On for a romantic pre-baby holiday or need to grapple with a vital business trip? Whatever be the situation, the very thought of going on a trip while pregnant can be scary. But there, there – fasten your seat belt and you can still travel comfortably and safely by taking to heart the simple tips given below.
There are three things that pop up when you decide whether or not to travel abroad during pregnancy – medical history, any increased risks involved and antenatal checks.
It is important that you discuss any complications related to your pregnancy or health issues with your doctor prior to chalking out a travel plan, as in some cases it may be not advisable to travel at all. In case of high risk pregnancies, appropriate medical clearance should be sought before travel.
When it comes to planning your trip, make it around your second trimester. With nausea and tiredness more common in the first trimester (week 1-12), there is the highest risk of miscarriage. In the third trimester week (week 29-40), women are more prone to pregnancy induced conditions. Therefore, the second trimester week (13-28) is the period when the preterm labour or the risk of miscarriage is lower.
Pregnant women should avoid travelling to countries where there is high risk of malaria, dengue or other mosquito-transmitted diseases. Pregnant women are more vulnerable to malaria, which is a highly serious condition associated with premature delivery, miscarriage, low birth weight and even death.
Whatever be the trimester period or travel destination, make sure you talk with your doctor or midwife before booking your trip. It is advisable to bring an approval note, delivery due date, medication details you’re currently on, and any risks or complications to avoid details, particularly if you are over 28 weeks. Note that there are some airlines, cruise and boat services which require your doctor to sign a pre-written precaution note. It is also handy to carry your pregnancy note along with any insurance documents, relevant medical records, prescriptions and medications you are in.
When it comes to your travel insurance, ensure you are covered for eventualities like premature birth; labour medical care; new-born baby care and cost of change of return trip date, if any.
Check all the details of the nearest hospital location, healthcare facilities and emergency numbers, just in case, especially if you are travelling abroad. It is also important to keep yourself really comfy. Drink plenty of water and avoid aerated drinks, and too much of alcohol and caffeine. If you are flying, going for an aisle seat will enhance mobility. Wearing loose clothes and comfortable footwear will ensure smooth travel.
Do some exercises and take sufficient breaks when you are pregnant and 6 weeks afterwards, as you would be prone to DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis). In the case of DVT, go for a heparin shot only on the advice of a qualified doctor. Take regular walks around the plane. Doing in-seats exercise every half an hour and wearing the correct type and size of graduated elastic compression stockings are a must-to-do, especially, during air travel.
Once at your destination, you should be selective and rather sensible about what you eat. Taking bottled water may protect you from causing stomach disorder and diarrhoea. Avoiding foods that may have adverse effects is necessary, and you can seek the assistance of a midwife to know about such foods. If you fall ill, keep yourself hydrated, and continue eating for your baby’s health, even if you aren’t hungry.
Keep physically active and ensure you put your feet up and schedule regular breaks. Relax and don’t involve in any risky tasks or activities. Avoid using thermal pools, steam rooms and saunas. In case of extreme weather conditions, stay indoors, and, if at all, you need to go out, use a suitable high factor sun cream as and when required.
Make a note of all the things you have just read, and prepare a quick checklist of must-to-do before planning your next trip, in case, when you are pregnant. Rest assured, have a great trip and awesome fun!