Essential Tips for Travel During Pregnancy
General Pregnancy and Travel Factors to Think About
- How many weeks pregnant will you be when you travel?
- Where will you travel to?
- How will you travel during pregnancy?
- Is your pregnancy considered to be 'high/higher-risk'?
There may well be other factors that your doctor will need to consider during your consultation about travel during pregnancy.
Let's explore each of the factors highlighted above:
How many weeks pregnant will you be when you plan to travel?
According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, the safest time for combining pregnancy and travel is during the second trimester (that's 18-24 weeks) because that's when you feel most well and the risk of complications is least. In the second trimester, any morning sickness should be over and the fatigue of the third trimester should not have set in yet!
Your second trimester is probably the best time to plan travel during pregnancy!
Where will you travel to?
#1 question here is 'Are you planning to holiday at home or abroad?'. Foreign travel is fantastic... I'm a huge fan, however, when you're planning to travel during pregnancy you do need to consider some extra travel risks carefully...
- Will you need vaccinations to travel to your destination?
- Is your destination a malaria-endemic area?
- What are the health-care standards in the country / countries you will visit?
Is the water safe to drink and could the food upset your tummy? Dehydration as a result of vomiting and / or diarrhoea is a very real problem for pregnant women.
- Is your destination at an altitude higher than 3,658 meters or 12,000 feet?
How will you travel?
Pregnant Traveller: On Land
Bus, car and train journeys are generally considered to be safe options for pregnant travelers... but do try to limit journey time to 5-6 hours at the most. On long journeys keep your seatbelt fastened, airbag switched on and remember to take regular breaks to keep your circulation going
Trains offer the chance to move around, which is generally safe... but do remember to hold onto seatbacks or rails when walking around. Trains often have loos which is great when traveling during pregnancy... but boy can they be small and unhygienic! Have your own supply of wipes to hand! (It's great practice for being a mom!)
Coaches worry me the most with regards to pregnancy and travel! You often can't adjust the seats which tend to be small, as are the aisles and there are no seatbelts. My recommendation is to remain seated at all times when a bus / coach is moving
Pregnant Traveller: By Air
Air travel during pregnancy is generally considered to be safe until the eighth month. As a general rule, you may be able to fly up to 36 weeks on short-haul routes and between 32-35 weeks for long-haul flights, with appropriate certification from your doctor. You will need to check with the airline you plan to fly with what their terms and conditions relating to air travel during pregnancy are... before you book!
Pregnant Traveller: On Water
Sea travel is generally safe and a cruise can be a wonderfully relaxing and romantic holiday during pregnancy. Don't forget to pack some acupressure sea-bands in case or motion sickness or morning sickness.
Is your pregnancy considered to be 'high/higher-risk'?
I'm not a doctor! You need to speak to your medical professional about any travel plans you have... and if you're aware that your pregnancy is 'high/higher-risk' make that call today!
Wherever you go... whatever you do... have a wonderful, safe honeymoon.