Bump Update: Getting Through the End of Pregnancy

Bump Update: Getting Through the End of Pregnancy

The last stretch is underway! I’m on my 37th week now and I’m getting closer to the day of our new adventure! Many believe that your baby is already full term at this point (in the Philippines medical practitioners still do) until just recently when expert studies conducted suggest that full term is actually at 39 weeks because babies apparently still need more time to grow and the extra two weeks to achieve crucial developmental milestones inside the womb especially in your baby’s brain and lungs. Continue reading →

Posted by Sarah in Pregnancy, This Married Life
Long-Haul Flight Tips When Traveling On Your First Trimester

Long-Haul Flight Tips When Traveling On Your First Trimester

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I’ve always read that your second trimester is the safest time to travel, as there are more risks involved in flying while pregnant during your first and last trimester. But what if you have already booked and planned your trip way before you learned you’re going to be a mom – like me? Well, here’s what I did.

Risk of flying while pregnant on your first trimester

It’s understandable to be worried, of course, especially if it’s your first time ever to be an expectant mom, as there is an increased risk of miscarriage in this very early stage of pregnancy. This is the time where the fetus is said to be most susceptible to damage and your body and your baby are undergoing rapid changes.

So my advice is: calm those fears by checking with your doctor first. There are things you read online that can just heighten your concern when there’s really nothing to fuss about and vice versa. Surely I would have been disappointed if my doctor didn’t clear me to fly, but this baby is my number one priority now. I would and will not do anything that will potentially harm this tiny human, that’s why I vow to follow whatever the doctor says. So far she hasn’t said anything that doesn’t feel right to me and I do trust her judgments.

I was told that I do not have a high-risk pregnancy caused by existing health conditions, in which case, it’s generally safe to travel on your first trimester up until the 36th week if you have a healthy pregnancy. But she also told me to listen to my body; that if I don’t feel comfortable or fit enough to travel or fly, I shouldn’t.

She made me understand that if I am still having all the classic early pregnancy symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, headaches, etc. – all these will be felt even worse due to the change in air pressure in high altitudes – meaning less oxygen up there. However, it’s more likely to just affect the mom than the baby as long as you hydrate and feed yourself! Luckily, I didn’t have any of those symptoms in my first trimester apart from two to three occasions of lightheadedness – that’s it! Also, you’ve also probably heard of in-flight radiation exposure while flying. It’s true that you are more exposed to radiation at higher altitudes, but it it’s not high enough to cause birth defects or miscarriage, as others believe. Of course, this is different for pregnant ladies regularly travelling for business or working as flight attendants as the radiation exposure might accumulate to dangerous levels.

Despite that fact, I still took necessary precautions and gathered all the information I needed to make my long-haul flight during my first trimester more comfortable and enjoyable.

Essential preparations to make before boarding your flight

Choose your destination wisely

If you haven’t booked your flights yet, it is advisable to only take short-haul or domestic flights so that you don’t have to endure long hours of sitting on your ass on the plane and feeling like death particularly if you’ve been experiencing morning sickness. But if you have everything sorted already, you’ve been cleared to jet off and your body is giving you the go signal to board that flight – go ahead with the planning.

Check if you need vaccinations to visit those countries

There are some countries where vaccinations are mandatory including LAV or live attenuated vaccines, which are prohibited to be administered on pregnant women and this can pose a big problem if your vaccines are not up to date. No kidding. It’s best to do your research now.

Take out travel insurance

If you fell sick before your flight, became injured, or had a pregnancy complication (knock on wood) during your trip – wouldn’t it be a godsend to have a travel insurance that will cover emergency treatments overseas, hospitalization, and your flight back home? I honestly wouldn’t travel without it pregnant or not. You’ll never be sure what’s going to happen out there, so make sure you get a travel insurance which covers pregnancies like World Nomads because not all of them do.

Pack your pregnancy-safe medication

You know how easily we can get sick on the road – diarrhea, allergies, migraine, etc. It’s best to get your doctor to prescribe or list down over-the-counter medicines you can get before you leave. Who knows if any of those are available where you’ll be travelling?

Tips for staying comfortable (and spoiling yourself) in-flight while pregnant

Pre-select airline meals

Certain foods and drinks may taste different to pregnant women and even make you gag when it normally doesn’t bother you at all. While it’s not possible to pick exactly what you want to be on your plate – you can make special meal requests from categories such as vegetarian, raw fruits and vegetables, lactose-free, low sodium, low fat, kosher, and a lot more. I selected a low-fat meal, as I didn’t like anything fatty or oily food during my first trimester and that really worked well for me! As a plus to that, you also get served before the actual meal service starts! I know, I know..we’re constantly hungry!

