by April 1, 2015 updated on
“Is it safe to travel during pregnancy?” is a very common question asked by the expecting mothers. That’s why, TCT brings to you a few basic safety tips to keep in mind while making a travel plan whether you are in your first, second or third trimester!
You know, my grandmother is a bit too old-fashioned. When she heard about my pregnancy news, instead of wishing me luck, she said, “now, be careful and stay indoors. Say no to travel.” I helplessly looked at my mother for some solace and she winked at me. Thank god! She didn’t give me just the same advice. On the contrary, she asked me to enjoy my pregnancy as much as I could. So, you see, in the older days, people seldom concerned themselves with issues like safety during travelling while being pregnant. It’s because they did not travel at all. Long distance was COMPLETELY out of question! If my grandmother would have got to know that a pregnant friend travelled international in her first trimester, my old lady would have gone berserk!! But with the change in lifestyle and availability of multiple modes of transportation, travelling is a common norm. It is generally considered safe to travel while being pregnant but only once you know what is safe and what is not. If you are planning to travel while being pregnant then keep a note of all the factors that can affect you and your unborn child and all the precautions that you need to take to make your travel as comfortable as possible.
1. Mode of travel: Travel mode such as a car, gives you the flexibility to stop and relax when you feel fatigued and is therefore, better as compared to other modes, especially if the ride is smooth as well. You can stop for light stretching and walk after every 2 hours, or whenever you feel like. When travelling in a car make sure to always wear your seat belt. Position the bottom belt portion under your abdomen and the upper portion between your breasts to protect yourself from sudden jerks.
Flying is considered safe till second trimester of pregnancy and if you are 28 weeks or more then you might be asked to present a fitness certificate from your health care provider. Check with your airline carrier for such requirements. To make your journey more comfortable select aisle seats so that you can easily walk to the washroom or walk to promote circulation. Also, keep yourself hydrated by drinking water or juice. If you are going on a cruise trip then consult your healthcare provider to prescribe you medicines in case of motion sickness.
2. Distance: If you plan to venture out for longer distances then carry along all your medical records and medications, and make sure good medical facilities are available at the location. It is important to carry information about your health history as in the case of need, right care can be provided to you.
If you are travelling out of the country then check the vaccination requirements as some of these are not safe during pregnancy. Speak with your health care provider regarding vaccination requirements, change in altitude and food. Change in altitude and food can also make you uncomfortable.3. Pregnancy trimester and other complications: As compared to the second trimester, travelling during the first trimester can be more uncomfortable due to nausea and fatigue, and due to greater risk of bleeding or miscarriage. By the second trimester, the energy levels are higher and you feel better so planning a trip with your family is a good idea during these 3 months. The last trimester is risky and hence travelling should be avoided and done after consulting the healthcare provider.
4. Purpose of travel: If you are going for a vacation then plan your activities with discretion. For example, relaxing at the beach would be better as compared to trekking at the mountains! Also, instead of multiple locations, limit your travel to one or two locations so that you are not fatigued.