There are few pregnancy and travel related concerns;however, the information below is provided to help make your tripthe safest and most comfortable it can be.
Pregnancy and Travel: Can you Travel the Entire Pregnancy?
As long as there are no identified complications or concerns withyour pregnancy, it is generally safe to travel at all times duringyour pregnancy.
The ideal time to travel during pregnancy is the second trimester.In most cases, you are past the morning sickness of the first trimesterand several weeks from the third stage of pregnancy when you are moreeasily fatigued.
Travel and Pregnancy: Land Travel while Pregnant
Whether you are going by car, bus, or train, it is generally safeto travel while you are pregnant; however, there are some things toconsider that could make your trip safer and more comfortable.
- It is essential to buckle-up every timeyou ride in a car. Make sure that you use both the lap and shoulderbelts for the best protection of you and your baby.
- Keep the air bags turned on. The safetybenefits of the air bag outweigh any potential risk to you and yourbaby.
- Buses tend to have narrow aisles and smallrestrooms. This mode of transportation can be more challenging.The safest thing is to remain seated while the bus is moving. Ifyou must use the restroom, make sure to hold on to the rail or seatsto keep your balance.
- Trains usually have more room to navigateand walk. The restrooms are usually small. It is essential to holdon to rails or seat backs while the train is moving.
- Try to limit the amount of time you arecooped up in the car, bus, or train. Keep travel time around fiveto six hours.
- Userest stops to take short walks and to do stretches to keep the bloodcirculating.
Pregnancy and Travel: Air Travel While you are Pregnant?
Traveling by air is considered safe for women while they are pregnant;however, the following ideas might make your trip safer and more comfortable.
- Most airlines allow pregnant women to travelthrough their eighth month. Traveling during the ninth month isusually allowed if there is permission from your health care provider.
- Most airlines have narrow aisles and smallerbathrooms, which makes it more challenging to walk and more uncomfortablewhen using the restroom. Because of potential turbulence that couldshake the plane, make sure you are holding on to the seat backswhile navigating the aisle.
- You may want to choose an aisle seat whichwill allow you to get up more easily to reach the restroom or justto stretch your legs and back.
- Travel on major airlines with pressurizedcabins and avoid smaller private planes. If you must ride in smallerplanes, avoid altitudes above 7,000 feet.
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Travel and Pregnancy: Sea travel while pregnant
Traveling by sea is generally safe for women while they are pregnant;the motion of the boat may accentuate any morning sickness or makeyou feel nauseous all over again. There are a few considerations tomake your trip safer and more comfortable.
- Check with the cruise line to ensure thatthere is a health care provider on board in case there are any complications.
- Review the route and port-of-calls to identifyif there is access to any medical facilities if needed.
- Make sure any medications for seasicknessare approved for women who are pregnant and that there is no riskto the developing baby.
- Seasickness bands use acupressure points to helpprevent upset stomach and may be a good alternative to medication.
Pregnancy and Travel: International Travel while Pregnant?
Traveling overseas has the same considerations that local or domestictravel has, but it also has additional concerns that you need to knowabout before making an international trip. The information below isprovided to help you assess whether an international trip is goodfor you at this time.
- It is important to talk with your health careprovider before you take a trip internationally to discuss safetyfactors for you and your baby.
- Discuss immunizations with your health careprovider and carry a copy of your health records with you.
- With international travel, you may be exposedto a disease that is rare here in the United States, but is commonin the country you visit.
- Contact the Centers for Disease Controland Prevention at (800) 311-3435 or visit their website at www.cdc.govto receive safety information along with immunization facts relatedto your travels.
- Diarrhea is acommon concern when traveling overseas because you may not be usedto the germs and organisms found in the food and water of othercountries. This can lead to a problem of dehydration. Here are sometips to avoid diarrhea and help keep you safe:
- Drink plenty of bottled water
- Used canned juices or soft drinks asalternatives
- Make sure the milk is pasteurized
- Avoid fresh fruits and vegetables unlessthey have been cooked or can be peeled (such as an orange ora banana)
- Make certain that all meat and fishhas been cooked completely; if you are unsure, do not eat it
Travel and Pregnancy: Making Best of your Travels while Pregnant
- Dress comfortably in loose cotton clothingand wear comfortable shoes.
- Take your favorite pillow.
- Plan for plenty of rest stops, restroombreaks and stretches.
- Carry snack foods with you.
- If you are traveling any distance, makesure to carry a copy of your prenatal records.
- Wear your seatbelt and take other safetymeasures.
- Enjoy the trip.
Compiled using information from the following sources:
Planning Your Pregnancy and Birth Third Ed.The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Ch. 5.
William’s Obstetrics Twenty-Second Ed. Cunningham,F. Gary, et al, Ch. 8.