Our daughter came as a surprise during our engagement. This resulted in us getting married civilly at an earlier date and also facing several planned trips with one in the oven. We learned about traveling pregnant out of necessity.
All pregnancies are different but Nicole’s followed a pretty common path: The first trimester spent nauseous, the second energetic, and the last exhausted. Still we flew to New Orleans (twice), San Francisco, DC, NYC, Italy, Spain, Southern California, Colorado, and Charleston with limited setbacks.
A few things we learned:
- Airlines will let pregnant women preboard. We didn’t find this out till near the end, but you can easily go to the check-in counter. Let them know you’ll need a preboard pass (and why) and you can board with all the big shots. For most airlines this is convenient, but for airlines without assigned seats, like Southwest, it can be a life saver. Sitting near the front of the plane can reduce motion and the accompanying nausea. Note that this will prevent you from sitting in an exit row, but you’ll probably be fine with that.
- Aisle seats are highly recommended. Get between a woman with 5 lbs of humanity on her bladder and the toilet at your own peril.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Pregnant women need water more than a marathoner. Make sure to have plenty at hand and don’t count on the drink cart coming around. Bring an empty bottle through security and fill up at will.
- Your partner will need to stop to rest more often than she ever did. Be patient, loving, supportive, and make sure you both plan to take things slow meaning don’t try to see everything on the trip or cut it close with short layovers. And get access to a lounge if you can (there are multiple credit cards that can help you do so).She’s creating one of the most complex organisms in the known universe inside of her body from a collection of simple proteins and amino acids, yes she’s going to need to sit down for a second.
Just like when you later have a baby, being pregnant doesn’t have to put an end to your travels.