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Should I travel when pregnant?

I want to start this post by emphasizing that traveling while pregnant is something that one must do only after and if one’s doctor approves of it and it is considered safe for the future mother and her baby. If there is the slightest doubt whether you should travel while pregnant – in terms of health, doctor’s advice or feelings and fears that you or your partner and family has – then it is better to enjoy your pregnancy at home, where you feel safe and postpone all the adventures for after you give birth. You should feel comfortable with your decision both physically and emotionally.

It is usually considered safe to travel if there are no medical complications or concerns with your pregnancy. Once again 🙂 – always discuss the matter with your doctor.

When to travel when pregnant?

That being said, my doctors and a couple of pregnancy books that I read (namely the famous What to expect when you’re expecting by Heidi Murkoff and The Pregnancy Instruction Manual by Sarah Jordan and Dr. David Ufberg) state that the ideal time to travel during pregnancy is the second trimester.

The first three months of a pregnancy usually leave the woman pretty tired, even exhausted at times, in addition to the morning sickness and getting used to all the changes that start with the pregnancy. On the other hand, being the final stage of the process, the third trimester is the time when the future mom gets the BIGGEST, so planning trips at that moment is not that comfortable.

This leaves us with the second trimester – the blissful period when pregnant ladies already have a belly to proudly show around, feel comfortable in their skin and energetic enough for adventures.

How to travel when pregnant?

Nowadays traveling is becoming more and more comfortable, so any means of transportation should be fine for traveling pregnant. Still, some ways are definitely more suitable than others. I would not recommend traveling by bus for long distances. There is not enough foot space and one cannot always stand up, walk or decide when and where to stop and take a break. Traveling by train and car is way more relaxing and comfy.

Should I fly when pregnant?

The biggest question out there is whether you should fly when being pregnant. Again, check what your doctors think on the matter. Keep in mind that most airlines do not allow pregnant women to travel in the final four weeks of their pregnancy without a special medical verification.

For me and my husband it was important to travel by land and not involve airplanes at all. Even though doctors did not forbid me from traveling by air, I did not feel this was the right thing to do as my husband has aerophobia. Plus, we were really protective of the pregnancy. We were to be parents for the first time and did not know what to expect. That’s why flying seemed to us a bit of an unnecessary risk.

We were supposed to visit Iceland in the summer of 2017. We had to travel by plane and change several planes on the way, as there are no direct flights from Bulgaria to Iceland. However, after we find out the big news (which we were hoping for), this trip was not on the table anymore. Hopefully we’ll do it in the summer of 2019, but let’s see.

Sometimes you need to be at a certain location for a certain reason and travel. The case may be that you don’t have much of a choice and need to travel by air.

Where to travel when pregnant?

First of all, stick to reasonable destinations. We all want to travel the world and visit the most exotic sites and I am no exception. However, taking even the tiniest risk with a trip while I was pregnant was out of question. Going to countries that require certain types of vaccination is a no-no.

Be informed of the political and health updates of the countries you plan to visit.

Traveling half the globe to make a dream vacation come true is admirable, but it is safer to choose more nearby destinations which don’t require long traveling.

Where did I travel when pregnant?

My husband and I decided to spent time in Croatia as we do each year, but keep it shorter. We didn’t want to end up traveling at the end of my pregnancy or risking having the baby in Croatia. We planned to spent the first months after the pregnancy in Bulgaria.

Make sure you do all the pregnancy math before you prepare your luggage.

Pregnant woman smiling at Plitvice Lakes in Croatia

Me pregnant at Plitvice Lakes in early summer

Altogether we went to a few places in Bulgaria and we finally visited Plitvice Lakes National Park (Plitvička Jezera in Croatian) and the famous city of Dubrovnik. We always wanted to go there, but these two are not close to where we reside. We visited Plitvice Lakes on our way from Sofia to Sibenik and we went to Dubrovnik on the way back to Sofia. This combination saved us a lot of car time, because we did not do separate trips once we arrived at Sibenik.

Pink sunset at sea and a pregnant woman smiling

Me pregnant and enjoying a pink sunset in Sibenik

National parks in general are a nice choice to visit when pregnant as one spends the whole time outdoors and close to the nature, which is healthy and brings positive emotions. Don’t forget the fresh air, too. Dubrovnik, on the other hand, is a next to the sea charming city with a lovely old town center. It is not that pregnant-friendly since one has to explore it mainly on foot, but depending on your condition and willingness to walk, it could be fine. Check out my separate posts on these two trips for details.

 

Are you traveling when pregnant? Was this post useful? Let me know in the comments below.