Now that the vacation time is approaching, most people are busy making plans to escape the summer heat and spend time in cooler places. Only pregnant women sigh and sit back considering that travel will not be possible for them because of pregnancy. This is not true. You can also make your travel plans during pregnancy depending upon what stage of pregnancy you are in and your comfort level. As long as you follow a few simple guidelines and seek your doctor’s permission, it is safe to travel one last time, before the baby arrives.
As discussed in the last article, there are a lot of myths associated with pregnancy and “Travel During Pregnancy” is also one of them. People have a lot of fears and misconceptions as far as traveling during pregnancy is concerned for a pregnant woman. Actually, it is over-hyped!!! Travel poses no special risk to a healthy woman or her baby. Only in case of high risk pregnancies, travel is not recommended.
The best time to travel during pregnancy is in the second trimester say between 14 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. Once, the first trimester is over, morning sickness is almost gone. Towards the end of pregnancy, it is difficult for a pregnant woman to move around and sit for a longer time. Also, there are chances of premature labour with too much exertion. She gets exhausted very easily around this time too.
Selection of place for travel during pregnancy should be done with a lot of discretion. Do not go in for a hectic schedule with an organized tour wherein you are bound to leave and return at specific times. Your itinerary should be relaxed and flexible- it should change according to your body’s needs. How you feel is one of the best guides to your well being and safety.
Travel Tips in Pregnancy:
MODES OF TRAVEL
For shorter trips, car journey is the best. You can halt every 2 hours. Have something to eat and drink, visit the bathroom and walk a few steps every time to get out of the car. A cushion to support the lower back will be a great asset!
Wear a seat belt in spite of the air bag. The belt is not going to hurt your baby. The lap belt should be worn below the belly and never across your belly.
- Travelling by bus should be avoided for longer journeys.
- Aisles in the buses are very narrow.
- Getting into and out of the bus is not very comfortable.
- Bathrooms are very small.
- Remain seated at all times while the bus is in motion.
- Train travel is more comfortable than bus. You have enough space to walk around and move. If possible book the compartment closer to the bathroom.
- Hold on to railings whilst moving around.
- You will not go into labour because of the jerks and the bumps you experience as the train moves.
Taking a cruise can be a lot of fun. You can relax when you wish to and enjoy some sight seeing too. It may upset your stomach, so if you have never traveled by ship before, pregnancy is not the time to try. Make sure, there is a doctor or a well qualified, experienced nurse on the ship and the places where the ship docks is equipped with modern medical facilities. Ensure to carry some safe medications to ward off motion sickness.
- Travelling by air during pregnancy is quite safe. Your body and baby get adjusted to the air pressure in the flight.
- Choose an aisle seat – to enable you to frequently walk around.
- Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
- If possible ask for a seat at the front of the plane – the seat just behind the wall that divides first class and coach seat or over the wings, so that you have larger leg room.
- Do your feet and ankle exercises as taught in the class, to prevent clotting of blood and swollen feet.
- Fasten seat belts under your abdomen.
- Check with the airlines for its policies.
- Walking through the metal detectors at the airports is harmless.
- Airlines will not allow pregnant women to fly if they have a previous history of premature delivery or have developed blood clots in their legs earlier.
- You also have to make sure that your return journey falls within the set deadline.
Other Pregnancy Travel Tips to make your travel comfortable
- Carry specific clothes to suit the climate.
- Have comfortable footwear.
- Carry your favourite pillow.
- Be careful of what and where you eat.
- Plan out for frequent rest stops.
- Do your exercise often.
- Carry your basic reports.
- Listen to your body’s cues and do not get carried away by what others are doing.
- Avoid the jacuzzi and sauna, instead enjoy a swim in the pool or pamper yourself at a beauty salon.
- Avoid consuming gas producing foods or drinks before air travel as entrapped gases can expand at higher altitudes and make one uncomfortable.
- Relax and enjoy your holiday, you worthy deserve.
Signs that require immediate medical attention
- Vaginal bleeding
- Severe abdominal pain or cramps
- Uterine contractions
- Severe swelling or puffiness
- Strong headaches
- Leaking of water
- Visual problems