For spring break, I am traveling by plane across the country. Initially, I was terrified and worried if I could even travel at almost 25 weeks pregnant. After careful research and doctor’s advice, my anxiety was eased and I began to prepare for my trip with some great health tips. 

As long as there are no identified complications or concerns with your pregnancy, it is generally safe to travel at all times, according to the American Pregnancy Association. However, some airlines only allow women to fly until their 36th week of pregnancy on domestic flights and their 28th week on international flights, so be sure to check with your carrier first.

My next lesson on motherhood is how to travel safely and protect both Mommy and baby.

Germs are everywhere, including an airport. It is extremely important to sanitize your hands. I recommend packing a hand sanitizer in your carry-on — just make sure it is 3.4 fluid ounces or less to get past airport security. Medical masks are vital on a flight. The possibility of sitting next to a passenger who is sneezing or coughing is high. The masks provide a barrier for airborne germs.

Medicine and vitamins are not to be forgotten when traveling. Whether traveling by ground or air, make sure to pack a safe pain medication such as Tylenol and your daily prenatal vitamin. Flying poses a different circumstance with medication. To play it safe, bring a small travel size of Tylenol in a carry-on and count out the vitamins for the days you will be gone and place them in a travel case.

Sitting for long hours is not ideal for a pregnant woman as the threat of blood clots in the legs increases and can affect the baby. If on a flight, walk up and down the aisle every 20-30 minutes to keep the circulation flowing. If traveling by car, make sure to stop every hour and take a quick walk. If unable to stop or stand up, do leg exercises while seated. 

Swelling is common for pregnant women in general. However, the elevation change can increase the swelling in legs and feet. Compression socks are good to wear while flying specifically, but are good if you’re walking around during your trip. 

It’s not unusual for women to feel the need to stay home, stay safe and patiently wait on the arrival of their baby. I would feel the same, but life doesn’t stop for a baby. So pack your bags and leave your comfort zone. If done right, traveling can be beneficial to your overall health. Bring that belly on an adventure before leaving the house becomes nearly impossible.

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