Travelling during early pregnancy: What will Meghan need to be aware of?

15th Oct 18 | Lifestyle

The newly-pregnant Duchess is spending the next two weeks on the road.

Meghan wedding day documentary

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have touched down in Australia for their first official tour as a married couple, which is made even more exciting by the announcement that Meghan is pregnant with their first child.

However, the happy news makes us wonder – how will Meghan cope with such a jam-packed schedule? Their two-week itinerary includes attending the Invictus Games, as well as flying out to New Zealand and Fiji.

Meghan and Harry arrive in Australia
Meghan and Harry arrive in Australia (AP)

Pradnya Pisal, consultant gynaecologist and obstetrician at London Gynaecology says: “If you’re are experiencing a normal pregnancy without complications, travelling when pregnant is safe – you just need to use your common sense about knowing your limits.

“The second trimester tends to be the best time to travel, as morning sickness will usually have passed and your growing bump won’t be too big that it stops you from travelling around.”


With this in mind, we’ve put together some key things for Meghan to consider and monitor closely when travelling in the early stages of pregnancy.


Dehydration is a potential problem for all travellers, and anyone who’s been on long plane trips will be well aware of the need to drink more water than you’re used to.

However, pregnant women have to be even more on top of this. Pisal explains: “Early pregnancy causes nausea and can lead to dehydration.” This means Meghan will have to ensure she’s drinking plenty of water – both when travelling in the air and also in the hot climate of Australasia.


Duchess of Sussex
The Duchess will have to watch what she eats, just in case it makes her feel nauseous (Ben Stansall/PA)

As this is Meghan’s first pregnancy, she won’t know how she’ll react to different types of food – which has the potential to make for some awkward official dinners.

Pisal’s advice is to “eat small quantities at a time and more frequently, rather than big meals”. Not only this, but she also recommends keeping sugary sweets on hand, as this could help with any motion sickness caused by travelling.


With such a busy schedule, Meghan will have to be extra careful to ensure she’s getting enough rest on the road. Even though it might be hard to disrupt the couple’s tightly-organised agenda, the Duchess will have to speak up if she needs to slow down, with Pisal saying: “Taking more breaks to truly relax will help energy levels.”

Pisal’s top tip? “Better to start the day late, as nausea is worse early in the morning,” she says.


Meghan high heels
Meghan’s normal footwear might prove uncomfortable when her feet swell (Arthur Edwards/PA)

Whilst we’re used to seeing Meghan in skyscraper stilettos, Pisal says: “Feet can get swollen when pregnant, so I hope Meghan has packed some comfortable shoes.”

All travellers are recommended to keep moving when flying, but this is even more important for pregnant women. “Leg cramps can also be common in pregnancy, so it’s best to do some stretching and wander around more,” Pisal says. “Flight socks can also be useful when pregnant, to keep your circulation moving on a long journey.”

Pregnant women have a slightly high risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) when flying, so Meghan should make sure she’s moving around regularly and doing various leg and feet exercises to reduce swelling. The NHS recommends that you should move around every 30 minutes or so when flying, so it would be wise for Meghan to nab an aisle seat.

© Press Association 2018