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12 Mommy Survival Tips For Doing Disney World Pregnant

[fa icon="calendar"] Sun, Jun 09, 2013 @ 10:48 AM / by Sally Black

Sally Black

Disney World PregnantSometimes, even with the very best of planning - Surprise!  - You find yourself doing Disney World pregnant.
First of all - congratulations on your new little mouseketeer! Just because you're pregnant it doesn't mean that you have to put your life on hold or not enjoy the fun of a Disney park visit.  It simply means that you're a princess that just needs a little extra pampering to keep you and your baby safe & healthy.
The  survival tips offered here come from my 10 years working in hospitals as a registered nurse specializing in maternal child health. I also offer this advice as a mom who has done Disney World pregnant not once but twice.  The first time I was 7 months along with my first baby and we were invited spur of the moment to visit relatives.  Second time was during the summer months with my 3 year old and 2 year. We had planned this vacation far in advance and surprise, I became pregnant with our third.
1. Tell Your Health Care provider - Your doctor or midwife can make the best suggestions for the health of you and your baby. Let them know your plans then listen and follow their advice.
2. Buy Travel Insurance - If you are of child bearing years and planning a vacation, it is always wise to protect yourself with travel insurance. Be sure you are covered for medical care, trip interruption and trip cancellation. Read the policy fine print carefully regarding pregnancy to make sure you're fully covered while on vacation.
3. Know Airline Regulations - If you plan on flying to the parks, know that the airlines have strict policies in place regarding pregnant moms.  As a pregnant passenger, it is your responsiblity to know these rules, abide by them and to obtain any necessary doctor's permissions. If not, the airlines may not allow you to board their planes and you will forfeit the cost of your plane ticket(s) and perhaps the cost of your entire vacation.

4. Plan Your Daily Itinerary - Park visitors walk an average of 6-10 miles per day on an average park visit.  Plan a daily park itinerary in advance. This will help to save you unnecessry walking and keep you from getting over tired.  Prioritize the most important attractions that you want to visit. Give yourself PLENTY of extra time for frequent breaks, naps and bathroom stops.  Be smart and treat yourself kindly. This is no time to become a Disney Park commando.
5. Pack Wisely - Forget about making a fashion statement and think about comfort & safety.  Pack loose, light, comfortably fitting clothes. Do not wear anything that cuts or binds as this could seriously effect your circulation. As your baby bump grows, it will effect your center of gravity and throw you off balance. This can become an issue with steps and inclines throughout the parks.  Wear comfortable, flat shoes or running shoes/sneakers with plenty of support. This kind of footwear will give your body extra support and stablize you  preventing falls and injuries.
6. Heavy Lifting - Vacations often mean heavy lifting between suitcases, backpacks and other small children. Check with your doctor as to how much you're allowed to lift. When you do need to lift anything, be sure to use proper posture and body mechanics. Bend using your knees and legs, not just by hinging your back.
7. Stay Hydrated -This can quickly become a major health threat considering high park temperatures during summer months combined with extra exertion. Pregnant moms are at risk for heat exhaustion.

When moms become dehydrated their blood becomes more concentrated due to less water volume. This can raise certain hormone levels making them suceptible to premature labor as well as several other major health risks. Signs that you are starting to become dehydrated are:

  • Profuse Sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Thirst
  • Muscle Cramps

More severe symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Decreased sweating or dry skin
  • Dark colored Urine

As important as it is to recognize heat related symptoms, it is more important to prevent them. To prevent dehydration, pregnant moms MUST drink 8 to 10 ounces or a glass of water every HOUR whether they are thirsty or not (If you're thirsty, then there is already a problem). It's easy to become distracted while having fun so it is important to set an alarm, have a check list or have a buddy remind you. In addition, avoid caffeine or salty sodas.

8. Keep Cool - Moms with elevated core body temperatures are putting their babies at risk. Besides staying well hydrated, do your best to enjoy the parks in the early mornings and evenings while avoiding the hot midday sun. Consider a midday pool dip for a refreshing break in the action. Spend time in air conditioning and shade whenever possible.

7. Swelling - Pregnancy and heat = swollen hands and feet. Wear appropriate shoes, loose clothing and remove rings to keep yourself comfortable (leave important or sentimental rings safe at home). Elevating your feet will help your circulation and alleviate swelling. Do your best to lay down and elevate your feet above your heart so that gravity will work to decrease the fluid in your ankles. Prop your hands up on pillows, also above heart level, to help puffy fingers. Limit salty foods to help prevent water retention. Check labels because surprisingly high amounts of salt can be found in unsuspecting foods like sodas and dressings. If your wake up in the morning and your ankles remain swollen even after being elevated all night, check with your doc as this could be an early warning sign for pre eclampsia or other serious conditions.

8. Choose Good Foods - You may be on vacation but avoid going overboard on junk foods and empty calories.  If you are early in your pregnancy you may be experiencing morning sickness. Later on in your pregnancy heartburn or indigestion may become an issue. It's best to eat several small nutricious meals throughout the day. This will not only make your feel better but it will help to balance your blood sugar which will help to keep your energy levels up.

9. Stay Regular - Changes in foods, schedule and even airplane altitude can effect your bowel habits.  Concerns about finding a bathroom in the parks at a precise moment doesn't help matters. Do your best to eat fiber rich foods and talk to your health care professional about suggestions for supplements so that you can be prepared. You don't want to feel uncomfortable while trying to enjoy your vacation and unnecessary straining is not good for either of you.

10. Backaches - Your pelvis and spine go through major changes to create interior space for your baby. As your pregnancy progresses, your joints actually loosen in order to prepare for labor. This can cause back strain and pain. Excessive walking in theme parks certainly doesn't help matters. Good news, Disney offers pregnant moms two great remedies. First Disney has fantastic pools. Water means weightlessness so this can really help to give your body some relief from sore muscles and back pain. The second option is to plan a little "mommy time" at one of Disney's incredible spas. They have the means to accommodate your tummy and expert hands that know how to relieve sore muscles.

11. Know Before you Ride - There are certain rides at Disney that pregnant moms must simply avoid. Space mountain or Mission to Mars seem like no brainers. Still there are other rides like the Kilamanjaro Safari that are rough, bumpy and less obvious. If you're not 100% certain, be sure to ask a cast member. They are there to help and it's always better to be safe than sorry. Just about every atrraction offers a waiting or exit area where you wait for others in your party if you choose not to ride.

12. Ask For Help - Sometimes, we are our own worst enemies. Remember, you are a mom to be, not wonder woman. You don't have super human strength. Listen to what your body tells you. If you are feeling fatigued, give in and take a rest. If you're hungry, stop and eat something. Now is a time when others need to cater to your needs, not the other way around. This may be difficult if you have other children but do know Disney does have wonderful child care services if you need help. Sometimes, a little bit of relief goes a very long way in keeping you happy and your baby healthy.


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Topics: Baby Vacations, Family Vacation Health, Disney Vacations

Sally Black

Written by Sally Black

Sally is the Founder of Vacationkids.com Travel Agency and author of the book "Fearless Family Vacations". She is also the Director of Travel Agent Initiatives and Training at The Family Travel Association.