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Summer Vacation Planning For Mom's To Be

Jun 21, 2017 02:09PM ● Published by Jim

Pregnancy doesn’t have to prohibit a mom-to-be from enjoying summer vacation. In fact, experts agree that a pre-baby retreat – also known as a “babymoon” – can be healthy. It may help pregnant momsrelax and connect with their partner, family members, or friends before the little one arrives.

If your summer vacation includes a pregnant traveler, take a few extra precautions when making plans. While travel by air, land, or sea is typically safe for mothers with uncomplicated pregnancies, carefully consider where to go, how you’ll get there, and what to do when you arrive to ensure that everyone has a safe and memorable getaway.

Where to Go

Most summer vacation destinations offer fun and safe environments for everyone in your crew – including mom-to-be and her growing baby. A cabin in the woods, a waterfront resort, camping, an RV excursion, and amusement or national parks will all make excellent summer vacation memories. But when it comes to pregnancy health, here are a few tips vacation planners should follow:

• Inquire about the water quality at your destination and make sure to drink bottled or boiled water if there are any concerns
• Consider prevalent infectious diseases and avoid Zika-infected regions. Exposure to this harmful virus is linked to devastating birth defects. Use this online resource to receive CDCZika recommendations for your destination
• Ensure that your pregnant traveler will have easy access to medical services in case of emergency
• Pregnant women should call their OB/GYN clinic to alert them to your chosen destination and discuss any additional recommendations before setting off on the trip

Road Travel Tips 

For expectant moms heading on a road trip, aim to travel no more than 5-6 hours each day, if possible. While en route, these pointers will help keep mom and baby feeling great: 

• Stop frequently to stretch, walk, and use the bathroom 
• Make it a point to stay hydrated 
• Wear compression socks to help cut down on swelling and improve circulation 
• Bring healthy snacks in the car 
• Have copies of your medical records on hand for added peace of mind

Air Travel Tips 

Most experts and pregnant moms agree that the second trimester is the best time to fly, typically between 14 and 28 weeks. Wait too long, and some airlines require a medical release form to fly late in pregnancy – particularly on international flights. And early pregnancy is often peppered with morning sickness, making travel challenging. When flying, pregnant travelers should:

• Book an aisle seat so getting up to walk around and use the bathroom is as easy as possible 
• Pack a lightweight carry-on that won’t become too heavy to manage
• Drink plenty of water 
• Avoid wearing restrictive clothing
• Consider compression socks to help cut down on the swelling that often accommodates air travel 
• TSA states that metal detectors are safe for pregnant travelers but if you have concerns, request a security pat-down by a female TSA officer as an alternative

Cruise Ship Travel Tips 

Today's cruise ships are so large that seasickness is rarely a problem, and the controlled environment with an easy "escape" to the room for a break when needed, makes it an appealing choice for many pregnant women and their fellow vacationers. When going on a cruise, make sure to check out the ports of call to ensure they are safe and don’t pose any health risks to mom or baby. Follow these tips when planning to cruise:

• Bring acupressure seasickness bands and doctor-prescribed anti-nausea medications to help ease nausea from morning sickness and seasickness
• Be aware that viruses tend to spread quickly on cruise ships, so everyone should be sure towash hands frequently 
• Find out whether the ship has passed a CDC inspection before you embark 

What to Do

When planning your itinerary, try not to plan too much activity or squeeze too much into the schedule when on vacation – pregnant or not. Moms-to-be who choose to travel tend to enjoy the trip more when they plan ample downtime so they don’t feel a mid-trip burnout. Creating buffers of time between activities gives them a chance to rest, take an extra bathroom break, and grab abottle of water or snack. Pregnancy is mentally and physically exhausting, so be patient with the moms-to-be in tow.

During active days, opt for pregnancy-safe activities, like swimming, walking, yoga, and dancing.And avoid high-intensity sports, including scuba diving and waterskiing, as well as those that have a high risk of impact or falling, like rock climbing and horseback riding. 

As with many considerations during pregnancy, travel often comes down to extra diligence and common sense. If mom-to-be is uncomfortable walking or sitting, has a high risk for complication or a doctor who has advised against travel, it’s best to postpone the trip until after the baby is born.Also allowing flexibility in the vacation for her to go at a comfortable pace will ease anypressure, and allow for a relaxing pre-baby trip she’ll be sure to cherish. 

The best first step for expectant mothers is to schedule an appointment with her OB/GYN before traveling. Her women’s health team may suggest carrying an updated copy of her medical records and taking extra medications along. Heeding their advice can play a critical role in keeping your precious cargo safe while on summer vacation. 

Founded in 1995, Beaver Dam Women’s Health (BDWH) is a women's health clinic dedicated to providing the Dodge County community with personalized and accessible women's health care that caters to their specific medical needs. Call 920-885-6090 for more information.

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