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4 Unexpected Moments You'll Have Traveling While Pregnant

Student Work
by Gina Douglas Tarnacki Mar 20, 2015

1. Going through check-in gets a lot more complicated.

Your laptop is out, your shoes are off, your toiletries divided and in a clear ziploc bag. All is well in the security checkpoint line at the airport as you’re about to take off on your first flight as a pregnant woman. But as you approach the full body scanner you suddenly realize maybe you should have been researching something besides bassinet options and nursery paint colors. You flip around and locate a TSA agent.

“Wait, I’m pregnant. Can I go through that?”

“Itisfinebutitisnoproblemifyouwantooptout,” the TSA lady says in a bored, monotone voice.

You pause. Is it really ok? Or does she have to say that and she’s actually giving you a hint by quickly pointing out in the same breath that you can opt out?

You err on the side of the caution and opt out of the scanner, then nervously await your patdown and wonder if it is really necessary.

To your surprise, the patdown isn’t so bad. General rule of thumb: People are nice to pregnant ladies.

“Oh, so that’s why you opted out,” the friendly TSA lady says as she pats down your stomach.

Second surprise, you are definitely showing.

Deciding whether or not to opt out of the airport scanner if you don’t typically do so is one of the first unexpected parts of traveling you may run into when traveling while pregnant. But as your trip continues, you’ll likely find that it’s not the only one.

2. Layovers seem way longer.

Your layover is only two hours long, but it seems like it is dragging on foooorrreeeever. You don’t usually mind layovers, but this one seems so boring. Then it dawns on you: You typically have a glass of wine in your hand right about now. You suddenly realize telling your friend the other day that you barely miss alcohol was a big, fat lie. Of course you miss alcohol. Especially while traveling.

3. You can’t eat the local delicacy.

Locals are raving about the (fill in the blank of some delectable regional dish or snack) you have to try and you’re all excited to taste it, until you’re about to take that first bite and remember you can’t eat it. You sigh and put the delicious-looking piece of fish (too much mercury!), cold cut piece of meat (listeria alert!), or chocolate bonbon (filling is made with rum!) down and do a mental countdown of how many days are left in this pregnancy of yours.

4. Traveling does not erase hormones.

Raging hormones aren’t a surprise during pregnancy. Still, you’re a traveler so obviously you’ll be just fine when you’re in your happy place — traveling…until you get teary because you get a middle seat on the airplane. Then you flip out when your partner suggests checking out a local bar instead of taking a nap. Did he forget that you can’t drink alcohol and no you do not want a Shirley Temple and that carrying his child is exhausting? When you find yourself crying yet again a few hours later over only having two pillows on your hotel bed (shouldn’t the hotel intuitively know that you now need no less than five pillows to sleep?) you unexpectedly start to wonder if you’ll ever want to travel again.

Until that little babe is born, and then you can’t wait to start showing him or her the world. After all, if you managed to travel while pregnant, surely you can handle traveling with a baby…right?

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