Tips for Travel During Pregnancy

With today’s fast-paced way of life, people are becoming more and more mobile. Part of this trend is the increasing frequency of travel. Whether business travel, vacation trip with family, or visiting long-lost friends, travel is a necessity in the modern society. Pregnant women are usually discouraged to travel, especially when they are near their due date, because it might jeopardize the health of the mother and the unborn child. But pregnant people can travel with safety precautions on hand.

Mode of travel

Planes, trains, buses, and cars can be safe modes of travel. What is important is your personal preference and the specific condition of your pregnancy. First and foremost, make sure that you can move around comfortably. It is discouraged that you sit in only one position for a long period of time. The problem with sitting still or sitting in uncomfortable positions (for example, crossing your legs and slouching while on the seat) can cause stiffness. These can also increase the risk of blood clotting in your legs and in your lower back. You can avoid this risk by getting up and walking every now and then, and sit comfortably, with legs uncrossed. You should also change your position regularly when seated.

Destination

Traveling to neighboring city is one thing. Traveling to Paris is another. Unless you are near your due date, traveling for about an hour or two is alright. Generally, short-distance travel does not pose serious concerns. Traveling to other cities around the world, however, has different implications. For one, you will find yourself too far from your own health care professional. It will also become almost impossible for you to deliver the baby to the birth setting or hospital you have chosen way before you are due. In general, international travel is alright if you are having low-risk pregnancy. Just make sure that you discuss all your plans with the practitioner.

Second trimester is safest

When is the safest time to travel? Many people think that the first trimester is the safest. Many pregnant women want to have a vacation in the earlier phase of pregnancy to enjoy the things that are less enjoyable once their tummy balloons. It is safe to travel during this period given that you have a low-risk pregnancy. The reality, however, is that many cases have been documented on miscarriages that occur during travel.

In general, the second trimester is the most stable and the safest time for a pregnant woman to travel. This is the time when pregnant women feel best and pregnancy risks are reduced. Of course, you can travel during this period, provided that you are not experiencing complications and that your doctor gives you a go signal.

It is recommended that you limit your physical activities, including travel, late in the final trimester for many reasons. Risks of complications increase in this period and nausea and fatigue intensify. If you really need to have a third-trimester travel, it is advisable that you discuss all your individual plans with your health care professional.

High-risk pregnancies

Pregnant women experiencing the following complications are discouraged to travel: vaginal bleeding, cervical problems like "incompetent cervix", if you are more than 35 years old and it is your first time to give birth, multiple fetuses, past or present high blood pressure, past or present gestational diabetes, abnormalities of placenta, past or present pre-eclampsia, prior ectopic pregnancy, prior miscarriage, and prior premature labor.