Traveling while Pregnant

As long as there are no specific risk factors, traveling while pregnant is not a cause for concern. If, however you are expecting twins say, then long travels are not recommended. Be sure to discuss your trip with your midwife or doctor prior to departure.

It is best to travel between 16 – 28-weeks. After the fourth month of pregnancy, miscarriage risks are lowered and traveling until the end of pregnancy should be relatively safer. Prior to leaving, be sure to check your repatriation contract or insurance to ensure that your pregnancy is not an exclusion clause. Be sure to understand as much information as possible about health conditions in your city of destination.

Be aware of altitudes higher than 2,000 meters, as the fetus may be deprived of oxygen at this height. This is particularly relevant during the first tri-mester. It is also not recommended to partake in sporting events. Do not visit locations rife with yellow fever or malaria. And especially be aware of locations with limited healthcare or medical development.

How to Travel

You can fly during pregnancy if you have no complications such as placenta anomaly, uncontrolled diabetes, risk of premature birth or hypertension. Most airlines however will request that you provide them with a recent certificate of medical soundness if your due date is close. After 37-weeks they may refuse to allow you onboard. Be sure to check with each airline for their stipulation on pregnant passengers, as all have some variation.

Remember too that seats on a plane can be narrow and may be uncomfortable. Motion sickness can be increased during pregnancy and nausea may be experienced also. Wearing compression socks may inhibit swelling and moving throughout the plane’s cabin periodically may help maintain proper circulation.

If you are traveling via car, be sure to wear the proper safety restraints. The belt will protect you and your fetus in case of an accident. Place the belt as low as possible so that it is cradling the pelvis and belly. It is not recommended to go on long road trips (no longer than 2- to 300-kilometers per day) and you should always avoid cars that jolt. Stop regularly and walk a bit to relax.

Trains are the most commonly suggested forms of transportation for pregnant women. It is the least taxing and can be the most reliable. In addition, it allows you to move through the cabins freely.

Ensure That All of Your Immunizations are Up-to-Date

Speak with your physician to ensure that all of your immunizations are up-to-date prior to traveling. Discuss which ones are safe for pregnant woman and which are not. Living vaccines should be avoided. These include rubella, mumps, measles and tuberculosis. Inactive vaccines such as diphtheria and tetanus are acceptable. If absolutely needed, immunization from yellow fever can be administered but most favorably during the first trimester.

Any infectious disease is a serious health threat for you and for your child. A concern is malaria due to how dangerous it can be. Pregnant women are encouraged to avoid all infected areas of the world. It is it impossible to avoid, be sure to go out fully covered and ask your physician to give you a repellent. Be aware though that not all preventative drugs are safe for pregnancy – chloroquine, proguanil and quinine are some drugs used for malaria that are compatible. As much as possible, travel throughout clean and hygienic conditions as much as possible. Be very careful with ingesting water and food. Never take any unknown medications.

Always prioritize travel to countries where health infrastructures are built up and strong. Be sure to check with your insurance policy prior to your departure.