10 Tips for Travel During Pregnancy
by Carla Snuggs
According to the American Pregnancy Association, as long as there are no known pregnancy complications, travel during your pregnancy is safe during all trimesters. The association recommends pregnant women travel during the second trimester. Morning sickness is less of an issue than in your first trimester and you are more likely to suffer from fatigue in the third trimester. Here are some great tips for safe and relaxed travel:
- If you are traveling by airplane, experts at the Mayo Clinic recommend asking for an aisle seat, getting up every 30 minutes to walk and stretch, and drinking plenty of water. Please note that after 36 weeks many doctors and airlines restrict pregnant women from flying.
- If you are traveling by car, do not turn the airbags off. The American College of Obstetrics contends that the benefits of an air bag outweigh the risks to a pregnant woman and her baby.
- When planning your itinerary, make sure to schedule time for rest, bathroom breaks, and stretching. Stretching will lessen the risk of blood clots and reduce swelling in your legs and feet.
- Whether traveling by car, bus, or train, try to limit actual travel time to blocks of no longer than 5 or 6 hours.
- If you are traveling long distances or for a long length of time, be sure to get a copy of your prenatal records and carry them with you in case of an emergency.
- If you are traveling to a foreign country, take caution when eating fruits and vegetables, milk, water, and meat, as traveler’s diarrhea is common and could lead to dehydration. Stay away from raw fruits and vegetables. Drink bottled water and only drink milk that has been pasteurized. Make sure all meat and seafood is cooked thoroughly.
- If you are traveling to a country which requires immunizations before entering, avoid travel to that country or talk with your doctor first if you cannot avoid it.
- Take time to eat. The American College of Obstetrics recommends continuing to eat a balanced and healthy diet during your trip in order to boost your energy. They also recommend getting plenty of fiber since constipation is common during travel.
- When wearing your safety belt in a car, always wear the lap and shoulder belt. Never wear the lap belt across your belly. Instead, buckle the lap belt low on your hipbones, below your belly.
- Before you travel, locate the nearest hospital or doctor’s office where you are visiting. You can do this by calling the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers at (716) 754-4883 or the American Red Cross.
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