Jet lag isn’t fun. Over the years I have figured out how to get myself through it though. Jet lag while pregnant is doable with some modifications. You need to listen to your body and take a little extra time to allow you body clock to switch over.
Jet lag while pregnant with a toddler is a whole different story though. No longer can you ease your way into a new time zone, sleep in when you need to and take a quick nap. No, you are up at 4am, 6am, whenever, with your toddler while trying to control the nausea that popped back up when you forgot to drink enough water or eat enough nutritious food.
There are ways to make it through. Don’t loose hope and don’t stop traveling just because of a few hiccups.
- Drink water. The worst thing you can do is let yourself get dehydrated. Even if you were not pregnant, water is a great way to combat jet lag.
- Eat some fruit if it’s available. Anytime I have done a major time change, eating fruit the first few mornings has helped me readjust my clock. It gives me the vitamins my body craves and helps me get moving in the morning.
- Take a walk. Stretch your limbs and get outside into the fresh air and (hopefully) sun. This helps your body readjust it’s time clock.
- Get out in the sun. It will help rejuvenate your body and spirit as you take on this next adventure.
- If you have a travel partner in crime, recruit them to help. Take turns getting up with the toddler so you can get some rest
- Know your limits. When you have had enough, say so. Break some rules, let the kid watch a movie if you need to take a time out.
- Get your caffeine fix. If you are not opposed to caffeine while pregnant, treat yourself to a nice morning coffee, tea or chai latte the first few days. It will help jump start your day and wash away some of the hazy feeling from the trip.
- Steal every pillow in the rental house or ask housekeeping for a few more. You need to get a good night sleep. If the only way you can do that is with your usual army of pillows tucked around you go for it. Don’t be shy about asking for as many as you need.
- Have patience. Just like before you got pregnant, jet lag can take a few days to wear off. But it will go away.
- Enjoy the things you can do. Even if you can’t move at your normal pace, you still made it out of the house and are off on an adventure. Try to keep that in mind. Have a leisurely meal. Stroll through the local park. See one sight a day instead of 12. Everything in moderation doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun.
Once you return home, you will face another round of jet lag.
- If you have other kids, considering asking a family member to help or hire a babysitter for a day or two. You will be able to nap, unpack and settle back in without kids underfoot.
- If you will be returning to work, consider taking one extra day off upon your return. I hate to waste vacation days at home, but when pregnant you just need a little extra time to get yourself together. A restful day after travel can help you jump back into life with a little more ease.
Please note that all advice is my own and what I have gleaned from my travels and experiences. Doctors have not verified this information. Use your judgement and ask you OB/GYN or midwife if you are uncertain or have concerns.
written by Keryn Means