7 Most Common Questions About Traveling While Pregnant
June 26, 2018
Is it safe to travel while pregnant?
Generally, it’s okay to travel while you’re pregnant. The best time to travel is between week 14 and week 28 of your pregnancy. This is typically when most morning sickness has passed, but before any fatigue related to the third trimester begins. You shouldn’t travel after week 36 of your pregnancy as this is getting close to your baby’s due date.
However, it’s recommended you limit your traveling or don’t travel at all if you have complications with your pregnancy including preeclampsia, are carrying more than one baby, or could go into preterm labor.
What should I do to prepare for my trip?
Before you head out, there are several things you should consider bringing with you, wherever you’re going. It’s recommended that you get copies of your prenatal medical records and a note from your OBGYN. These are very useful in case you need medical attention while you are on your trip and away from your doctor.
Make sure to take your medications and prenatal vitamins with you. If you also need medication for nausea during a flight or cruise, make sure to talk to your doctor about the approved medications.
It can also be helpful to look up physicians along your planned travel route and at your destination in case you need to see a doctor at any point during your trip. There are resources to find physicians both in the U.S. and internationally.
Finally, don’t forget to pack plenty of snacks and water. It’s important to stay properly nourished and hydrated while you’re out seeing the sites and relaxing.
Can I fly while pregnant?
Yes, you are usually good to travel by air through the eighth month of pregnancy. Traveling on an airline after your eighth month typically requires permission from your OBGYN. When you are purchasing tickets or selecting your seat for the flight, try to get an aisle seat, as this will be more comfortable and allow you to get up and walk around without disturbing the other people in the row.
During the flight, you should get up about once every hour to walk around. This helps with circulation and can help prevent uncomfortable stiffness, but be cautious of turbulence and be sure to use the seat backs to steady yourself as you walk. You can also do simple calf flexes while sitting to help with circulation in your legs.
Although not common, there is a chance of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) where a blood clot forms within a deep vein in the body, usually the leg. Drinking lots of water and wearing compression stockings can further reduce the chances of developing DVT.
Can I go on a road trip while pregnant?
Yes, traveling in a car or bus is generally safe while you’re pregnant. You should limit the time spent in a car to no more than 6 hours per day to help make sure you’re keeping a healthy circulation. You should plan regular stops along your trip to get out and walk around to stretch your legs.
If you’re traveling on a bus, you can follow many of the tips for traveling on a plane. Try to get an aisle seat and make sure you get up at least once every hour to walk around. Be careful of bumps in the road and always hold seat backs while walking in the aisle.
Always make sure to wear your seat belt. The seat belt should be worn with the strap over your chest and waist. Sit at least 10 inches away from the dashboard and keep the airbag on to protect yourself and your baby.
If you’re traveling by car, it can be nice to bring someone along with you to take over driving and offer extra support in case you run into problems along the way.
Can I go on a cruise while pregnant?
Yes, it’s an option, but it might not be as relaxing as you might think. Pregnancy typically increases feelings of nausea, which can be worsened by seasickness. There are medications you can use to combat these feelings but always check with your doctor first to make sure they are safe. Seasickness bands are a good alternative to medications. These bands use acupuncture and pressure points on your body to prevent feelings of seasickness.
Before head off to sea, make sure there is a medical professional on board the boat. You might also want to research medical facilities near the ports you’ll be stopping in so you’ll be able to get there quickly in case you need medical attention.
Can I travel internationally while pregnant?
It’s recommended that pregnant women avoid traveling to areas where there are ongoing Zika outbreaks. Zika is a disease spread by mosquitos that can cause serious birth defects. You should also avoid areas with Malaria because it is also very dangerous to pregnant women.
You’ll want to check with your doctor to make sure you have all the recommended immunizations for the regions you’ll be traveling in. Avoid consuming any food or water that may be contaminated as this can cause “traveler’s diarrhea” and lead to dehydration.
You may also want to consider purchasing travel insurance depending on your current insurance coverage. It can cover not only the cost of lost luggage but also the cost of medical expenses in case you need medical attention while you’re traveling.
So, where are you going?
There’s a lot to consider before traveling while you’re pregnant. Properly preparing and planning out your trip can help you enjoy it and keep you are your baby safe. If you have additional questions or would like to talk to one of the Women’s Care physicians, you can contact us in both Eugene and Springfield.