July 21

Essential Pregnancy Travel Tips for Spain and Beyond

Travel with Baby and Kids

Have questions about travelling while pregnant in Spain? From what you can safely eat in Spain while pregnant to other top travel tips, here's our inside guide.

Travelling While Pregnant in Spain

How to say "I'm pregnant" in Spanish

Estoy embarazada - (essTOY embara- ZAH-da)

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And it goes without saying: check with your own doctor or midwife first. Rather than relying on something you read on the internet. But you were savvy enough to know that already, right? Right?!

Top Tips for Travel During Pregnancy

I travelled through Spain, Croatia, Italy and the Middle East while pregnant. Here's what I learned...

PORTABLE SNACKS & DRINKS

  • Always carry a snack with you. Dried fruit, crackers, nuts. Nothing that squashes too badly, melts or otherwise makes a mess.
  • Remind yourself you eat something every couple of hours, even if you’re not too hungry. Don’t wait to be hungry when travelling – you never know how long it will take to find something you can actually eat.
  • Always carry water with you.
  • USEFUL PHRASES

  • Learn the phrase for “I’m sorry, but I’m pregnant so I can’t eat…” in whichever language you’ll need. You can ditch the “I’m sorry” part if you’re neither British nor Canadian.
  • STICK TO YOUR GUNS

  • Make your peace with the fact that many people will take a perverse delight in trying to talk you out of the medical advice or corner you into discussions you never imagined you’d have about what constitutes a soft cheese. Laugh about this. On the inside.
  • Make your peace with the fact that “what’s safe to eat in pregnancy” advice varies across the world. And across the minds of people you’ll meet. Shrug it off and stick to what you’ll be happy living with. Other people won’t have to live with what happens: you will.
  • WHAT TO WEAR WHEN PREGNANT AND TRAVELLING

  • Expect your feet to swell more than usual. Pack forgiving shoes.
  • GO EASY WITH YOUR ITINERARY

  • Anticipate being slower than usual. Allow extra time to get to the gate - and, well, everywhere really. Create a forgiving itinerary.
  • Factor in more rest stops when driving. You need to get the circulation in your legs moving. And, well, toilet stops again.
  • WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN FLYING IN PREGNANCY

    • Ask for an aisle seat when you fly. You'll need to move around more to avoid blood clots, plus you'll likely need more trips to the toilet.
    • Invest, if you can call it that, in a pair of sexy anti-DVT stockings for flights.

    Happy travels during pregnancy!

     

    Remember, Every Pregnancy is Different

    Medical school had gently clued me up on this, but only in a pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes kind of way.


    Some sail right on through to six months, without even realising they're pregnant. Others suffer debilitating physical symptoms for every single one of those 37-42 weeks. And it's down to physical reactions, not mental strength.


    It's inspiring to read the "you go get 'em" advice from women who have been lucky but you'll notice that every respectable piece of advice has the words "unless there are complications" lurking not too far away.


    I would suggest booking last minute travel plans to avoid losing out on a whole load of money - and always be upfront with your travel insurance  company too.

     

    WHAT TO EAT WHEN PREGNANT IN SPAIN

    You will never go hungry when travelling in Spain, even while pregnant. However, there are a number of traditional Spanish foods that make it onto most pregnancy hit lists. 

    It's probably not worth heading to a gorgeous Michelin-starred restaurant while pregnant. Menus delight in cured ham, raw eggs and uncooked fish, the unholy trinity of foods to avoid when pregnant. 

    AVOID

    • Jamon and other uncooked cured ham products like chorizo.
    • Soft cheese
    • Shark (tiburón), swordfish (pez espada) and marlin (aguja.) These are particular treats in Galicia in the north of Spain.

    ENJOY

    • Manchego cheese - firm and buttery with small air pockets, this delicious cheese from the La Mancha reason is A-OK.
    • Gazpacho and salmorejo - cold, soup based vegetable dishes.
    • Fully cooked seafood - gambas, boquerones, paella.
    • Churros and chocolate!

    FURTHER RESOURCES FOR TRAVEL ADVICE DURING PREGNANCY


    Don’t be too scared!

    Travel tips for travel during pregnancy from an Amsterdam-based blogger.

    But don’t be foolhardy!

    Travel in Pregnancy - the stock issue UK NHS Advice


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  • Congrats Abi! You have started an amazing journey.
    I traveled quite a bit while pregnant and discovered that as much as I love New Zealand, Rotorua is not the best choice if you have morning/all-day sickness.
    I agree that last minute travel and excellent travel insurance are key. You just never know when you will be grounded!

    Reply

    • Ah, thank you Nancy! I love the thought of parenthood being an adventure. And yes. Morning/all day sickness. More than just words! Ah, to be able to travel back in time and show a LOT more understanding to other people!!!

      Reply

  • Argh the soft cheese conundrum. It was truly eye-opening to travel with an expectant mother and I definitely have more respect and understanding for those that globe-trot with a baby on board. I love this post though, it’s a wonderful reminder that it is possible with courage and forward-planning!

    Reply

    • Ah. The soft cheese moment. Some thing are just special :-) Thanks so much for your help – and the tips along the way. I think one of the lessons I definitely learned was that there is courage in…admitting defeat! Well, asking for help anyway. It’s no good to anyone if you run yourself into the ground. Look forward to reading about your travels with bump one day!

      Reply

  • Thank you for linking to my post and what a wonderful collection of experiences you’ve already collected on this journey. I hope you can enjoy these grounded months relaxing and resting. I definitely look back on my own pregnancy with rose-tinted glasses because I was so lucky in having such a smooth journey, but I do remember how confusing all the information is, how easy it was to feel uncertain and anxious, so I hope this and my own post reassures women that as you long as you follow your medical professional/midwife’s advice whatever you decide to do regarding travel (or not travelling!) is the right decision.

    Reply

    • Thanks for writing your post! I spent quite a while reading it (and others) for practical tips before going public with my own news. It’s certainly a change of pace to stay in one place – and earlier than expected – but, yes, medics/midwives should be listened to! And, well, for me, staying in one place is something of a new adventure anyway I suppose…!

      Reply

  • Very nice post ! I had two really easy pregnancies, so I can’t complain. I only had some problems in the car with bumping roads in the 8th month, but otherwise, no morning sickness, no sleeping problems – nothing !!

    Reply

    • Oh, I wish I could explain the amount of longing I have to switch bodies with you right now! I’m awake every 2-3 hours and I’m only 25 weeks! And still feeling sick! Ah well. I’m sure I read somewhere that difficult pregnancy = easy birth and while I’m pretty sure there’s no evidence to support that I’m going to cling to it for now anyway! Love Peru – cheers!

      Reply

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