Special Meal Delta Airlines (Low Fat)

Bring your tried-and-tested healthy snacks

I said I never experienced being sick and I kept everything down during my first trimester up until today, but somehow ginger candies (try Preggie Pops) really make me feel better. Mommies swear that it helps alleviate nausea and soothe digestion troubles. I also brought snacks that I know I can and will eat like trail mix, pretzels, and even oranges, just in case I end up not liking the airline food.

Bringing oranges in flight

Drink up even when you are not thirsty

Apart from my always-filled-up water bottle, I always ask for water whenever the flight attendant in charge of my row passes by. I understand that sometimes water can even be tough to gulp down, so you can opt for juices as well – just dilute it with water! At least the water will have taste and you are not packing on sugar from juice concentrate! You don’t want your throat to go dry while on the flight – so drink up!

Choose the aisle seat close to the lavatories

And because you have been drinking a lot, you need to strategically choose a seat that will allow you to easily and quickly access the loo without hopping on others as you rush towards it. If you haven’t already noticed, you pee unusually tons during this time so take heed.

Walk around and stretch often

While waiting for your turn and on your way back to your seat, stretch your legs, twist your body side to side, whatever. Just move to help circulate your blood and loosen up tight muscles.

Wear compression socks

No matter how much of a hassle it is to wear especially with skinny jeans, just do it. Pregnant women are more prone to swelling, blood clots, varicose veins and worse, DVT (deep vein thrombosis). My doctor has scared me enough to actually purchase a pair of travel compression socks and it was my first time to ever wear those. Nifty.

Don’t leave your neck pillow behind

Oh yes, I needed sleep so bad. Always. But I always find it hard to fall asleep during a flight – just way too many distractions. Plus, you are sitting down. If only I had enough budget to splurge on first class tickets. So really, a good travel neck pillow is my saviour. At least one part of my body is snug and cozy. You will also need that sleep kit they give you on the flight; eye mask and earplugs are my best friends, too!

Wear the comfiest clothes and shoes you have

Double yes. Okay, I don’t travel in my PJs, but I also never sacrifice comfort for style. No heels or tight clothing. My skinny jeans are like jeggings – I can sleep in it. You can still have a fashionable yet relaxed ensemble, yes? Maybe make it a little loose especially in the mid-section or lower abdominal area – to give you some room to breathe.

Most of these tips are actually not just for pregnant women but also for all travellers out there who want to know how to be comfortable during a flight – be it short or long haul.

But just for our moms-to-be out there, do you have any more tips when flying while pregnant during the first trimester? Please share it in the comments so I can add them up!

Traveling/Flying When Pregnant - First Trimester Tips > Find out the risks, safety precautions you can take and valuable tips to make your flight more comfortable and worry free.


Posted by Sarah in Pregnancy, Travel Tips
On the Road to Motherhood

On the Road to Motherhood

Today, I am exactly 14 weeks into our most epic adventure yet and it has been a pleasant, smooth ride so far– no “bumps” (yet), no major hiccups; just pure joy. Even though we’ve been baby planning for a while, finding out that I was pregnant still came as a shock to me because I couldn’t believe that God finally answered our fervent prayer – to have a family of our own. Andre and I just couldn’t wait for this journey to start.

Not having to keep it from everyone else anymore is such a relief. I’m so thrilled to share this happiness with the world at long last! Although I won’t be telling you everything that’s going on with this little bubba and me, I’ll start squeezing in a few preggy/mommy posts here and there just to keep you updated on how to survive pregnancy while living abroad or here in Germany – from what to expect at every doctor’s visit to finding expectant mom groups to keeping fit and what-have-you. I promise it will be fun and educational!

Some friends take pity on me because I won’t be able to travel as much anymore. You know what? It really doesn’t bother me even though surely I would want to get out and take short trips if possible before and some months after I deliver the baby (like flying back to the Philippines for example), but if it doesn’t come soon enough – that’s okay as well! My first priority now is to get ready to be a mom and nurture a healthy human; everything else can be put on the back burner.

Well, we just came back from a short Caribbean cruise a week ago, so I can’t really complain. We booked everything way before we learned we’re going to be parents as it was our belated honeymoon trip. Thank God, my first trimester was a breeze and my doc allowed me to fly as long as I take the necessary precautions. I’ll tell you more about that short but sweet escape in my next posts.

That’s it for now. Please continue to pray and keep your fingers crossed for me – that I will have an easy time until THAT dreaded yet most anticipated moment in the delivery room! 😉

Posted by Sarah in Pregnancy