Safe Traveling During Your Pregnancy

With proper planning and advice, travel during pregnancy is not a problem. To ensure that you and your baby remain healthy during travel, you need to consider the stage of your pregnancy, your current physical condition, and any restrictions or problems you and your doctor have discussed.

Ensure you don’t miss any important physician visits or tests while away by scheduling them before you go. These can include Rh immunoglobulin injections (for Rh negative blood types), ultrasounds, glucose screening tests and regular prenatal, physician visits.

Assuming your doctor says it is OK for you to travel, be sure you prepare a complete list of contact names and phone numbers to take with you. If you have problems during your trip and need care or attention, health care professionals or other travelers can ensure that you get appropriate care.

Included in the list should be the following: %u2022 Personal information, your medications, insurance details and blood type. List also what immunizations you have had, when your last prenatal visit occurred, your due date and any allergies you have %u2022 Names and telephone numbers for a family emergency contact %u2022 Name and telephone number of your doctor %u2022 Name and telephone number of the doctor you can use whilst traveling should you encounter any problems during your pregnancy

Be sure you have ample supply of prescription and over the counter medications, and prenatal vitamins. Make certain that your health insurance policy covers pregnancy, delivery and other complications during travel and be sure to double check any restrictions that may apply to travel in foreign countries.

Your pregnancy could involve unforeseen health issues that may necessitate altering travel plans or could add extra expenses so make sure your travel insurance will cover these. Ask if this insurance covers complications from pregnancy and emergency transport. Ensure you bring a cell phone and make any alterations required so it will work in all countries on your itinerary.

Make sure you incorporate plenty of rest in your day whilst traveling as you are more likely to become fatigued while pregnant and engaging in normal activities. Take advantage of the facilities and relax on the beach, get room service or watch a pay per view movie in your room. Anticipate culinary and schedule disruptions so carry healthy snacks such as nuts, crackers, dried fruit with you. Flying, traveling and pregnancy coupled with different climates will dehydrate so drink lots of water.

Take your bathroom schedule into consideration. As an expectant mother, you are likely to need to use the bathroom often. Don’t plan vacation or travel activities that require you to be out in the middle of nowhere, away from facilities. And plan extra time for ‘pit stops’ if you are traveling by car. Remember that your feet and legs are likely to swell during pregnancy if you are sitting for long periods of time. Wear comfortable, expandable shoes and socks and elevate your feet whenever possible. Get up and walk around whenever you can on a plane, train or bus and if you are traveling by car, be sure to walk around a bit when you stop to use the bathroom.

If you are traveling to a foreign country, you and your doctor will have to consider any vaccines you will require to determine whether they are safe to administer during pregnancy. Avoid live vaccines like varicella for chicken pox, measles, mumps, and rubella. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report no fetal damage from live vaccines, but they admit that their information is limited, so these vaccines should still be considered risky. Vaccines for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis A, and tetanus, are safe and recommended for pregnant women at risk of getting these diseases.

In many developing countries local healthcare and the quality of available food and water are questionable. It is best to avoid travel to these countries while you are pregnant. If you are traveling to a hot, humid destination, avoid yeast infections by wearing lightweight, loose-fitting clothes, and cotton underwear. Change out of wet bathing suits as soon as you can, and talk to your doctor about carrying a tube of anti-fungal cream, just in case you need it.

Avoid risky activities, especially late in pregnancy: snow skiing, water skiing, surfing, horseback riding, parasailing, scuba diving, water slides and some more extreme amusement park rides. You may also wish to avoid very hot saunas and hot tubs, as they elevate your temperature beyond what is normal in a regular bath. You can walk and hike at low altitudes, swim in calm waters (not in heavy surf or rapids), ride a stationary or regular bike, exercise in the hotel gym (if you have been used to exercising before and during your pregnancy) and jog if you jogged before pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about your planned activities before you leave for travel or vacation.

Be smart! If you start to feel tired, overheated, dizzy or uncomfortable, slow down, rest, take a break or stop what you are doing. Travel, especially to other time zones, can throw your eating schedule off and cause more problems with bloating, and indigestion. Try eating several small meals during the day. Don’t eat close to bedtime (allow 2-3 hours to digest your food). Sleep with your upper body propped on pillows. Avoid alcohol, carbonated beverages, caffeine, chocolate, acidic foods (citrus fruits, tomatoes, and vinegar), and spicy foods. Try to eat high-fiber foods to avoid constipation and bloat, and stay active to keep your digestive tract moving.

Avoid motion sickness by sitting in the front seat of the car and keeping the window open to get plenty of fresh air. If traveling on a ship try to stay on deck focusing on the horizon and sit over the wing on an airplane. You can try wearing a specially designed wristband to deliver mild electrical current to a nerve at an acupuncture point on the underside of your wrist. Motion sickness and pregnancy morning sickness can be alleviated by these bands.

If you follow these suggestions, you should have a pleasant and healthy trip. Listen to your doctor and if they recommend that you don’t travel..don’t. It is best to put off the trip for another time after the baby is born, rather than to risk your health and the health of your unborn child!

Want to know how to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy. shows you how so visit us at: Pregnancy

– Rene Sandan