As I wrote here recently, I reject the notion that I need to choose between my personal and professional identities. And here’s some concrete advice about how I stayed true to my role as a busy CEO during my first pregnancy.
1. Choose your airline carefully
Perks vary widely between airlines, and when you’re traveling while pregnant, you’ll take all the perks you can get — so keep this in mind when making your accommodations. Since it’s hard to predict when you may feel crummy and need an extra day on either end of your trip, opt for carriers with flexible cancellation policies. And the ability to select your seat while booking is a game-changer (think: more leg space or an aisle seat with easy access to the restroom). Southwest is my go-to!
2. Embrace your inner 80-year-old
Compression socks and heels are the new norm. For long-haul flights, circulation can be a serious issue. There’s nothing better than wearing compression socks under a long, flowing dress and some wedge heels. Your calves have never feel so svelte!
3. Flip-flop swap
Being comfortable matters. For days when even compression socks can’t make your heels bearable, trade them for flip-flops during flights and make the switch after you land.
Drink an insane amount of water on the plane. It will not only counteract the dehydrating effects of travel, but it’s also kind of fun to watch everyone nervously eye the pregnant lady as she gets up 10 times on a flight to use the restroom.
5. Ride-share whenever possible
If for no other reason, the sheer smell of pumping gas into a rental car while pregnant can be a terrible experience, not to mention the extra logistics required to return a car on time.
6. Stack meetings around snacks
When you touch down and have eight meetings back-to-back, you have to be intentional about hydration and food. It’s one thing to hurriedly pull snacks from your bag en-route to meetings, but it is a much better experience to bring your meetings toward your food source. Suggest chatting over lunch or meeting at a cafe or restaurant, and never apologize for being the hungry pregnant lady.
7. Treat yourself
My get-ready routine takes about seven minutes, so I’m not speaking from a position of daily pampering, but travel feels more fun and less stressful if you’re intentional about taking care of yourself. Find simple ways to remove the drudgery of a business trip — and the discomfort that often comes with taking said trip while pregnant.
On more than one occasion, I’ve hopped on a flight with my hair in a bun, prego dress on, compression socks tight, heels in my bag, and taken a Lyft straight to a blow dry bar upon arrival. Thirty minutes later, I’m ready to start my series of meetings feeling like a badass.
Courtney Klein is the Co-Founder and CEO of SEED SPOT, a nationally ranked and Emmy award winning social impact incubator for early stage entrepreneurs in communities and schools across the country. Courtney has been profiled for her work by Inc, Forbes, Huffington Post, Conscious Company Magazine and has won numerous business awards and accolades. She resides in Los Angeles, is married to an entrepreneur, has a nearly 3-year old daughter and a son on the way. Courtney is an active yogi and Ironman finisher.