Traveling safely during pregnancy depends on whether you have any problems that need special care, how far along you are in your pregnancy, and your comfort. For most women, traveling is safe during pregnancy.
The Best Time to Travel
The Best time to travel is probably the middle of your pregnancy—between weeks 14 and 28.Most common pregnancy emergencies usually happen in the first and their trimesters. After 28 weeks, it may be harder for you to move around or sit for a long time. During mid-pregnancy, your energy has returned morning sickness is gone, and you are still mobile. Paying attention to the way you feel is your best guide for you activities.
When choosing your mode of travel, think about how long it will take to get to your destination. The fastest way is often the best. Whether you go by car, airplane, or ship, there are steps you can take to ensure comfort and safety.
During a car trip, make each day’s drive brief. Spending hours on the road is tiring even when you are not pregnant. Try to limit driving to nor more than 5 or 6 hours each day. Be sure to wear your seat belt every time you ride in a motor vehicle, even if your car has an airbag. If you are involved in a crash—even a minor one—see your health care provider right away. You may need to be monitored to make sure you and your baby are not injured. Plan to make frequent stops. Use these stops to move around and stretch your legs.
if you have a medical condition that could be made worse by flying or could require emergency medical care, you should avoid flying during your pregnancy. For healthy pregnant women, air travel is almost always safe during pregnancy. Some domestic airlines restrict travel during the last month of pregnancy or require a medical certificate; others discourage travel after 36 weeks of pregnancy. If you are planning an international flight, the cutoff point for traveling with international airlines is often earlier. Always check with your airline to be sure about their rules when planning your trip. If you are worried about air pressure and cosmic radiation at high altitudes, these issues normally do not cause problems for occasional travelers. When traveling by air, you can take the following steps to help make your trip as comfortable as possible.
- If you can, book an aisle seat, so that it is easy to get up and stretch your legs during a long flight
- Avoid gas-producing foods and carbonated drinks before your flight. Gas expands in the low air pressure present in airplane cabins and can cause discomfort.
- Wear your seatbelt at all times. Turbulence can over without warning during air travel. The seatbelt should be belted low on the hip bones, below your belly.
- If you are prone to nausea, your health care provider may be able to prescribe anti-nausea medication.
Taking a cruise can be fun, but many travelers on cruise ships have at the unpleasant symptoms of seasickness, also called motion sickness. Seasickness is a balance problem. It occurs when conflicting signals about your position from the body, eyes, and inner ear (which controls your sense of balance) are sent to the brain. Seasickness causes nausea and dizziness, and sometimes weakness, headache and vomiting. Another concern for cruise ship protection is norovirus infected. Noroviruses are a group of viruses that can cause severe nausea and vomiting for 1 or 2 days. They are very contagious and can spread rapidly throughout cruise ships. People can become infected by eating food, drinking liquids or touching surface that are contaminated with the virus.
There is no vaccine or drug that prevents this infection, but you can hep protect yourself from it by frequently washing your hands and washing any fruits and vegetables before you eat them. Before you go on your cruise, you may want to check if your whether your ship has passed a health and safety inspection conducted by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Traveling Outside the United States
If you are planning a trip out of the country, your healthcare provider can help you decide if travel outside the United States is safe for you and advise you about what steps to take before your trip The CDC also is a good resource for travel alerts, safety tips and up-to-date vaccination facts for many countries.
One common health concern about traveling in certain areas is malaria. Malaria is a serious disease carried by mosquitos that presents a major risk to your pregnancy. while you are pregnant, you should not travel to areas where there is risk of being exposed to malaria, including Africa, Central and South America, and Asia. If travel to these areas cannot be avoided, have your health care provider prescribe antimalarial drugs.
Traveling to other countries means you may be exposed to other kinds of germs. People who live in the country are used to the organisms in the food and water, but a traveler is not. These organisms can make a traveler very ill. To Prevent illness, make sure to follow these tips:
- The safest water to drink is tap water that has been boiled for 1 minute (3 minutes at altitudes higher than 6,000 feet).
- Do not put ice made from unboiled water in your drinks. Do not drink out of glasses that may have been washed in unboiled water.
- Do not eat raw or undercooked meat or fish
Even if you are in perfect health before going on a trip, you never know when an emergency will come up. Be sure to get a copy of your health record to take with you.
If you are traveling in the United States, locate the nearest hospital or medical clinic in the place you are visiting. If you are traveling internationally, the International Medical Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers (IAMAT) has a worldwide directory of doctors. The doctors you are visiting in a different country may not speak English, so bring a dictionary of the language spoken with you.
There is no reason to put off taking trips during your pregnancy if you are not having any complications. Letting your health care provider know about your travel plans and staying alert to your body’s signals can help keep you safe while you are away from home.