By Jade Johnston
For many people, travel becomes a lifestyle. It is more than a hobby, it is our passion. So why should things change as we get older, fall in love, and have children?
Travel during pregnancy comes with it’s own set of challenges, but it is not impossible.
Travel In The First Trimester
Perhaps you find out you are pregnant after you set out on a trip, or you get pregnant in the middle of a trip, or maybe you have to travel a lot for your job and happen to be pregnant as well. Pregnancy in itself is hard work, and travel during pregnancy is every harder – but not impossible.
During my Great Australian Overland Adventure, I travelled all over Australia with my darling husband. We unwittingly thought it would be a good idea to start trying to get pregnant. I wish I had read a guide like this before so I at least knew what was in store for me!
Common First Trimeter Symptoms And How They Affect Travel
My old friend nausea. As many of my long time readers will know, I’m pretty good at getting nauseous while travelling on my own, even without being pregnant, so the pregnancy definitely made this much harder. Pregnancy nausea is nothing like motion sickness nausea though. It sometimes comes without a trigger, and can persist at a low level throughout most of the day. (Who ever named it “morning sickness” was definitely lying to themselves… how about “all the time sickness”?)
Sometimes pregnancy nausea can be triggered by certain smells. I found that my sense of smell became annoyingly keen during pregnancy (as if those hostel dorms didn’t smell bad enough on their own!), and certain food smells became extremely agitating. (And I normally *love* garlic…!)
Another thing that I found is that I start to feel nausea when I am starting to feel hungry. Although your instincts tell you to avoid eating since you feel ill, sometimes snacking on something like cheese or crackers will help you feel better.
Travel In The First Trimester Tip – Keep plenty of snacks on you to alleviate the nausea, and try to avoid smells that set it off
I have never felt as exhausted as I have during my mid to late first trimester. Your body is working overtime with all the developmental changes you are going through, so understandably it is tired. If you have a big day of travel coming up, try to make sure you get plenty of rest the evening before. Also, make sure to drink plenty of water as this might help with the fatigue as well. I found that even though I wasn’t feeling my best, I was still able to keep up with everyone else on long hikes in the outback.
Travel In The First Trimester Tip – Treat yourself to a private room every now and then so that you can all the undisturbed sleep you need in order to have energy for your next adventure.
Mictur-wha? This is when you feel like you need to pee…. all… of.. the.. time! It can be pretty annoying when you are on a multi day camping trip in the Australian outback, and you really, really, really, do not want to get out of your warm swag to find a toilet. I tried even not drinking large amounts of water before bed time to alleviate this camping annoyance, but it still happened anyways.
Travel In The First Trimester Tip – Know your nearest toilet location…. at all times.
4) Breast Changes
Ok so not all pregnancy symptoms are bad right? Bigger boobs? Sure, why not! Well…ummm… actually they are going to be as sore as hell! I have always been small chested, so it’s been interesting to finally have boobs, even if they do hurt to touch.
Travel In The First Trimester Tip – Get yourself a comfortable bra! Especially if you are going to be doing lots of physical activities where you might want that added support.
Things To Do (And Not Do) During Travel In The First Trimester
1) No more alcohol! – well duh right? But what about when you get free welcome drinks at your hostel? Well, just give them to a fellow traveller – instant friends!
2) Limit your caffeine – Some people say you should stop caffeine all together, but studies show you can have one or two cups of coffee and be totally fine. And believe me, you will want your morning coffee when dealing with pregnancy fatigue and a busy travel schedule.
3) No more deli meats – Ok, I didn’t know this one before, but apparently pregnant women are more susceptible to listeria, a type of bacteria found in processed meat. This can make finding budget food options while travelling difficult, especially if you are used to making a sandwich in advance or popping into the local deli or bakery for lunch. This is where those close at hand snacks will help, just in case you have trouble finding some cheap eats that are pregnancy friendly.
4) Get yourself a good pregnancy multivitamin – Right now my nausea is so bad that the only foods I can keep down are probably the ones that are not very healthy for baby and me. Luckily I have my pregnancy vitamins which have everything baby and I need in them. According to my doctor, the baby is like a little parasite right now and will take what it needs from me no matter what. However, taking a vitamin isn’t an excuse to not eat healthy, but it will make you feel better if you have some naughty food days.
Where Should I Not Travel In The First Trimester?
During the first trimester, there will be no airline flight restrictions put on you, so you can really travel anywhere that you feel up to. However, you may not be able to take some travel vaccinations or types of anti malarial pills. If your preferred destination requires you get any shots or take any anti malarial pills, then make sure you check with your doctor that these are safe for you to take.