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Smooth Sailing

By Catherine | | No Comments

Cruise holiday can be a relaxing treat for pregnant travelers

If you’re a first-time cruiser, being pregnant might not be the best time to head out on the high seas. Some people are more prone to seasickness than others, and now’s probably not the best time to find out if you’re one of them.

However, if you’re a seasoned sailor and you’re past the nausea stage, a cruise might be a wonderful, relaxing, romantic treat for you and your partner to enjoy some fresh ocean air before you give birth. Just take it easy with the all-you-can eat temptations or you’ll be risking heartburn as well as sunburn on board.

The usual caveat applies – discuss your travel plans with your healthcare provider to get the green light before embarking on a voyage. You may even want to carry a letter from your doc stating your due date, any medication you may be taking and overall health condition just to avoid any concerns at the pier or ports of call. Also, you might want to avoid routes that dock in countries where food and water hygiene are questionable, just to err on the side of caution.

Each cruise line has its own policy on pregnant passengers. Many don’t allow you to travel onboard past 25 weeks for liability reasons. Do your homework before you make a booking.

All cruise lines have medical professionals on staff, but it’s a good idea to check ahead to ensure this is the case and to find out what medical amenities are on board. You might want to make sure the route isn’t sailing too far from modern medical facilities, should the need arise.

Stick with the larger cruise ships and try to book a mid-ship cabin close to the water line for optimum stability.

Take advantage of an online check-in option so you can avoid long line-ups and fiddly bureaucracy at the pier. Fill a carry-on bag with a swimsuit, change of clothes and a book so you can go ahead, get off your (swollen) feet and start the vacation while you wait for your checked bags to be delivered to your cabin.

Keep a steady hand on the railings and watch your step as you cruise around the ship on foot. Getting your sea legs may be a little more challenging when you’re center of gravity is altered. You’ve got enough balance issues going on and now’s not a good time to trip.

Taking conventional motion sickness pills or patches is not an option for a pregnant woman as the medicine can cross the placenta into the fetus. Try acupressure wrist bands that are readily available at pharmacies and travel shops. Ginger lozenges and gingerale may also help quell nausea.

Avoid spicy or greasy food and opt for frequent, light, healthy snacks – most cruise liners make a special effort to offer a range of healthier fare, along with their gluttony spreads. Spend a lot of time on deck and gaze and the horizon.

You’re cruise focus should be on rest and relaxation, not heavy sightseeing at the various ports of call or late-night dancing on the Lido deck. Although it may sound soothing, skip the hot tub as increasing your internal temperature is not good for the developing fetus.

Put your feet up and enjoy being pampered like a baby – most cruise ships do that well.


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