Tips for Travel During Pregnancy
It is though safe to travel at all times during pregnancy. The ideal time to travel is during the second trimester of pregnancy. But, depending on your condition check in with your healthcare provider to make sure that you can travel. Here are a few tips that can ease out your travel plan and avoid any unnecessary complications.
Travel By Car
- Car travel can be made safe by wearing seat belts even though there are airbags to ensure safety. Strap the lower belt across the thighs and hips but not over the abdomen. Put the shoulder belt across the chest.
- If sitting in front of an airbag, slide your seat behind as much as possible and tilt the seat slightly back so that the distance between the chest and airbag is increased.
- Make sure the travel time is brief and limit the driving to not more than 5-6 hours a day.
- Plan to make frequent stops for moving around and stretching the legs.
- During long trips, take regular intervals to urinate and reduce pressure in the bladder. Also, go for short walks after every 2 hours to increase blood circulation in the legs.
Travel By Airplane
- Traveling by air during pregnancy has quite a few restrictions. Expectant mothers after the 36 months of pregnancy may require a medical certificate. For international flights, the cutoff point is often earlier. So be aware of it.
- Prefer an aisle seat so that it could be easier for getting up and stretching the legs during a long flight.
- Ensure wearing the seatbelt at all the times on the hips and not on your bump.
- Motion sickness during pregnancy is common. Therefore, consult a doctor and get nausea medications before air travel. Some airlines have narrow aisles and smaller bathrooms, making it more challenging to walk and uncomfortable using restrooms. In such cases, make sure you are holding onto backs of seat while navigating the aisle.
- Travel on airlines having pressurized cabins and avoid smaller private planes. If riding on smaller planes restrict altitudes above 7000 feet.
- Though doubtful, risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) can be preventedby wearing compression stockings.
- Avoid foods that can lead to acidity such as carbonated drinks before boarding a flight.
Travel By ShipTravel by sea is considered to be safe for pregnant women. However, the motion of boat can cause morning sickness or may trigger nausea.
- Pregnant women are prone to sea sickness. Therefore, wear acupressure bands while traveling to prevent sea sickness.
- Ask if there are any medical practitioners available on board and ensure there are medical facilities on the route of travel in case of emergency.
- There are chances of norovirus infection among ship passengers, which is transmitted through contaminated food, water and surfaces. Therefore, check if authorities have conducted a health inspection on the cruise line before booking it.
- Get nausea medications from a doctor before traveling by sea.
Traveling Out of Country
- International Travel tends to be riskier than a domestic one. Therefore, consult your gynecologist before going overseas.
- Carry all your health records if in the case of getting admitted to a hospital at the place of visit.
- Restrict traveling to countries that are prone to epidemics like malaria, dengue, etc.
- Always drink boiled water from a clean water bottle to prevent unnecessary problems like diarrhea while traveling.
- Avoid eating street foods, cut vegetables and fruits and raw meat or seafood.
Travel During First Trimester (1-12 Weeks)The first trimester of pregnancy is crucial as it tends to be the period of significant fetal development. Many physical changes can trigger nausea, fatigue and frequent urination. Traveling during this time is considered to be safe unless experiencing severe fatigue and vomiting. If traveling overseas consult your doctor and make all the necessary preparations. The risk of miscarriage is high during this period.
Travel During Second Trimester (13-27 Weeks)The second trimester is a great period for travel. This period will be very comfortable than the first and the third. Long-distance travel is convenient during this time. But make sure you are taking frequent breaks and stretching the legs.
Travel During Third Trimester (28 - Birth)This period is considered to be an anxious time for expectant mothers. The risks of traveling during the third trimester include clotting of blood, pregnancy complication, preterm birth and exposure to infections. Avoid long road and air travel. Many international flights do not allow pregnant women to travel overseas after 36 weeks of pregnancy. It is best to avoid travel during this time for a happier childbirth.
Making the Best of Travel
- Dress comfortably in loose cotton clothes and comfortable shoes.
- Take plenty of rest, restroom breaks and stretching.
- Wear seatbelt at all times.
- Carry hygienic foods and boiled water along.
- If traveling far, carry all your medical records.
- Enjoy your trip.