Anna Stewart, mother, mentor and author, has published over 300 articles, reviews and columns on pregnancy, parenting and raising children with special needs. Her book, Mother Blessings: Honoring Women Becoming Mothers through Pregnancy and Adoption, will be in bookstores in early 2006. She serves as an instructor for the Academy for Coaching Parents (www.acpi.biz). Anna offers a number of classes in the Boulder, Colorado area. Go to her website, www.motherhands.com for more information.
Last Minute Deal Packages
Family Vacation Archive
Family Vacation Survival Tips
Family Summer Vacations
USA Family Vacation Destinations
Family Beach Vacation Destinations
Florida's Space Coast
Family Vacation Destinations
Salt Lake City
New York, New York
Las Vegas Child Care Info
Las Vegas Family Vacation Destination
I was walking up an easy trail in my eighth month of pregnancy and met another mother. She smiled and said, "You better not go in too far."
A friend of mine went to Indonesia and India in her six month. Her family and friends were horrified. She stuck to safe eating situations and bottled water so the chance of illness was minimized. What was most interesting to her was the cultural attitudes. In Indonesia, the other women were approving of her state and gently teased her as they would their own daughters. In India, a Muslim country, she was ignored or glared at. Already an outcast due to her blond hair and gender, her pregnancy was proof she was promiscuous (even though she was traveling with her husband).
A pregnant woman is always subject to public scrutiny. Advice is heaped on. Horrific birth stories freely shared.
And when a woman is traveling, she stands out even more than her belly.
Having traveled by plane, train, car and abroad at different stages in my pregnancies, the thing I have learned is to trust myself as to what I need.
At the beginning of my ninth month, I was in a car for 7 hours with only a few short breaks. Having done all-night drives, it didn't seem like a big deal. But it was. My feet were swollen; my back and legs ached for days. I didn't drink enough water because I didn't want to stop too often. I didn't take my own advice to follow my own instincts rather than my familiar routines.
Pregnant women on the go are not fragile but we do need to take extra care of ourselves. Drinking enough water is one we often neglect because we don't want to deal with frequent bathroom stops. In Paris, a pregnant woman got dehydrated because finding restrooms was such a big deal.
It seems like sitting on a plane or in a car shouldn't be very taxing but sitting in one position for more than an hour or two can be hard on your body as I found out. Drinking plenty of water will help you have to get up frequently.
Most doctors and midwives recommend the second trimester as the time to go. Morning sickness should be over, energy returns and you won't be too big yet. Also, miscarriage is more a possibility in the first trimester and premature labor in the third. Know your medical history and bring your doctors' number with you.
Many people assume that the airlines are nervous about pregnant women flying with them. They are nervous about potential lawsuits. If you walk and act like you know what you're doing (and you should), they won't bother you. I've found that male ticket clerks won't ask you if you're pregnant (especially if you wear large shirts rather than maternity clothes). They don't want to ask if you look like you are but you're not! Women are more likely to ask but only if they see enough of you.
Other things to remember:
" Another things to remember is that a sunburned pregnant woman is not a pretty sight. Ask your partner to apply sunscreen where you can't reach or see. The sun will also intensify any brownish patches- the "mask of pregnancy"- on your face.
" Wear comfortable clothes and shoes even if they are not the most stylish. Some maternity pants can be binding. Dresses are a great option.
" Smile and nod when the locals give you advice or question your travel plans. I got teased about having a Mexican baby when I was in Mexico; asked if I planned to have the baby while on a bumpy train.
Pregnancy and travel can go together. All my children seem to have the travel bug- perhaps it was the water.