By: Amy Bizzarri
Pregnancy shouldn't put a halt to travel plans. Here are seven tips for traveling with a bun packed in the oven:
- Call your doctor before you book your trip. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists deems flying safe during healthy pregnancies - with the second trimester generally considered safest. That said, consult with your OB-GYN doctor before booking flights, hotels or even choosing a week to take time off.
- Stay hydrated! At the top of your in-flight to-do list: drink your water. Avoid soft drinks, since they work like diuretics, stealing more water from the body than they provide. Aim for two liters of liquids, preferably water, per day. By keeping your body constantly hydrated, you'll help avoid the discomfort of pregnancy-related swelling.
- Put your feet up and relax. To prevent swelling, elevate your feet every chance you get - even at the pool you can rest them on a couple of rolled beach towels. Ask your hotel concierge for a Pillow Menu - a new perk at many hotels that gives you a selection of pillows to help you choose the best options for propping up your feet after a busy day of travel.
- Jump in! Swimming is the perfect exercise during pregnancy. Hop into the pool and swim or simply "water jog" around. Not only will you cool off, but also, if only for a moment, you'll experience the bliss of weightlessness.
- Pack your lightest and comfiest travel duds. If you're headed to a warm destination, choose light-colored clothes and linen and cotton fabrics to let your belly breathe. You'll be pretty and comfortable in a flowy, roomy sundress, a wide-brimmed hat and a pair of strappy, flat sandals. Pack your comfy footwear! If you're headed for a beachy babymoon: You might be tempted to opt for flip flops as your footwear of choice, but did you know that flip flops can be just as bad for your piggy toes as wearing high heels during pregnancy? Your feet now need extra support and stability to prevent eventual back pain and possible spills. Stick with supportive sandals with secure straps.
- Protect your skin. Chloasma, aka "pregnancy mask," is a tan or dark skin discoloration common in pregnancy, which usually appears on the upper cheek, nose, lips, upper lip and/or forehead, and is caused by hormonal changes and sun exposure. Avoid it by always wearing sunscreen, or even better, a wide-brimmed sun hat. Up your sunscreen to the maximum protection factor available.
- Easy does it on snacks. Skip the salty snacks in-flight - they'll only lead to uncomfortable swelling - and pack your own trail mix or unsalted popcorn. If you're headed to a warm destination, go easy on the ice cream and focus on fruit-based Popsicles, sorbets and smoothies, which will also boost your needed liquid and food-based vitamin intake.
Finally, remember to treat yourself. Indulge in a pregnancy massage or a baby blue or pink pedicure. Enjoy your pregnancy and remember that it's fleeting. On your next trip, you'll have a sweet little baby as a travel companion!