Fears for pregnant Meghan: Is she doing too much?
An expert weighs in...
October 21 2018
Meghan Markle – now the Duchess of Sussex – has revealed she is ‘running on adrenaline’ and feels ‘a bit tired’ as she tours Australia.
And as she is said to be 15 weeks pregnant with her first child, some are questioning if the mum-to-be is doing too much?
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are on a 16-day royal tour and Meghan was scheduled to under-take 70 engagements.
However, after a busy week of engagements, the palace announced late on Saturday that Meghan Markle would cut back her schedule. On Sunday, she attended two events but skipped one, an Invictus Games cycling competition, and Harry went alone. Harry told competitors that Meghan, 37, was 'resting at home [as] being pregnant takes its toll'.
As Meghan battles jet-lag and the constant pressures of royal engagements one expert believes there are some health tips the pregnant duchess should be following.
According to Pradnya Pisal, consultant gynaecologist and obstetrician at London Gynaecology, travelling while pregnant ‘is safe’ – but ‘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,” Pradnya says.
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. Pradnya 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.
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.
Pradnya’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 Pradnya saying: “Taking more breaks to truly relax will help energy levels.”
Pradnya’s top tip? “Better to start the day late, as nausea is worse early in the morning,” she says.
Whilst we’re used to seeing Meghan in skyscraper stilettos, Pradnya 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,” Pradnya 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.
Katherine is Executive Editor of News & Features for New Idea and a real-life specialist with 17 years of experience in Australia and the UK