Many women are discouraged by the thought of leaving town during pregnancy, and some are even downright scared. But armed with the right knowledge and tools, it can be safe and fun. Whether you’re planning a baby moon or have business meetings abroad, here is a primer on Traveling while pregnant. Read on for key travel advice for pregnant women.
Whether this is your first pregnancy or your fifth, always check with your health care provider before making plans to travel during your pregnancy.
While it is generally safe to travel during your first trimester, there are some important points to take into consideration when making your plans.
Risks: If you have had a difficult time getting pregnant, have a history of miscarriages, or have any other health problems, you should stay close to home in case any issues arise. You may also be in the throes of morning sickness during your first trimester, which could put a damper on vacation plans, along with making getting places unpleasant.
Air travel: Talk to your doctor if you have any medical problems (diabetes, high blood pressure, history of miscarriage, etc), but flying generally does not pose a risk in the first trimester. Drink lots of water to avoid dehydration.
Car/rail: Ask your doctor about medications for possible motion sickness. Bring lots of snacks and water, and plan on frequent stops for washroom and stretch breaks. If you are taking the train, get up and walk around the cars to stretch your legs.
The second trimester is generally the easiest for travel – morning sickness has passed, and many women experience a surge of energy. Take advantage of your glowing state to get in one last trip before your baby arrives, especially if will be your firstborn.
Risks: As with the first trimester, speak to your doctor if you have any health issues. Some doctors will recommend that women with high-risk pregnancies do not travel after 24 to 28 weeks, and possibly earlier for women who are carrying twins.
Air travel: As well as drinking lots of water, request an aisle seat so that you can get up and move around the cabin, and have easy access to the toilet. Invest in a pair of compression stockings for the flight, to help safeguard against blood clots.
Car/rail: Wear your car seat belt correctly – under your belly, across your lap (not across your abdomen). See advice from the first trimester for comfortable car or train travel.
The third trimester poses more risks and complications for travel, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible.
Risks: The closer you get to your due date, the closer you’ll want to stay to home. While everything may go smoothly, if you do experience any issues you’ll want to be able to talk to your health care provider.
Air travel: Most doctors will recommend not Traveling by plane after 36 weeks for low-risk pregnancies, and 32 weeks for women who are carrying twins. Check the policy of the airline you are flying with, and be prepared to get a doctor’s note authorizing you to fly. Follow the advice for staying comfortable from the first and second trimesters.
Car/rail: Follow the advice from the first and second trimesters for comfortable car or train travel.
- Choose your activities wisely. Scuba diving is not recommended for pregnant women, as some evidence points to an increase in birth defects. This is also not the time to try extreme sports like water skiing, snowboarding, or anything else where you are at risk of falling. Likewise, be aware when booking a spa holiday that hot tubs and saunas put your baby at risk.
- Be extra cautious about travel-related illnesses. Drink only bottled water, and avoid any food that may be contaminated. Bacteria that may have simply caused an unpleasant bout of vomiting for you could be potentially life threatening for your baby. Protect yourself from insect bites, especially in areas where malaria is prevalent. Wear clothing that covers your skin, and a safe (non-chemical) insect repellent, such as citronella.
- Talk to your doctor about vaccinations before you plan your trip. If your destination requires live vaccinations they should be given at least a month before conception.
- Pack light. You’ll already be carrying around extra weight, don’t add to that by bringing unnecessary shoes or clothing. Invest in a carry-on suitcase on wheels, if you don’t already have one.
- Relax. Don’t try to cram too much into your days. You will likely tire easier than usual, so take advantage of being on vacation to put your feet up and enjoy yourself. You likely won’t have a lot of “me time” once the baby arrives, so take this time to spoil yourself.
About the Author:
Abby Clark, is a an enthusiastic adventurer who loves exploring well known as well as remote little corners around the world. Abby also writes blogs and guest blogs for Best Quote Travel Insurance—a company which offers Super Visa Insurance for travel.