We had been longing to go on a nice vacation. Both of us were terribly busy with both work and life in general. After much research (social media and otherwise), reading multiple travel blogs and swooning over Instagram photos, we zeroed in on Japan. To tell you the truth, we had no idea we were going to get pregnant, but there was something so serene and magical about this country that we just had to go… no matter what.
The best time to visit Japan is during Sakura/cherry blossom (March-April). It gets really cold in Japan and having lived all our lives in Mumbai, 22 degrees is considered cold for us. We decided to go in mid-April, which in retrospect wasn’t the most ideal time to observe Sakura, the season had moved on to the northern part of the country. But we did see a number of pink trees in Osaka, Kyoto and Nara and was perfect for my 5-months pregnant wife who is not too fond of the cold weather.
You need to keep these points in mind while travelling with your pregnant wife:
- Consult your doctor – The first three months of a pregnancy are considered to be crucial for the development of the foetus and it is during this time that the woman is most cautious and has to be taken care of. In our case, we had already booked practically everything and fortunately for us, my wife had already passed the three months threshold. The doctor we consulted was more than happy to give a go ahead on our plans, obviously we had to be cautious and not over-exert.
- Doctor’s certificate – For the mom to be, the most important thing you will need on your travels is a doctor’s certificate that clearly indicates how far along you are. This sheet of paper will be the most powerful document that you’ll possess. No more standing in long immigration lines at airports, or to check in. As per airport rules, you get to go straight to the front. At the Osaka airport, the official didn’t believe that my wife was 5 months pregnant (I didn’t blame her, my wife is 5ft 9in and didn’t look very pregnant with all the layers of clothing) and also wasn’t aware of the rule. So I had to go and show the letter to prove that my wife was indeed pregnant. These guys felt so contrite that they even offered to get a wheelchair for her, obviously we didn’t accept.
- Medicines – Make sure that you carry a good supply of prescribe medicines – iron, folic acid, calcium, vitamins, etc. Unlike India, foreign countries are not allowed to give medicines over the counter without a prescription. So make sure you stock up.
- Travel light – No seriously, I mean it. Remember that your wife will not and should not lift heavy luggage, so be very economical in your packing and don’t carry unnecessary items, which will become a hindrance on your travels.
- Do not overexert – Both of us love walking when we go for holidays, that is the best way to explore any new land. But with her pregnancy we had to plan things out in a way that didn’t involve too much walking. Though we would clock 7-8 kms every day, she would prefer to rest while I would go further out and explore the place.
- Eat on time – Do not be selfish and skip meals just because you want to pack in more into your itinerary. At no point should you forget that your wife is eating for two people. So plan your day in such a way that you’ll can break for meals accordingly. And always carry a drink or a snack in case of unforeseen situations.
- Avoid raw food – The irony of this trip couldn’t have been overstated. My wife absolutely loves sushi and we were in the land of sushi. We went through the entire trip without eating even one piece of sushi. Always have cooked food, you do not want any medical emergencies in a foreign land especially with a pregnant woman.
- Sleep on time – Your wife is going to get tired sooner than usual. It is absolutely essential that she goes to bed on time and gets enough sleep
So don’t worry about travelling with your pregnant wife, with the right planning, your trip will be very memorable