What should you know about travelling during pregnancy? In general, when talking about a woman who develops a healthy normal pregnancy, there is no reason to prevent the mother from enjoying a vacation or preparing for a long road. Pregnancy is a normal stage in a woman’s life, not a disease so, with certain precautions, travelling while pregnant is not dangerous!
However, usually, the doctor will recommend you not to leave unless necessary on long trips during pregnancy in the third quarter –for example, after week 36. In the last month of pregnancy it is safer for the mother to relax, to rest, to prepare emotionally and stay home as much as possible.
About traveling during pregnancy:
- Do you feel ill? As it has been previously said, until the 36th week of pregnancy, nothing stops you from taking long trips if the pregnancy is normal. But do you feel good, do you think you can handle a long trip in the car or plane? Remember that the little inconveniences of pregnancy intensify when stuck sitting in a chair for hours – pain, nausea, swelling of the legs. Besides, what kind of holiday do you want? Is it a sightseeing trip and thus involves walking or driving constantly in a car or something else? Think twice if you really feel up for it. In the first 10-14 weeks sickness might stop you from enjoying a pleasant trip …
- Check with your doctor. No matter how well you feel, you should not to go traveling during pregnancy without talking at length with the doctor who takes care of you. Ask him if you can travel, what additional steps to take and what tests would be good to have before. It is best to avoid travelling to areas where vaccination is required – vaccines are not recommended during pregnancy.
- Prenatal tests. During pregnancy, certain prenatal tests are regularly scheduled in order to check the evolution of pregnancy – tests of urine, blood, blood pressure, ultrasounds. Talk to your doctor and plan your trip way after you take a series of tests scheduled for the quarter in which you are, if all the results are good.
- Medical history. When you go on a long trip, ask your doctor what papers and medical records are good to have with you. Even if your pregnancy goes by the book, it is safe to go armed with a list of phone numbers in case of emergency, with a sheet detailing your medical history (what disease you had, what medical treatments, allergies, previous pregnancies, surgical interventions, etc..) with a sheet detailing your prenatal tests and their results. This is just to be prepared in the unlikely event of any accident. If you take prenatal vitamins or certain prescription drugs, take them and keep them in their original packaging.
- Insurance. Do not go on a long trip without making your health insurance, just in case, which will cover your consultation anywhere you are at any point.
- Call a travel agency. Especially if we are talking about a trip by plane and if you plan on leaving the country, it is much easier and convenient to go to a travel agency. Thus, if there will be any type of problem with the travel, accommodation, rooms etc., it will be enough to call the agency and the travel agency will fix it. If you search and find on your own accommodations, you can have unpleasant surprises – such as being given another room than the one that was promised.
- Airlines. Check with your airline in advance about the rules, if you’re in the third trimester of pregnancy. Some airlines do not allow women in the last month of pregnancy to travel – as it is not a good idea.
- Is it safe for the baby to fly? Yes, unless you’re in the last month of pregnancy, so you’ll have no problem to go by plane. Try to make yourself more comfortable, to ask for a seat around the middle of the plane – where you feel the turbulence less and eventually ask for a place towards the exit, in order to go to the bathroom whenever you want. When you feel stuck, it’s better to get up and stretch a bit – in fact, periodically get up and stretch your muscles. You can do exercises in order to experience the relaxation of the muscle tension due to the chair. During the trip, drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
- Is the drive safe? The drive can be even better for a pregnant woman (without her being the driver), because it allows more space (you also have the back seat where you can stretch quietly), privacy and can stop at any time needed. During pregnancy it’s not good for women to stay long in the same position – so, if you go by car you need to plan a stop for a couple of minutes every hour to stretch and relax. Otherwise, expect to have swollen legs and cramps. You will need to stop often anyway to go to the toilet. Dress as comfortable as you can, with loose cotton clothes and comfortable slippers or sneakers. Drink plenty of water, eat fresh fruit and lean your chair into a more comfortable position. Do not forget your seatbelt – but do not put it over your tummy, but underneath and between your breasts. Avoid making long roads by car when you’re the driver, and if required, make sure you make frequent breaks to vent, cheer and relax.
- When is it not recommended to travel during pregnancy? As I have said before, after week 36 of pregnancy it is not advised to travel a lot or get tired, so just sit around the house. But other conditions may also represent a risk when we talk about long trips – diabetes, multiple pregnancies or twins, high blood pressure and any problems in the evolution of the pregnancy (fetal abnormalities, the abnormal placenta and so on).