Pregnant woman on vacation at the beach

Every now and then, all of us need to hit pause, relax and take a vacation — even pregnant women. However, as Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to plan, you are preparing to fail.” When planning either a family vacation or traveling alone, your pregnancy must be taken into consideration. Here are some helpful tips to help you plan and have a great time:

1. Ideally, plan the vacation during your second trimester (weeks 14 through 28) because there’s less chance of nausea, vomiting or developing preterm labor

2. If traveling by car, try to limit driving no more than 5 to 6 hours per day and stop every 2 hours to get out of the car and stretch your legs. Pregnancy increases the risk of developing blood clots but standing for 5 to 10 minutes reduces the risk.

3. If traveling by car, please wear a seatbelt and place it below your below, at the level of your hip bones.

4. If traveling by plane, the same advice applies as stated in item 2. If your flight is longer than 2 hours, please get up from your seat and stretch your legs for 5 minutes

5. Avoid sitting in hot tubs or Jacuzzis because your unborn baby cannot regulate its temperature and the heat from the Jacuzzi could be harmful

6. Avoid skiing because there is an increase risk of falling based on the change in the center of gravity of your pregnant spine

7. Try to avoid traveling by plane if you’re 32 weeks or greater. The change in the atmospheric pressure increases the risk of your water “breaking” or membranes rupturing

8. Please discuss your travel plans with your OB provider BEFORE making plans to avoid complications. The last thing you want is to have an emergency hundreds or thousands of miles away from home.

9. If going on a cruise, please contact CDC to verify that your ship is safe and has not had a previous incidence of Norovirus which causes severe nausea and vomiting usually from eating contaminated food.

10. If traveling out of the country, contact CDC to make certain your destination has no travel alerts which could compromise your physical and personal safety

Once you plan appropriately, sit back, relax and let the fun begin!

Want more information on travel? Please check out the great blogs of my friends, Jamee, who wrote a great article about reducing complaints while on vacation,

Travel expert Maria offer tips on travel safety,

And finally, my friend Diane, offers great tips on avoiding over-packing for a trip.