Things Your Should Know About Traveling While Pregnant
There are some pregnancy and travel related concerns; however, the information below is provided to help make your trip the safest and most comfortable it can be.
Should You Travel at all During Your Pregnancy?
As long as there are no identified complications or concerns with your pregnancy, it is generally safe to travel at all times during your pregnancy. The ideal time to travel during pregnancy is the second trimester. In most cases, you are past the morning sickness of the first trimester and several weeks from the third stage of pregnancy when you are more easily fatigued.
Traveling By Air During Pregnancy
Whether you are going by car, bus, or train, it is generally safe to travel while you are pregnant; however, there are some things to consider that could make your trip safer and more comfortable.
- It is essential to buckle-up every time you ride in a car. Make sure that you use both the lap and shoulder belts for the best protection of you and your baby.
- Keep the air bags turned on. The safety benefits of the air bag outweigh any potential risk to you and your baby.
- Buses tend to have narrow aisles and small restrooms. This mode of transportation can be more challenging. The safest thing is to remain seated while the bus is moving. If you must use the restroom, make sure to hold on to the rail or seats to keep your balance.
- Trains usually have more room to navigate and walk. The restrooms are usually small. It is essential to hold on to rails or seat backs while the train is moving.
- Try to limit the amount of time you are cooped up in the car, bus, or train. Keep travel time around five to six hours.
- Use rest stops to take short walks and to do stretches to keep the blood circulating.
Is Air Travel During Pregnancy Safe?
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 travel through their eighth month. Traveling during the ninth month is usually allowed if there is permission from your health care provider.
- Most airlines have narrow aisles and smaller bathrooms, which makes it more challenging to walk and more uncomfortable when using the restroom. Because of potential turbulence that could shake the plane, make sure you are holding on to the seat backs while navigating the aisle.
- You may want to choose an aisle seat which will allow you to get up more easily to reach the restroom or just to stretch your legs and back.
- Travel on major airlines with pressurized cabins and avoid smaller private planes. If you must ride in smaller planes, avoid altitudes above 7,000 feet.
- Although doubtful, the risk of DVT can be further reduced by wearing compression stockings.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the International Air Travel Association recommend that expecting mothers in an uncomplicated pregnancy avoid travel from the 37th week of pregnancy through birth.
Avoiding travel from 32 weeks through birth is recommended for women who have complicated pregnancies with risk factors for premature labor, such as mothers carrying multiples.
Risk factors that warrant travel considerations include the following:
- Severe anemia
- Cardiac disease
- Respiratory disease
- Recent hemorrhage
- Current or recent bone fractures
Making Best of your Travels While Pregnant
- Dress comfortably in loose cotton clothing and wear comfortable shoes.
- Take your favorite pillow.
- Plan for plenty of rest stops, restroom breaks and stretches.
- Carry snack foods with you.
- If you are traveling any distance, make sure to carry a copy of your prenatal records.
- Wear your seatbelt and take other safety measures.
- Enjoy the trip.