Traveling during Pregnancy

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You are pregnant and you want/need to travel!!! No need to lose sleep over it. Traveling during pregnancy may seem to be a delicate proposition; however, with some advance planning and doctor’s clean chit, it is completely alright to travel be it by air, sea or road.  Certain do’s and don’ts are always to be kept in mind, but there is no reason to be restricted at home unless it is imperative.

The ideal time to travel during pregnancy is the second trimester.  In most cases, the morning sickness of the first trimester is gone and you are several weeks from the third stage of pregnancy when fatigue happens more easily.

It is important that you keep your health care provider in loop at least 5 to 6 weeks before travelling so that all required tests can be performed. Also, it is best to avoid travelling to anyplace where the threat of disease is high, the quality of local healthcare is unreliable, and the safety of food and water is questionable.

Always wear a seatbelt whether travelling.  When using a diagonal shoulder strap with a lap belt, the straps must be fastened above and below your stomach. If only a lap belt is available, then fasten below your stomach at the pelvic area.

Most airlines restrict travel during the last semester or may require a written confirmation from your medical practitioner. Check with the airline before booking the flight.

You may run a higher risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis during a long travel. Take ample pit stops in case of an on road travel. However, if you are travelling in train or by air, try selecting an aisle seat so that you can walk around occasionally or stretch your legs.

Always wear loose and comfortable clothing and easy to slip on and off footwear while travelling. Carry your own snacks for the journey and if possible take your favorite pillow along.

Keep a copy of your medical records and any relevant ultrasounds. A small health kit containing your vitamins and other medications prescribed by your doctor must be kept in your hand bag just in case you get separated from your luggage.

Diarrhea is a common concern when traveling overseas because your body may not be used to the food and water of other countries. This can lead to dehydration.

Some tips to avoid diarrhea

  • Drink plenty of bottled water
  • Used canned juices or soft drinks as alternatives
  • Make sure the milk is pasteurized
  • Eat fresh fruits and vegetables only if they have been cooked or can be peeled (such as an orange or a banana)
  • Avoid raw or uncooked meat and fish; if you are unsure, do not consume.

Most importantly, keep your Obstetrician’s number handy for any emergencies!!!

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