When I was pregnant with my daughter Ilse, I only traveled twice: a two-week holiday to Hong Kong during my first trimester and a New Year’s trip to Seattle in December of that same year. Afterward, I was planted. I stayed within the Bay Area for a year before I hopped on a plane for work. Fast forward four years later, I’m now pregnant with my second child, I am a traveling pro. I’ve been on airplane trips for most of my pregnancy. Even with my growing belly and slower than normal pace, I love the travel. There’s nothing quite as exciting as getting on a plane to go somewhere new and eat different foods. At the same time, I must be mindful of my body’s and growing child’s needs. I can’t ignore the fact that I tire more quickly with this pregnancy than I did with my first one. Thus, comfort is king to air travel while pregnant.
Here are my top three tips for keeping comfortable while pregnant during air travel
Dress for comfort & ease
Even when I am not pregnant, airplane travel leaves me feeling bloated. Being pregnant adds to the bloated feeling. Since we’ve had a long summer in San Francisco this year, I have loved wearing dresses and skirts. Dresses and skirts fulfill my desire to look chic, while giving my growing belly room to breathe. Motherhood Maternity, Seraphine, Old Navy have some fantastic ones that translate well for work or leisure. On the practical side, they are easier to put on and easier to pack.
For airplane travel, I exclusively wear flats, the more cushion and stretch the better. If my destination is a warm one, I wear sandals, so my feet can breathe (pedicured toes are must!). As of late, my favorite travel shoes have been Me Too flats and Mox shoes (Our writers love Mox shoes, too!). They are pretty and practical for swelling feet. If I need heels, I pack my Bandolino wedges. Wedge shoes provide height without the tedious ankle strain of stilettos.
Eat for energy
Usually, when I travel for work, I indulge in local wines and local eats. I splurge on dinners and a delightful nightcap to lull me to sleep. Since I’ve been pregnant, I have changed up my eating habits while I travel. I forgo all alcohol and heavy meals, replacing them with smaller meals for more sustained energy. This means carrying more snacks, like RX bars (which are low in sugar), whole fruit (apples and mini oranges), and my refillable water bottle to stay hydrated. I do a heavy breakfast or dinner, and a light lunch. I always fit in my nightly dessert with a tall glass of milk. Eating this way sustains my energy during long workdays or vacation days.
Walk as much as you can
Whether I fly to the East Coast or closer to home on the West Coast, I try to walk as much as I can, even at the airport. So much of air travel revolves around waiting and sitting. Since I’m going to be sitting for a flight and any meals, I keep mobile and walk around. I walk to appointments when I can. Walking keeps me limber and enables me to enjoy my destination up close versus in a moving vehicle. It’s also my favorite form of exercise while I am pregnant because it’s doable during all trimesters.
Traveling for work or fun is one of my favorite activities. I love that our daughter Ilse gets excited about travel too. Being pregnant is not going to keep me from enjoying one of my favorite activities, yet it’s important to modify my routine to make air travel more comfortable. When I am comfortable, the whole trip is that much more enjoyable!
How do you stay comfortable during air travel while pregnant?
Disclaimer: Please consult your physician prior to embarking on any travel while you are pregnant. Health matters above all else.