European Travel …. While Pregnant

Every year, my family and I try to have a Christ

While I didn’t find much with regard to pregnancy travel, I learned by experience that there are a few things to keep in mind, allow me to share!


1. Wear Comfortable Shoes

This goes without saying. But if you’re into looking the part (i.e. less casually American) when traveling to a European city, you might be tempted to opt for a more fashionable shoe choice. That typically means uncomfortable, at least in my experience.

And it is true that you will be treated more kindly if you are well-dressed while abroad.

I bought flat shoes and one pair of heeled boots for dinners (it was winter). I bought Tod’s loafers for daytime, a pair of chelsea boots, a pair of Aquaitalia heeled boots (the Kate Middleton variety) and one pair of sneakers because I figured there would be a day when my feet would be very swollen and I would care precious little about fashion. I was right.

Nevertheless, I slipped and nearly fell on a vaporetto in Venice. You can only do so much when your equilibrium is askew.


2. Bring Compression Socks

I had read about these little things in my previous travels. Compression socks are great for anyone enduring a long flight. My OBGYN recommended them for the purpose of blood flow, in order to prevent clotting or discomfort.

I wore these on the plane, and another pair I wore over my hosiery and under my dressy boots for dinners.

At the time, I was near the end of my second trimester. My feet only swelled at night and, while walking 8-10 miles a day sightseeing, I was relived by the socks!

Be sure to stand FREQUENTLY during your flight, more on that later.

3. Pack Your PreNatal Vitamins

Baby and momma need the vitamins. ESPECIALLY with the jet lag, change in diet and general fatigue that may cause uneasiness.

I apportioned mine for each day (I added a few for an extra day or two in case I dropped them, I was VERY clumsy while pregnant) and put them in a ziplock bag into my carry on. I didn’t have an issue with that.


4. Ask for Extra Pillows at the hotel

My Snoogle and I were BFFs when I was pregnant. I didn’t want to slug Snoogle around with me … as much as he deserved a vacation.

So I was sure to ask for extra pillows to create a Snoogle-like sleeping atmosphere. That ensured I had quality sleep!


5. Be Mindful of the Cuisine

Pregnant women have it rough when it comes to cuisine. No deli meat, no alcohol, no custard, nothing with raw eggs (no cookie dough!), no caffeine, etc.

In Europe, my biggest fear was the cheeses and the milk. You have to be REALLY careful. I’d suggest researching the local restrictions and guidelines for pasteurization and the like.

Some things were unexpectedly worrisome. Yogurt, for example, may not say “pasteurized” on the container. If you’re at a breakfast buffet type situation, it’s likely out in a bowl. Same with milk. Hotels in Europe put milk in a glass container that obviously lacks any labeling. Sometimes, some desserts have cream. It Italy, cream is more like a custard – raw eggs.


6. Learn how to say, “I’m pregnant!” and “Is this pasteurized?” in the native tongue of your destination

As I just mentioned, the best way to determine if what you’re eating is safe, anywhere, is to learn how to ask for yourself.

Women in other cultures aren’t always instructed to avoid the same things we are told to here in the United States. So a server might not think twice about giving you something your doctor in America might disagree with.

While in Italy, I noticed people didn’t understand why I didn’t want prosciutto, or carbonara (potentially undercooked eggs).

7. Book Flight ASAP to Get Best Seat Possible

The flight was the WORST part about traveling while pregnant. We booked our flight over a year in advance, so we were able to get Comfort level seating, in the first row. That meant I had the ample leg room.

Let’s just say I’m not sure I would have survived otherwise. That says a lot coming from me, because I’m not a big believer in the necessity to upgrade a fight ticket, even if you cant swing it financially.

8. Stay Hydrated

On the flight the air quality is poor, germ-ridden and dry. Drink water and stay hydrated. before you board, go to those wonderful magazine and snack places and get a liter bottle of water … or two. Make your husband carry them! I did.

While touring, it’s also equally necessary. In Italy, they are big one the aqua frizzante. I hate that stuff. Sometimes, even 5 star hotels only have that option.

Go to a bodega and get your some water for the hotel fridge. Lots of it. Water just isn’t as important abroad in my experience.

9. Do NOT Feel Badly About an Early Bedtime

I felt some guilt when I had to cash out after dinner. It was just too hard to endure any more fun.

Looking back, my husband and my mom, who were my travel buddies, really didn’t mind. And losing an hour or two of nightlife wasn’t all that big of a deal, looking back.

I could manage to hang until 10 or 11pm. After that, I NEEDED bed. Do what you and baby need and don’t feel badly!

In retrospect, I don’t feel as if I short-changed our trip!


10. Talk to Your Baby

Don’t forget your baby is in there, hanging out and having fun! Share your experience with your bundle!

I talked to Pierce in English and Italian. I had Italians rub my belly and bring him extra pasta. Enjoy yourself and your positivity will make sure baby has a positive vibe too!

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