Traveling While Pregnant: 6 Tips to Have a Safe Trip For You (And Your Baby)
Once in a while, every person will find themselves needing to travel at some points in their life. There are many different reasons for traveling. Some people may want to travel for business, to visit friends and family or to visit different cities. Most people want to travel to take a break from their everyday life and relax.
Pregnant women will also travel from time to time, and that can sometimes be a little challenging. But, challenging doesn’t mean it is impossible. With the right precautions and information needed, you can travel with no problems at all.
1. Planning Your Trip
The first step to safe traveling for pregnant women is to plan your trip ahead. It is better to start planning your trip 5-6 weeks before traveling. This can help you avoid any inconveniences or problems that may happen.
You should talk to your doctor to discuss how you plan to travel. Your doctor will want to know if you are traveling by plane or car and the length of your journey. He will also inform you about any risks or complications you may face.
You need to know what precautions you must take before traveling. If you travel a long distance, it is advised to take as many stops possible. You need to walk around, stretch your legs and get your blood circulating. Try not to travel for over 5 hours, as this can be uncomfortable for you and your unborn baby.
In general, it is safe to travel at almost any time during your pregnancy. The safest time to travel is mid-pregnancy or between the 18th and 24th weeks of pregnancy. More problems or emergencies can happen during the first and third trimester. Examples include fatigue, morning sickness, cramps and more.
Try not to travel during the last weeks of your pregnancy. But, if this must happen you might need permission from your doctor. It is also a good idea to take your maternal records or notes with you in the case of an emergency. In this case doctors in other hospitals can be more helpful.
2. Knowing What to Expect
The second step to having a safe journey is to know what you will expect while traveling. Knowing health problems is useful. This will help you plan a comfortable trip for you and your baby. Knowing country related diseases can also help in planning your trip.
You need to know that pregnant women can get infected easier by different diseases. One of the most common diseases is malaria. Even with antimalarial drugs, expecting mothers are vulnerable. If affected, the illness can lead to severe pregnancy complications. Don’t forget to talk to your doctor about traveling to a country where malaria is present. He should give you safety measures.
As a future mother, you should know that you can get infected by food or water-borne diseases. These can cause major problems and are a huge risk to the unborn baby. Some of these diseases are toxoplasmosis, listeriosis and hepatitis E. Always wash your hands before and after you eat. Also, wash your hands after using the bathroom. Be aware of raw or uncooked meat and drink only boiled or disinfected water. You should also try to protect yourself from insect bites by using bed nets and insect repellents.
3. What to Bring With You
After you planned your trip, the next step is to make a list of what you need to bring with you. Traveling light with few things is always the best option because it can make your trip a lot easier.
You might think to take with you some snacks (like nuts and fruits) and water. You can also bring hemorrhoid cream, prenatal vitamins or medication advised by your doctor.
Expecting mothers are also prone to having blood clots when traveling. This is also known as deep vein thrombosis or DVT. To feel more comfortable, wear loose clothing and comfortable shoes.
Do not remain seated for too long and stretch your legs. Sometimes health care providers may recommend wearing compression stockings to avoid DVT. You can also talk to your doctor to see if you need anything else to have with you when traveling.
4. Traveling by Plane
If you decide to travel by plane, there are a few things you need to know and prepare for. Most airlines will allow a pregnant woman to travel up to their 36th week of pregnancy. If you are carrying twins, then you can travel up to your 34th week. If you want to travel during the last months of pregnancy, you need to have written permission letter. Your doctor should write this letter.
Try to select an aisle seat when possible. This will be easier to stand up and walk if when you feel stressful. It can be uncomfortable to remain seated for a long period.
Pregnant women should try to avoid flying at high altitudes. Flying above 2500 m (or 8200 feet) is not preferred. High altitude trips can cause complications during pregnancy.
5. Traveling by Car, Bus or Train
Travelling short distances by car can be safe if you make sure to fasten your seatbelt. You should also take regular breaks to exercise and get your blood flowing. To help avoid dizziness you should drink lots of water and healthy food.
If you intend to travel by bus or train, things can get a bit more challenging. But, these means of transportation usually have restrooms which are usually small and uncomfortable. While buses tend to have more narrow aisles, trains have a little more room if you need to walk to the restroom. It is also not recommended to travel by car, bus or train for more than 5 or 6 hours.
Also, it is important for pregnant women not to travel alone. Traveling with loved ones or friends can be calming, and they can assist you if necessary.
6. Traveling by Boat
There are usually few restrictions to traveling by boat if you may want to. Most ships don’t allow women in their third trimester of pregnancy. You should always take your doctor’s written letter stating that can travel by boat.
But, before planning a trip by boat, you should talk to your doctor to make sure that you will have no problems. Some problems that can be foreseen when traveling by boat is nausea. All people are prone to motion sickness, but pregnant women are more vulnerable.
It is also a good idea to check beforehand if ships have a medical staff that can assist you if there is an emergency.
And last but not least, you should know that anything can happen during a woman’s pregnancy. Sometimes when you travel to a different country, you may have unexpected emergencies. An injury or illness can happen anytime.
QBE’s Travel Insurance provides coverage for pregnancy-related expenses of up to S$8,000 for Super Plus plan. You can get the quotation of such travel insurance with our interactive travel insurance platform. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
It is important for pregnant women to not tire themselves. Different activities like too much walking or a slip can lead to pregnancy complications. Then you will need to get medical help. Whenever you decide to travel, try to remain calm, relaxed and to enjoy your trip as much as possible.