Travelling. Whether it’s your daily commute or a trip abroad it can be a little stressful, overwhelming and tiring. However, when there’s a baby on board things often get a little trickier. We’ve put together our top tips for travel whilst pregnant, meaning you can get from place to place safe and worry free. Whether you’re flying whilst pregnant or wanting to know when should you stop driving when pregnant, we’ve got tips to get you get places.
Via public transport
Getting on board a bus or hopping on the tube? Public transport is a daily necessity for some, however it can be a real challenge once you’re pregnant. Pregnancy affects you in countless ways, women are so much more likely to feel nauseous or faint when travelling by tube or bus. Plus, with morning sickness (especially in the first trimester when you’re not showing), swelling, your centre of gravity being off and carrying that added weight, it’s better for you and your baby that you can sit down if needed.
However, it seems like more often than not, pregnant women are neglected when it comes to common courtesy on public transport. We carried out a survey of 2,000 people and the results were shocking…
Only 60% of people believe it’s necessary to give their seat up for pregnant women in order to remain considerate on public transport. With people believing holding a door open is more important than giving up a seat for a soon‐to‐be mother.
We believe that all expectant mamas should have the right to a seat, should they want it. After all, growing tiny humans can be exhausting and we want this particular pregnancy journey to be the least of your worries.
This summer, Mama Mio are providing a platform to discuss public transport etiquette, encouraging people to offer their seats to pregnant women and empowering expectant mums to ask for a seat should they wish. Since 1 in 5 people claimed to not give up their seats, in case of offending someone who isn’t actually pregnant, we’ll also be providing free ‘I’m Expecting’ badges to all our Mama Mio UK customers to help make things clearer.
Want to know more and see how you can get involved? Get all the details here.
Top tips for pregnant women travelling on public transport
- Look for priority seating
- Wear your free ‘I’m Expecting’ badge
- Don’t be afraid to ask for a seat (see our advice on the best way to ask for a seat here)
- Wear layers that are easy to remove if you get too hot
- Travel light, you’re already carrying baby, try not to carry too much else.
Flying when pregnant
Lucky enough to be jetting away on a fabulous babymoon? Need to travel for a family wedding, work trip or had that holiday of a lifetime booked before you knew you were pregnant? Here’s our top tips for flying when pregnant.
Consider timings. How far along are you in your pregnancy? Too early and the morning sickness might be unbearable, too late you might be too large to comfortably travel, or risk not being allowed to actually board the plane. When it comes to how late in your pregnancy you can travel, different airlines have their own cut-off dates and documentation required, so make sure to do your research beforehand.
Before you even book your tickets, check that your airline and insurance company will allow you to travel while pregnant. After you get to 28 weeks, most airlines require a letter from your midwife or GP confirming you’re ‘fit to fly’. With this comes a fit to fly letter you’ll need to keep on your person if you’re flying when pregnant.
Plan ahead. Although travelling whilst pregnant is safe for the vast majority, it’s always good to have a plan of action if anything does go awry. Keeping your prenatal documents on hand and knowing where the nearest hospital can help keep your mind at rest.
Wear compression socks. Your circulation changes during pregnancy (you have a third more blood in your body!) and can lead to swelling and headaches. Compression socks can keep the blood flowing, help reduce restless leg syndrome and generally keep you more comfortable.
Choose an aisle seat. You’ll need the loo more and you’ll also want to stretch your legs and move about to avoid getting too uncomfortable. If you can afford to go for extra leg room, now’s the time to do it.
Bring provisions. Planes tend to have low humidity levels which means it’s easy to get dehydrated. Make sure you’re frequently sipping water. If you’re in your first trimester an empty stomach can make your morning sickness worse, so having your own snacks on hand will always help.
Advice from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists states that flying is not harmful during a low-risk pregnancy. Pregnant women asking ‘can I fly if I’m pregnant’ have been told that the safest time to fly during pregnancy is before 37 weeks or, if you are carrying twins, before 32 weeks.
Driving during pregnancy
Although driving during pregnancy is probably the easiest way to transport yourself, if you’re going on long trips there’s a couple of ways to ensure your journey is as comfortable as possible.
Keep your energy up
Fatigue and dizziness are common symptoms of pregnancy. Make sure to stock up on water and food supplies. Although to-share bags of M&M’s might be tempting, try to graze on natural, energy-rich foods (natural cereal bars, fruit, nuts.)
Try to avoid making long trips when they’re not completely necessary and if you can share the driving with someone else even the better. When you are travelling take frequent breaks (you'll probably have to anyway with baby pressing on your bladder)
Getting comfy, especially when you’re the one behind the wheel can be tricky. It’s recommended that you wear your seatbelt with the cross strap between your breasts and the lap strap across your pelvis under your bump, not across it.
Read more about out our #ExpectingChange campaign and get your pregnancy badge here.