Yes this is a great news, that most probably was a surprise for most of you. I did not want to share it until everything was find and my baby was born. But here I am! A brand new mum now and I have a beautiful baby girl in my hands. I feel the luckiest person on Earth! As I look into my baby’s eyes I cannot stop thinking about how much I want her to see the world, to have awesome experiences like (or even better than) I did. Actually my baby already visited three countries while she was in my tummy and here are some tips for future mums who are concerned about travelling while expecting a baby.
Do what you love
First of all your life should not stop just because you are pregnant. If you feel healthy and you doctor does not advice otherwise you can continue with your normal life. If you alter your lifestyle and stop doing what you love doing, you will suffer psychologically. Travelling is and will always be an essential part of my life. Obviously you need to make some adjustments but everything is possible.
16/17 weeks pregnant: First country ‘visited’ by my daughter was Turkey during our stopover from Malta to Helsinki
Talk with your doctor
This is the first thing to do if you plan to travel. If you are having complications in your pregnancy obviously there is no need to read this post; just avoid travelling. But if you are not having any issues in particular (I was very lucky as I did not have any particular issues at all during my pregnancy); your doctor will give you the go ahead. You may also need a written permission to be able to travel, especially if your tummy is showing. Certain airlines (like Ryanair) have their own forms that can be found online. They need to be filled in by your doctor. Officially you can travel up to 36 weeks of pregnancy.
Avoid raw food or contaminated water
Obviously I was not going to India or Kenya pregnant. I stayed away from countries where the risk of getting a food poisoning was high and where water is clean. You need to be careful at the food you are eating (especially during your first trimester) and it has to be cooked well. Therefore better be safe and avoid eating street food from a stall, go for a restaurant instead. Ask for the ingredients and be sure you are communicating well (this brings us to the next point).
Go to places where you speak their language
Communication is always essential, but it is even more essential now that you’re pregnant. You want to make sure that your meat is well cooked and that your dish does not contain raw seafood. Moreover if something ever happens and you need to go to a clinic or hospital you need to be able to explain your symptoms well. Therefore I would suggest going to countries where English is widely spoken or you can communicate well in the native language.
29/30 weeks pregnant: Road trip to Sicily
A place with good health care
This is linked with the first point I wrote above. You need to make sure that you’re not going to remote areas, where you need to catch a flight or drive for a day before you get to a hospital. Peace of mind is one of the keys to enjoy your trip. Knowing that if something bad happens you will be well taken care of, is what you need to be able to relax during your trip and make it enjoyable.
Refrain from doing dangerous activities
This winter I was not able to ski or do other risky activities and it was quite hard. I would have loved to ski or go for a ride with snow mobile while in Lapland, but for this winter I had to skip it. By dangerous activities I am referring to those activities where there is a high risk of falling. I was still able to do all the other activities I had planned; husky rides, reindeer rides, trekking etc. However falling can be risky, therefore if you are not confident in doing that kind of activity, just avoid it. Remember to listen to your body; if you are not feeling well and comfortable just stop and relax.
16/17 weeks pregnan:t There are still a lot of things you can do. This shot was taken right before our Reindeer ride in Lapland.
This is particularly true for the second half of your pregnancy. My last trip was during the third trimester (29/30 weeks pregnant). During the last part of your pregnancy you will start to feel more breathless, walking uphill can be very challenging as well as trekking in rugged terrain. So it would be better to avoid these activities. Also you will need to go often to the toilet, therefore if you plan to go for long hours outdoors you need to keep this in mind.
Travelling alone with heavy luggage maybe is not ideal. I never travelled alone while pregnant, as my husband was always there to help me. Be sure to have someone who can help you (although I am sure some of you may be able to travel alone as well). Also at the airport try to avoid the X-ray scan. I was asked to go through it in Istanbul, however when I explained the situation I was given the right to avoid the scan. The normal metal detector should not be an issue.
Moreover you will be surprised at some priorities you will be given while pregnant. You can skip the lines and you will be given priority (this happened at Catania airport). There are some places (for example in Sicily) with parking places designated for pregnant women. These places are usually located next to disabled badge holders spaces, and are usually located in the centre of the village. Enjoy these benefits while you can 🙂