What and When: Safe Travel during Pregnancy

Safe Travel for pregnant woman is between 5 to 9 months pregnancy, particularly between 16 to 32 weeks. If you don't feel any discomfort, you can travel like you usually do. However, if there's a possibility of miscarriage, you're an expectant mother of an advanced age or are sick, you shouldn't insist to travel during pregnancy.

Rules for Safe Travel

Consult your doctor before traveling

safe travel

It's better to consult the doctor whom you go to for regular checkups before traveling. If there are no surprises in your regular checkup results, arranging to travel in between two checkups can let you go without a worry.

A leisurely itinerary

The biggest goal when you travel during pregnancy is to have a change of mood. If the itinerary is too hectic, you'll be terribly tired. Making a 2-day-1-night itinerary into a 3-day-2-night travel plan will let everyone have more time to enjoy at a slower pace.

Choose the correct mode of transport

Whether you choose to travel by train, air or car, spend a little time planning as you need to take into consideration your tendency to tire easily. If the chosen mode of transport shakes too vigorously, you'll not only be easily exhausted, the fetus may even be adversely affected.

Pack light

Luggage should be light, clothes should be loose, and shoes with lower heels are more suitable. Winter clothing and accessories such as jackets and scarves should be easy to put on and remove. Though you should pack light, you must bring along your healthcare and medical cards. It's also good to have an idea of the situation on the ground and where the localgynecology and obstetrics clinics are located in your destination country. If there's no way to find out these before you travel, check out the contact details of nearby local clinics as soon as you arrive.

Stay vigilant while overseas

Though your pregnancy in the second trimester is relatively stable, overseas traveling can still give rise to many inconveniences. In the event that you must visit a local hospital, you should first have an idea of common sicknesses or viruses over there and consult your doctor. When visiting a tropical country, get vaccinated upon your doctor's diagnosis. Decide whether you should still be traveling to that country after discussing with your doctor.

Avoid traveling in the early and late stages of pregnancy

The most suitable time for traveling is between 4 and 7 months pregnancy. This is because the possibility of a miscarriage is at its lowest then, morning sickness has subsided, and your body is also more stable. Avoid traveling during the early or late stages of pregnancy as these are periods with a higher risk for miscarriage and premature childbirth.

Don't eat motion sickness medicine rashly

It's common to suffer from motion sickness while traveling. However, don't eat motion sickness medicine recklessly. Though most motion sickness medicine doesn’t affect pregnancy, it still pays to be cautious. You should discuss with your doctor first.

Savor good food heartily

One of the pleasures of traveling is the opportunity to try new cuisine. Not having to eat those boring stuff which you usually eat and taking delight in never-tried-before cuisine is awesome. However, to avoid sudden vomiting, you'll still have to keep morning sickness medicine at hand. Bringing along some of your favorite food such as apples, preserved fruits and nuts will be very helpful as well.

Visit the washroom regularly

When you're pregnant, you may need to visit the washroom more frequently. To make yourself comfortable, it's advisable to go to the washroom whenever you see one. That's because it's very uncomfortable to hold your natural urges. Wear clothes that are separates so that it's more convenient for you to answer nature's call.

Adequate rest

Wherever you may be, prolonged sitting causes swelling in legs and ankles and other discomfort. When traveling in a car, take a break at least every 90 minutes. Disembark from the car and relax your body. When traveling on public transport, it's most ideal if the seat next to yours is empty. This way, you can put your feet up on the empty seat and do some simple massages to promote blood circulation. Start massaging from the heels, legs and then your calves. When sitting down, it's also beneficial to often rotate your ankles and point your toes up and down.

Plan Your Travels around Your Pregnancy

Early stages of pregnancy

The placenta isn't fully formed during the first three months of pregnancy, so any minor stimulus can result in a miscarriage. Moreover, you're also prone to having morning sickness during this period. Therefore, you should banish all thoughts of traveling. Your body may seem like it's the same as before and there's no change in appearance yet, so you may often forget you now already have a life growing inside you. If you wish to have a change of scene, you may take a stroll somewhere near.

