Like most desis, i had major misconceptions related to pregnancy. I could only tell facts from myths when i joined the caravan of expectant moms myself. One such blindly followed ideology is that ‘pregnancy is an illness’ and you are not supposed to do about anything during that period. It’s sad how our elders pass on these invalid myths from generation to generation. I have practically seen women who would be bed-ridden through out their pregnancies and would ‘apparently’ want to enjoy all the protocol. While this could be a dream-come-true situation to some, being a born restless soul & a dare-devil to the core, i probably would die if i am ever made to stay indoors for more than 24 hours, even if that means in pregnancy.
So i always had an idea about the type of preggo & mom i would be, and fortunately with my corporate background, i got to see some real life HIGHLY inspiring women who worked their way sooper energetically till their ninth month.
I worked full time till my 5th month and was granted a leave as my doc advised me against working those stressful hours with about 3.5 hours of daily commute, with my ‘low-lying placenta'(Placenta Praevia). I chose to join my family in US for a short vacation and came back in my 32-33rd week.
Before i delve into the details of the fun & adventurous outcomes of my personal traveling experience, i would like to share with you a few FACTS about ‘Travelling during Pregnancy’ that you might not have heard of before.
FACTS ABOUT TRAVELING DURING PREGNANCY
*Did you know that ‘provided you have a Doctor’s OK, you are TOTALLY free to take flights during your pregnancy?
*Most airlines offer flights for pregnant women from the start till 32th- 36th week. A few of the airlines require you to show them a medical certificate if you travel after 28th week. It is best to check your airline’s guidelines. Almost all the airlines have their Pregnancy policies available on their websites.
*Given you have no objection from your Doctor about any serious health issue and you stay safe during your trip/ travel. The only few discomforts you can face could be due to general pregnancy related conditions like heart burn, constipation, nausea, stress, pain, fatigue etc. With right planning you can totally manage these situations trading them for some quality vacation time before the baby arrives.
*Did you know that if a couple plans to take a pre-baby vacation to bond with each other and the ‘coming’ baby, that is called ‘Babymoon’? I hadn’t ever heard of this term before i got pregnant, and FYI this term is a registered word in most of the big dictionaries.
*Do keep in mind that you will be required to take Polio Vaccine if you haven’t already. Consult with your doctor before taking ANY vaccination in pregnancy for travel purpose. My doc advised against it so i never took any.
*Most amusement parks/ theme parks or tourist places guide you about whether or not you can go for a certain activity in pregnancy (Good tourist destinations are proactive about that, trust me i missed out on a lots of ‘things to do’ because they wouldn’t allow pregnant women) *hmphh*
*Rest of the care you require during your pregnancy remains same as whether or not you are traveling. Eat healthy, stay soooper hydrated, rest, sleep well, follow your instinct, consult your doc, do NOT miss your pre-natals etc.
How TRAVELING turned my Pregnancy into a memorable one
So now that you are aware of some essential travel facts, let me take you through some HIGHLY memorable, fun, relaxing & adventurous stuff i did during my trip. Hope this gives you an idea about the type of activities you can perform in Pregnancy, and still be safe (subject to your Doc’s advice). I am glad my FIRST Pregnancy was something i can always feel good about 🙂
The BIGGEST adventure for me was that i traveled ALL ALONE in the mid of my 5th month & back in my 8th month, taking a long-haul flight, with a stretch of about more than 24 hours, changing 3-4 planes and transiting between airports. Sounds crazzyyy no? Trust me it is completely DOABLE with a little bit of planning.
Tips: Request a wheel chair at airports, rest at airports with legs resting up on a chair, stay sooper hydrated, eat healthy snacks, take a frequent walk inside the plane, request an aisle seat preferably near wings, inform the flight crew they’d go out of the way to help you.
My whole trip was centered around the places where i had family or acquaintances which is a MUST….because of obvious reasons.
