Simple Tips & Hacks for Safe Work Trips while Pregnant

Can I Refuse to Travel for Work When Pregnant

You can refuse to go on a work trip when pregnant for various reasons. For instance, if the work trip is international, and may take a long time, you may feel it is not safe for you to travel for work, more so if you are more than 34 weeks.

Let your employer know early that you are pregnant, you might be able to request a “reasonable accommodation” that includes less or no travel. You have the option of opting out of both local and/or international work trips if you give your boss valid reasons for refusing to travel when pregnant.  

If you are vulnerable to any complications and risks, especially in the last pregnancies, it is best to avoid traveling for work; especially once your pregnancy has advanced.

Also, you need to have a larger discussion with your workplace about what the expectations are for your position and if traveling is part of it. Mention that work travel is not something you want to do now. You could always request your employer to move up or push back your trip, conference, workshop or training, etc. It is a valid reason and totally acceptable to not travel while pregnant.

You can request your employer for better work flexibility such as exceptions from work trips. You’re not going to get fired for bringing up the issue about your job requirements regarding high-risk travel such as while expecting a baby.

Also if you have an option of taking a virtual trip then it is more recommended than taking a physical business trip when pregnant. See if you can attend the meetings, conferences, or workshops online. If you can accomplish the need for the meeting virtually, there is no need for taking local or international trips when pregnant.

While opting out or refusing to take business trips while pregnant you need to refer to your contract or employee hand-book. Both documents will guide what the company policies or terms of your engagement say about you taking business trips under circumstances such as pregnancy.

You need to be guided by the code of conduct that indicates if you are allowed to refuse or not go on business trips.

Read: How Much Work Trips are Too Much Travelling

Is Travelling for Work when Pregnant Safe?

You can travel for work when pregnant as it does not harm you in any way.  Generally traveling for work both locally and internationally is safe and possible for pregnant working moms. Many working moms have successfully gone on work trips while pregnant. All you need is good planning for all eventualities.

Taking business trips when pregnant is not taking risks. Traveling, more so by air is one of the safest modes of traveling and you will be fine and safe when you take a trip while pregnant. Don’t feel guilty about traveling for your career. Pursuing your goals is an excellent reason to travel.

Read: How to Prepare for Work Travelling

You, therefore, need not wait till you have delivered. Traveling for work, even when pregnant is good for you and your career. You get to meet new people, and, see new places exposing yourself to better career and work opportunities.

You also get to network and expand your professional circle from people you meet both on local and international business trips when pregnant. All these are good reasons why not to pass up a good work trip while waiting for delivery.  

When to Stop Travelling for Work when Pregnant 

You can travel at any point in your pregnancy. You can travel for work both locally and internationally all the way till your delivery if you have approval from your doctor and the airline allows it. Some working women travel all the way up until their maternity leave starts.

But flying is pretty safe up until 36 weeks. Stop flying for work trips past this time. It is recommended to avoid traveling past 8 months or 36 weeks so that you eliminate the possibility of starting labor when you are on the trip.

The choice of your travel/ flight will determine when you can stop flying while pregnant. Different airlines have set different standards for pregnant women who are traveling. Most airlines will not allow women over 36 weeks of pregnancy to fly.

You also may need a doctor’s note on some airlines. Airlines may require a note from your doctor showing far along you are and that you are fit to fly. Some airlines will require that the note is written within 72 hours of the flight.

The main reason why traveling when pregnant is not recommended beyond 36 weeks is the risk of giving birth midflight. If you are traveling when you are more than 36 weeks, especially for flights more than 2 hours there is a chance you may go into labor mid-flight and there is no need to risk this.

Also, it is recommended to take flights ranging from 2-5 hours. If you are more than 34 weeks pregnant a flight of under 2 hours is recommended. Anything longer risks you having complications where you are further from home.

If you take a trip over 2 hours when past 36 weeks pregnant, the insurance can deny it if you need to go to an out-of-network hospital because you did travel farther away close to your due date. It would also mean that you have to give birth in a hospital that you have no insurance for or would not have preferred.

Simple Tips on Easy and Safe Work Trips when Pregnant 

1. Gets Doctor’s Approval for Safe Travel

Before taking a local or international trip while expecting a baby you need to get a doctor’s approval. Have your doctor assess your vulnerabilities and risks and rule out possibilities that the trip may not be safe for you.

Talking to your doctor about the trip will hugely ease your concerns. If you get the okay from the doctor, then it is safe taking the work trip during your pregnancy. Be happy and enjoy this trip.

2. Plan for the Trip in Advance

Taking any business trip successfully requires planning. Planning and carrying with you everything you need will help you relax and get comfortable while on the trip.

If you do not manage to have a plan in place you are likely to miss and forget stuff which will make you more anxious and stressed than you would if you were well planned for the trip before.

3. Carry Medications for Morning Sickness

If you take a business trip early in your pregnancy, you may still experience morning sickness. To manage this and ensure that your local or international business trip is easy and not awful have medications for morning sickness.

4. Practice Self-Care during the Trip

Even on a work trip you need to take good care of yourself. Eat healthy meals and have adequate sleep. Also, try getting up and moving around once in a while if you have long flights for the trip.

Pick an aisle seat as it is easier to stretch your legs and make your trip more comfortable. It’s worth telling the hostess that you’re pregnant, they might even give you some snacks and keep an eye on you.

5. Do Research on Hospital and Insurance at Destination

Research the hospitals which are close to your destination just in case you may go into labor when you are on the trip and may run into other complications. Also learn the process of using your health insurance abroad if it is applicable.

Read: How to Use a Long Work Commute TimeCrucial items to carry when travelling for work when pregnant

Crucial Items to Carry on Work Trips when Pregnant

  1. Compression Socks– They help with swelling on the feet
  2. Adequate Water – Necessary on the trip to keep yourself hydrated
  3. Pregnancy Medical Records – in case you have an emergency or go into labor
  4. Hospital Bag with all Necessities -just in case something happens. It will make attending to you easier when you have everything you need after any emergencies
  5. Snacks – to manage nausea such as granola bars or salted almonds as they avoid you staying on an empty stomach while midflight. It will help with nausea and general morning sickness especially if your pregnancy is in the first trimester at the time of travel
  6. Wear and Carry Comfortable Footwear – Comfortable footwear is crucial when taking business trips and pregnant because of easing your feet when walking or standing. It will make mobility and standing easy when on the trip especially at the airport or in between places.
  7. Carry Medicine and Get Vaccinated– You need to take medicine with if you are under any prescription you as you travel. Also do talk to your doctor about vaccines and get vaccinated if you need it. However, this may depend on the country that you will be traveling to for work.
  8. Travel Insurance -You may need traveling insurance especially if your pregnancy is high-risk or you are traveling past 36 weeks. Ensure that your insurance covers pregnancy complications in case you go into labor when traveling or have other complications.
  9. Rolling Bag -A rolling bag will help move your luggage about. A rolling bag is important when you are traveling and pregnant because it takes the weight of traveling off your shoulders.

Related Articles

How to Handle Being a Mom and Travelling for Work

How to Cope Leaving Baby for First Time an Travel for Work

How to Make a Work Trip with a Small Baby

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