Most women can travel at any time throughout their pregnancy if they don’t have any complications. Pregnant women can travel for work or leisure after getting a go ahead from their doctor. There’s an increasing trend among expectant mothers who travel to relax and break the monotony of life before their baby is born.
However, there are an equally high number of women who avoid travel during pregnancy in the fear that they will harm their baby. There are a lot of myths attached to pregnancy travels and they create nothing but panic among moms-to-be.
If you’re pregnant and love to travel, here are some things you should know about traveling around with your baby bump.
Traveling in the First Trimester
The initial months of pregnancy are not considered to be the best time to travel. Common pregnancy-related health issues such as nausea, vomiting and fatigue can discourage you from embarking on a journey. These can make your travel a problematic experience. You are also at a high risk of miscarriage in your first trimester, hence you need to take proper precautions.
Avoid long distance travel by road and by plane in the first trimester as it can cause complications for both mother and the fetus. However, if the pregnancy is stable and you don’t feel any other symptom, you can consider traveling after your doctor approves.
Traveling in the Second Trimester
Generally speaking, second trimester is the best time to travel during pregnancy. Early pregnancy symptoms like nausea and morning sickness usually settle down by this time and the chances of having a miscarriage are considerably lower. Unless you have any serious complication, traveling is a great idea when you’re expecting. Make sure you see your doctor before you go ahead.
Traveling in Third Trimester
It is okay to travel in third trimester if you take all the necessary precautions. It is not advisable to travel if you have issues with amniotic fluid. Pregnant women with placenta previa should also avoid travel. It is important to remember that many airlines do not allow air travel after 36 weeks of pregnancy. Therefore, make sure you check the rules before booking your ticket. You might need a note from your doctor to travel by air.
Modes of Travel during Pregnancy
Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing your mode of travel during pregnancy.
Travel by road is a preferred option for many pregnant women as it offers flexibility to stop any time they want. It lets you relax and stretch your legs by stopping and taking a walk. However, there are also some disadvantages of road travel during pregnancy. You may be at risk of catching diseases if you eat at roadside restaurants, and stopping too often may lead to increase in your overall travel time. Make sure you carry home-cooked snacks and packaged water if you want to be safe. Wear comfortable clothes to stay at ease throughout the journey.
Train travel is advisable in the later months of your pregnancy. However, this mode is not advisable if you are facing any pregnancy-related complications such as placental problems, diabetes, high blood pressure etc. Talk to your doctor before booking your tickets for a train journey. If your doctor gives you a go ahead, train travel is always better than road because it gives you enough space to walk around and stretch your legs.
Although travel by air seems relatively safe, it can cause complication during pregnancy, especially during the last trimester. If your pregnancy is considered high risk or if you’re at risk for preterm delivery, talk to your doctor before traveling by air. Many airlines also have restrictions on air travel for pregnant women. They might ask your records for previous complications or even ask for a doctor’s certificate that says you are fit to travel. Some airlines restrict pregnant women to fly with them after 35 or 36 weeks of pregnancy. Make sure you check with the airline before booking your ticket.
When to avoid travel during Pregnancy?
Travel during pregnancy should be avoided in case a woman has:
- History of miscarriage or preterm birth
- Multiple pregnancies
- Preeclampsia or high blood pressure
- Placental abnormalities
- Gestational diabetes
- Weak Cervix
- Heavy bleeding during pregnancy
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Elderly pregnancy
Safety Precautions to take during pregnancy
No matter what mode of transport you choose to travel during pregnancy, it always has some risk attached to it. Here are a few safety tips you should follow to avoid any complications while traveling.
Get a thorough check-up: Before going for travel, get a thorough medical checkup done to rule out any complications. Do not plan your travel unless your doctor gives you the green signal.
Make a travel kit:Prepare and carry a travel kit with pregnancy essentials such as prenatal vitamins, medical documents, your doctor’s contact details, healthy snacks, hand sanitizer and other medications.
- Dress comfortably: Wear comfortable clothes to protect yourself from the sun or cold. Listen to your body and adjust accordingly. If you feel any discomfort, make sure you get plenty of rest.
- Maintain Hygiene:Ensure proper hygiene when using the washrooms and toilets. If you can, use a squat toilet instead of a western toilet. For safety, ask your spouse or friend who is traveling with you, to wait for you outside the washroom.
- Travel Safe: When traveling, take proper precautions such as wearing seat-belts properly, fastening it under your lower lap and fitting it above your pregnancy bump between your breasts. You can also take trip insurance to take care of any emergency that arises or if you decide to postpone your travels.
- Hydrate: Remember to stay hydrated throughout the travel. Avoid drinks with caffeine. Drink only bottled water and pasteurized milk.
- Be careful if your surroundings: Make sure you wear comfortable footwear to maintain your balance while walking. Be careful about stray shoes or pieces of luggage lying here and there.
It is important for expecting mothers to know the pros and cons of travel during pregnancy. These safety points can work as broad guidelines for pregnant women to follow when they’re pregnant. For any other information, talk to our experts at KIMS Cuddles.
*Information shared here is for general purpose Please take doctors’ advice before taking any decision.