Is it Safe to Travel During Pregnancy?

In general travel, unless advised by your doctor, is quite safe and allowed during the first and second trimesters. However, if you’ve had specific medical problems like blood pressure, spotting or an early birth in your previous pregnancy, you must be cautious and check with your doctor before making that trip. Likewise, travelling may not be a wise idea after 36 weeks of pregnancy. Also, if you’re at risk of pre-term labour your, health care provider may not allow you to travel.

The best time to travel, is during the second trimester of pregnancy – about 14 to 28 weeks – when your morning sickness has eased off and you’re probably at your best. This is also the period when the risks of miscarriage and labour are the lowest.

Remember To Take These Precautions, If You’re Travelling:

  • Eat well-cooked meals.
  • Don’t take salads or raw food.
  • Make sure the place you travel to has enough medical facilities.
  • Don’t travel to places of high altitude during the end of your pregnancy lest you find it difficult to breathe.
  • And take your vaccines before you travel.

Are There Risks Involved?

Rail/ Road travel: Travelling by road or train shouldn’t pose any major problems if your pregnancy is uncomplicated. Avoid very bumpy rides and if you are traveling to a place a long way off, make sure you stretch your legs and walk around atleast every two hours. It is best if you avoid traveling during the first trimester of your pregnancy. If you’re traveling by car, make sure you wear your seat belt under your tummy and not over it.

Air Travel: There are chances that flying can cause blood clots and varicose veins. Wearing snug stockings helps to keep your circulation flowing and relieves swollen veins. For maximum protection, put the stockings or socks on before you get out of bed in the morning and keep them on all day.

You may also have heard that radiation exposure at high altitudes can increase risk of miscarriage or abnormalities in unborn babies higher. However, if its an occasional business or leisure trip, the risk is negligible. But, for frequent business fliers, pilots, flight attendants the risks of radiation exposure is quite high and it is important to discuss this with your health care provider who may restrict your total flight time during pregnancy.

What To Keep In Mind When You Fly:

Will you be allowed to fly: Some airlines have restrictions and don’t allow pregnant women especially during the third trimester. So, check with the airline’s guidelines at the time of booking your flight tickets.

Get yourself a comfy seat: Allow the flight attendants to pamper you. Make sure you have a seat that allows you enough leg space to stretch. Don’t hesitate to request for an aisle seat.

Drink plenty of fluids: The the low levels of humidity inside the cabin can easily dehydrate you, so keep sipping fluids

Shake a leg and stretch: Long hours of sitting can restrict the blood flow and lead to blood clotting. Take short walks, up and down the aisle. If this is not possible, flex and stretch your ankles often.

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