Travel During Pregnancy

November 12, 2012

Travel During Pregnancy

Many women travel when they are pregnant and there is no reason why that shouldn’t be the case. But take a few precautions, don’t go too early or late in your pregnancy, find out about medical facilities at your destination and have good travel insurance with adequate cover.

In a normal pregnancy most women feel at their best in the 14 to 28 weeks time frame. This is probably the best time to travel. You could also take a copy of your medical records to assist if there is a problem and do not travel until your own doctor has given the ok.

The best time to travel

If you decide that you want to travel there are a few issues to consider. Some are not very serious, in a medical sense that is. How comfortable can you make yourself whilst on the move? If it’s a short trip then no problem, however give longer journeys a bit more thought.

Many pregnant women in their first 12 weeks of pregnancy will not want to go anywhere because of the feelings of sickness and fatigue they are experiencing. If everything is going well with the pregnancy then there is no cause for concern when travelling, just take the correct precautions. Things like ensuring that the medical facilities are adequate at your destination and having adequate health insurance.

It’s good to talk to your doctor or midwife before you go. If you are in your early stages the risks of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy are slightly higher and after 28 weeks the chance of a premature birth can be an issue. If everything checks out well with the doctor then neither point need be reason enough to cancel your trip .

Travel Tips for Pregnant Women

Most tips for travelling whether pregnant or not are common sense and with a little forethought and planning there will be no problems.

Here are some general tips to ensure you and your baby stay healthy during your travels.

If you are flying then ensure that you are not beyond the time the airlines will permit. Most airlines will not take women in their late stages of pregnancy. Between 14 weeks and 28 weeks is the optimum time to fly because there is a lower chance of miscarriage. And it is after the earlier stages where many women suffer from exhaustion and nausea.

If your flight is long haul, that’s more than five hours flying. Then be aware that there is a small risk of developing a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). All the airlines carry advice on how to avoid the risk. Do things like drink lots of non alcoholic liquids and move around frequently. You can also purchase compression stockings to reduce leg swelling but make sure that you wear them correctly because badly fitting garments can increase the threat of DVT.

Make sure that all of your vaccinations are up to date is a standard dictate from the medical community. However if you are pregnant it is advised that you do not get vaccinated. This is because the bacteria or virus in the jab may be harmful to your baby. The easy answer to this conundrum is to go to a country where immunisation isn’t necessary. If you must go to a country where immunisation is required then you should get inoculated because the risk of you getting an infectious disease far outweighs the risk to the baby of the jabs. Pregnant women should not take anti malarial tablets.

Car or bus travel can cause feelings of nausea and fatigue, especially if you are pregnant. Some simple things to do include, ensuring fresh air circulates, keep cool, drink frequently, eat healthily and stop for breaks whenever you can. Go with a companion if possible and wear any seat belts across your pelvis.

Ferry companies, like the airlines have guidelines and may refuse to carry heavily pregnant women. Find out if these rules are likely to affect you before booking. Cruise ships will probably have medical facilities on board but check just to be sure.

If in doubt about the quality of tap water then drink bottled water. Do not eat fruit that you cannot peel yourself. The hands preparing any ‘loose’ fruit may not be as clean as you would like. If you do get a stomach upset or diarrhoea, remember that some medications are not suitable for pregnant women. Ensure that you do not allow yourself to become dehydrated and try to keep eating because baby still needs nourishment.

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