Beyond babymoons: traveling while pregnant

I was never an all-inclusive resort person, and I’ve had only a few massages in my life, so I never expected to take the traditional “babymoon” of lying by a pool and getting pregnancy spa treatments while I was pregnant. Okay, I did lie by a pool on one trip, but I did it in Malaysia, after long days of walking around and eating (gasp!) street food. I’m proof that you don’t have to stop traveling when you have a baby, but traveling during pregnancy is probably the last time you’ll have time alone for awhile and without the time restrictions of a child.

I laughed at the commonly-given advice to sleep a lot before the baby comes; will you remember that great night of sleep in three months when the baby wakes up hourly to eat? Probably not, or at least, it won’t make a difference to you how you slept before the baby. Instead, I tell expecting mothers to stay out late with your friends, see lots of movies, and go to fancy, quiet restaurants. And, of course, travel as much as you feel up to!Some advice on traveling while pregnant:

For Gadling, I wrote about travel in the first trimester and why I went to Russia in winter at 10 weeks pregnant. In the early days of pregnancy, you should stick to developed countries that don’t require vaccinations, realize your limits may have changed, but also realize that before you are showing, don’t expect special treatment. Though I also went to Frankfurt in the first trimester, where a German friend helped realize my dream of a sausage inside a waffle inside a strudel. Expect it to be all the rage soon!

The sweet spot for pregnant travel is the second trimester, when early morning sickness has passed, you are showing enough to potentially get a seat on the subway, but you aren’t massively uncomfortable yet. In the second trimester I went to NYC from Istanbul, and a big trip to Malaysia and Singapore. I was massively uncomfortable at times in the southeast Asian humidity, but Singapore was a perfect destination for a heavily-pregnant traveler (I’m about six months in the above photo): very clean, amazing food, and lots of air conditioning!

I also contributed to a article on pregnancy travel, reiterating about jet lag, upgrading whenever possible, and staying comfortable when you feel like the Incredible Hulk.