You’ve long planned a much-needed respite to the beach for the Summer. You’ve booked the hotel, scheduled the rental car, and maybe even booked a reservation or two for the trip. Then one day, surprise -- you’re pregnant! Not too long after you’ve found out about your new addition, your mind might recall that long-awaited trip and wonder if you should cancel your plans. For many women and young families, the answer may come with a sigh of relief.
For most women, traveling during pregnancy is perfectly safe. As long as you and your fetus are healthy, most women can travel until around the 36th week of the pregnancy. We don’t recommend travel if you have certain pregnancy complications, including preeclampsia, premature rupture of membranes, and preterm labor. You will also want to avoid areas where Zika outbreaks are ongoing, as the disease can cause serious birth defect. For an updated list of these areas, visit the CDC's travel notices page.
Before your trip, make sure you schedule a checkup with your OB-GYN. Your doctor will ensure that you’ve covered all your bases, from reviewing your estimated due date, ensuring you have the proper over-the-counter medications (don’t forget your prenatal vitamins!), and reviewing any other needed plans. Whether you’re driving or flying, make sure that you stay safe by buckling any safety belt, ensuring that it is low on your hip bones below your belly with the shoulder strap between your breasts to the side of your belly. As always, drink plenty of water and don’t over exert yourself.
One helpful tip -- consider making your travel plans between week 14 and week 28 if possible. Most pregnancy problems, even the side effects like morning sickness, occur in the first and third trimesters. You’ll still be able to move around and enjoy yourself, so take the time to enjoy that babymoon!