to stay home. 

Take your prenatal records with you.  If you’re going far away from your OB/GYN, have your records handy in case of an emergency.  The best thing for you and your baby is to have adequate information to help others give you the best and most appropriate care possible. 

Take breaks to use the restroom, stretch, and rest.  Your bladder is going to force you to make multiple stops if you are in the car.  That being said, if you are flying, taking the train, or riding on a bus, prepare yourself for the thin aisles and tiny toilets.  Peeing aside, don’t forget to stretch.  Sitting for a really long time is bad for your circulation, which can lead to excessive swelling (and you’re already dealing with enough of that).  It’s also a great idea to take a rest stop to put your feet up and catch a few winks.  It’s your vacation, anyway… why not nap?

Dress appropriately.  Wearing layers allows you to add or remove clothes depending on the temperature.  Also, wearing loose clothes gives you more ease of motion and doesn’t restrict your body so blood flow remains normal.  We’ve already mentioned that travel puts you at a higher risk for swelling, so make sure the shoes you’re traveling in are supremely comfortable.  You won’t care how cute your strappy sandals look if your feet are puffy and red and on the verge of bleeding.

NO X-RAY MACHINES!  If you’ve flown recently, you know about the alternative to the metal detector… the x-ray machine.  It’s infamous for seeing through your clothes.  What they fail to tell you though, is that the effects of the x-ray have not been appropriately studied.  In any case, exposing yourself and your unborn baby to unnecessary radiation is not smart.  

They cannot legally make you go through an x-ray scanner, so politely ask for an alternative.  Most likely, they will allow you to go to a private area where you will be patted down.  Knowing this might happen, give yourself more time to make it through security (and have your doctor write you a note saying you can’t go through).

As you prepare for your vacation, keep these tidbits of information in mind.  By taking precautions, you and your family will be ready for anything that comes your way, including fun times!

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