So, BELOW are few different types of experiences i did, that you can go for too 🙂
HOP IN/ HOP OUT BUS and EXPLORE. Quite an experience for a Solo pregnant traveler 😉
You know, trust me exploring those MANHATTAN streets ALONE when you are nearing the end of your second trimester, gives you QUITE SOME KICKS! (pun intended 😉 )
To unwind, take a stroll in a lush green, serene & picturesque surroundings of Central Park (or a place like that)
A FERRY RIDE to the Liberty Island is a MUST thing to do when you are in NYC…..No excuses of missing it for being Pregnant 😉
And while you are at it, PLEASE DO NOT miss a chance to RELAX at any nearby beach, whatever State or travel destination you choose to be at. This was a Beach in New Jersey.
Now, in case you are just getting comfortable in your Pregnancy exclusive ‘couch potato’ mode, let me share with you just a few of my mini-adventures 😀
Practically, getting used to some NOT SO ‘itsy-bitsy Spiders’! 😀
At 6th month, i held ROSIE the Tarantula Spider at Butterfly Pavilion :O
Give some creeps, NO??
ROSIE’s home place is Butterfly Pavilion, Colorado, which is a non-profit ‘insects’ zoo exhibiting some 1600 Butterflies in a tropical rain-forest. (Picture below)
HIKING is my passion, and given a chance, one can bet i will do it even in pregnancy too 😉
What a beautiful hike it was amidst these centuries old, natural RED ROCK formations in the Garden of the gods.
Looks exhausting for a 6th-7th month?
WATER is a natural relaxant & can de-stress your pregnant self in an amazzzzzing way. And what better way to relax that 7th month fatigue than BOATING the time away in a calm n’ beautiful DILLON LAKE surrounded by Rocky mountains?
Speaking of Mountains, I have to say…..”Ain’t NO mountain high enough”!
I hit one of the highest mountain peaks of America called PIKES PEAK, with an altitude 14,115 feet, and that too by taking world’s highest COG RAIL and US’s highest train. At the peak i enjoyed sipping my CHAI and coffee simultaneously, staring at the snow covered Rocky mountains & thick gliding clouds. I remember feeling TOTALLY FROZEN, walking on a snow covered pavement. Too much breaking the rules, at the end of 7th month hmm!
Sounds Fantastic no?
Tip: Please consult with your Doc first if you intend to stay at a ‘high altitude’ site for a longer duration. Snow can be extremely dangerous as walking on it can make you slip, needless to say be extra vigilant.
Before i have a baby & lose it completely, i thought why not try my hand at some Focus & Strength boosting activity like ARCHERY. This was some real heavy equipment though O.o
Try some fun COSTUMES maybe?
Last but not the least, have some DOWNTOWN PARTY and keep your wits & humor alive. Go play pranks and have fun with people.
Pranking a COP – HA -HA! 8th month start ……and just the end of my vacations before i traveled back.
The purpose of linking my own personal experience of traveling and vacationing during pregnancy was to bust some myths & break the pregnancy stereotypes existing around us. You can TOTALLY feel free to have (legal 😉 )fun and enjoy as much as you want, provided you have an NOC from your Doc. I would never want to trade my pregnancy period for any other way (except for of course putting on lesser weight :p ) and i cherish every single memory i made. There are soooo many other unforgettable moments which my camera couldn’t capture like long walks on my own, trips to swimming pool, fishing, partying in the rain, munching on some excellent desi food, reading books, writing letters/ notes to the little one, attending summer concerts, having movie nights etc.
I am positive that not much of it would have been possible had i not dared to travel by breaking the stereotypes. And yes, contrary to what some myths might suggest, I ended up giving a NATURAL birth to a perfectly healthy baby who is just as active as i had been during pregnancy. My sincerest suggestion would be to PLEASE quit “myth-ing” and enjoy your pregnancy to the MAX! YES, PLEASE!
Do share in the comments below your experiences if you happened to travel during Pregnancy. Feel free to ask anything i missed out which might be useful to you in planning your trip.
On a final note, HERE is what my fortune cookie predicted one fine ‘pregnant day’ during my trip 🙂