Travelling While Pregnant or With A New Baby
Travelling, bumps and babies are not a marriage made in heaven! Travelling can be stressful enough without having to contend with a small baby or a big tummy as well. My first piece of advice is that if you are on public transport sporting an obvious bump and no one offers you a seat… ask for one! It may feel like an embarrassing thing to do but there are few perks to being pregnant and a seat on a busy train should be one of them. It’s also much safer to be seated than trying to keep your balance while your ankles swell.
Whether you are travelling while pregnant or with a small baby one of the most important things to remember is to keep hydrated. This is important for your general wellbeing but travel, especially air travel, can be de-hydrating. Make sure you have plenty to eat too. Keeping your energy levels even when you are pregnant or breastfeeding is vital. Of course you never know when you may be faced with a delay so be prepared. Make sure you have spares of essentials like breast-pads, nappies and formula if you are bottle-feeding, all those things you would panic without should your trip take longer than expected.
If you are travelling far from home and are pregnant I would advise that you photocopy your medical notes and take them with you. You never know when you might need them. If you can, leave yourself lots of time to catch your train or plane, getting stressed about missing a connection is not good for bump or baby.
I think the best attitude towards any kind of travel whether pregnant or with a small baby is to see your needs and that of your baby as similar. You both need to stay safe, well fed, hydrated and comfortable.
Dress in layers so you can add or take away according to the travelling environment you are in. A crying baby on a plane is often a result of being too hot or too cold. Carry a cotton blanket with you at all times as they are great for keeping your baby comfortable whilst on the move but can also double up as an emergency changing mat, a pillow for your head, or a makeshift cover to keep out the light.
A key to comfort for both you and baby is to dress correctly. Put some thought into this. For example, wearing the right underwear and shoes can make all the difference! Make sure you’re both wearing comfortable, cozy clothes, rather than looking good but feeling uncomfortable once you’re sitting down.
If you’re travelling by air do some homework and make time to visit the airline’s website beforehand so you are aware of what stage of your pregnancy you are permitted travel. If you have a small baby check what bottle fluids you are allowed to take on as hand luggage and what ideal seating you may be able to request. If you are worried about fellow travelers getting fed up with your baby being a little noisy on the journey seek out other families and go and sit near them. You will feel less awkward about your baby making a noise if others around you are too.
Travelling with a baby or bump can be done without too much bother if you are prepared and think through the basics of your needs whilst on the move. Bon voyage!
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By Kate Nicolle
Parenting Consultant and founder of Kidology