Important things to note when travel planning

As this is a period where the rate of a miscarriage is at its highest, it's best to avoid traveling. Also avoid walking on uneven surfaces and going to crowded places where you may feel pressurized. If you drive, don't do it continuously for more than two hours. You should also ensure that the air inside the car is fresh and the temperature is comfortable. To avoid morning sickness while driving, it's good to bring along barley tea or Coke.

Plan an itinerary suitable for early pregnancy

Do away with unsuitable travel plans. Spend a day in the recreation forest near where you're staying and while your time in the low hills. The fresh air and relaxed environment can increase digestion and let you forget the misery of constipation.

Second trimester

The placenta would have stabilized by now. This is a period of stability where the rate of a miscarriage drops significantly. Your thyroid will be more active than usual, so perspiration will increase and breathing may be deeper. A little exertion can even put you out of breath.

Important things to note when travel planning

When you're in your second trimester, you may perspire more and the amount of discharge will also increase. Therefore, it's best to stay away from places that don't have shower facilities. Your nutrition intake during this period is also extremely critical. Remember to prepare healthy snacks beforehand. Anemia medication is also a must-have.

When traveling by car, you must stop and take a restful break every two hours. Check out the locations of washrooms prior to traveling and you mustn't control the urge to pee. Most public washrooms are only equipped with the basics, so bring your own non-toxic toilet paper from home. When you arrive at your destination, wear loose, non-fussy clothes so that you can move around freely.

Plan an itinerary suitable for the second trimester

Rather than go to the mountains or valleys, now is the best time for a beach vacation, even if it's just for three days and two nights. You should consider traffic conditions during peak holiday seasons and may opt to fly.

Third trimester

The fetus inside you has grown a lot by now. So you'll experience some difficulty getting around. Many other inconveniences will start creeping in as well. If possible, avoid flying and long-distance travel. By the third trimester, the fetus' body will have grown to about 50 centimeters and will weigh about three kilograms or heavier. From now on, you may feel more tired, experience leg swellings, sporadic abdominal cramps and the urge to go to the washroom often. As the uterus will gradually harden, you'll also often experience tightness and pain.

Important things to note when travel planning

It's best to avoid air travel during this period as the sudden change in air pressure may trigger premature birth. Besides, you must remember to keep warm as it's easy to catch a cold. When you arrive at your destination, tell the tour guide about your condition. Should an emergency arise, it's a smart move to know the location of a general hospital beforehand. Above all, don't over-exert yourself and have plenty of rest. Expectant mothers whose expected due date is only one month away shouldn't travel.

Plan an itinerary suitable for the third trimester

Short-distance travel or a restful, leisurely arrangement is better than long-distance travel. A 3-day-2-night trip is ideal. Now is the best time to go strolling in the forest or take a dip in the stream. It's also a good idea to have a short stay in the cottage in the recreation forest. Cottages in recreation forests have similar facilities as hotels, so expectant moms can be staying there without a hitch. You may need to bring along some bedding though. However, the pleasure of being able to take pleasurable strolls among lush greenery is enough to make you forget about such minor inconveniences.

General Knowledge in a Box

If the unexpected happens

Should you encounter an unforeseen incident when you're pregnant, you must go to the hospital for a checkup. Though the fetus is fully protected by the mother's body, it could still develop a critical emergency in a severe impact even if the mother hasn't displayed any distress symptoms. For example, the fetus may be partially or totally detached from the uterus. In a pregnancy beyond 20 weeks, even if you don't display any abnormalities after an unexpected incident, it's still good to go to the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department or the emergency room for a checkup as soon as possible.

It’s not a bad thing to travel during pregnancy. However, like all things done during pregnancy, you should be extra careful.

Sandra Henderson
 

Editor-in-chief at Babiology and a proud mother of four passionate about sharing pregnancy and baby growth knowledges

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