If you decide to vacation, visit old friends, or must travel for work, pregnancy shouldn’t stop you from flying or driving to your destination. As long as you are having a normal pregnancy and you have gotten the OK from Virginia Women’s Health, travel is generally approved and safe, but there are some caveats.
When It’s Best to Travel
Most medical professionals will recommend the second trimester (14 – 27 weeks) as the best time to travel. The first three months are notorious for nausea and all manner of morning sickness. In addition, during the second trimester, common health issues or emergencies are at their lowest. After that, complications can be more of a risk.
Double Check with Virginia Women’s Health Before Traveling
Your physician will consider how long the flight or journey by car will take. If there is any chance of preterm delivery, they will caution you about going.
If you are flying, get up and walk the aisle whenever possible. Flex your ankles and point your toes occasionally. If traveling by car, stop for frequent bathroom breaks and to stretch at rest areas. This will promote good circulation throughout the body.
Use Common Sense
Don’t expect to do certain activities you could do before becoming pregnant. Things like scuba diving, water skiing, hot tubs, and amusement park rides are all on the risky list. Always check with Virginia Women’s Health when in doubt.
While we have covered several of the most commonly asked questions about travel during pregnancy, there are a few extra things to be aware of when gearing up for a trip:
- Be sure to buckle your seat belt whether traveling by airplane or automobile. Keep the seat belt under your abdomen.
- Drink lots of fluids while flying to stay hydrated.
- Avoid foods that will promote gas and make you uncomfortable like carbonated drinks..
- Secure a seat on the aisle so moving to the restroom will be less problematic.
- Carry healthy snacks.
- Wear compression stockings if you will be sitting for an extended time.
Compile and Bring a Medical File
In case of an emergency, it is always best to have a medical file for travel. Your allergies, medical conditions, and other pertinent information should be readily available should there be a need for immediate treatment.
Check Your Health Insurance Plan
Determine if you are prepared for an emergency while pregnant and traveling. Are you covered for a medical evacuation if you must be flown home for care? This is an important question to ask your insurance provider!
Ask for Help If You Need It
If you are feeling fatigued, get a wheelchair or electric cart to take you to baggage claim or ground transportation at an airport. Ask for help when putting a carry-on bag in the upper compartment. You are probably perfectly capable of doing it on your own, but save yourself the hassle here and avoid a potential injury.
Once you get the green light to travel, adhere to the travel warnings and tips for pregnant women, and have fun! Contact Virginia Women’s Health if you are planning a trip during your pregnancy, and be sure to ask plenty of questions so that you clearly understand the dos and don’ts of this process.