Traveling is an excellent way to relax and experience life. However, being pregnant while traveling creates potential problems. This is because traveling may limit access to healthy meals, exercise opportunities and proper medical care. In addition to this, traveling also may be tiring, stressful and uncomfortable. Below explains six things that you should know before you begin your trip.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends traveling between 18 and 28 weeks. This is because most medical emergencies happen during the first and third trimester. Therefore, the second trimester, or between four to six months, is generally safe. Remember that the risk of miscarriage is highest during the first trimester. Although travel is not the cause of miscarriages, it can be difficult to deal with away from home. Morning sickness is also generally worse during the first trimester.
Traveling while pregnant can be exhausting, especially when you already feel tired and low on energy. Keep a steady pace and nap whenever possible. If traveling with others, make sure they understand that your afternoon nap is in the best interest of everyone. Avoid drinking caffeine and anything right before bed to reduce night time trips to the bathroom. Be sure to sleep with the support of pillows between your legs and behind your back.
Be sure to wear loose clothing that isn’t tight around the waist. Meals may be unpredictable, so prepare healthy snacks. Drink as much as possible to avoid dehydration. Being careful about what you eat is the best way to avoid gas, heartburn and gastrointestinal problems. Heartburn can be managed through avoiding eating before bedtime and bringing OB-GYN recommended antacid. Constipation can be managed through bringing along snack foods high in fiber, such as fresh fruit and vegetables.
To Fly or Not to Fly
Women with high risk pregnancies, such as those involving a multiple pregnancy or medical condition, are often advised not to fly. Always carry a small medical pouch that contains the essentials, such as medicine for nausea or constipation. Keep in mind that long distance flights increase the minor risk of developing blood clots, also known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). This may be due to the lower cabin pressure. Consider purchasing special support stockings that will reduce swelling. Be sure to get up between every 30 to 60 minutes to walk inside the airplane. If getting up isn’t possible, stretch your legs as often as possible.
Always avoid fastening the seat belt across your belly. Instead, run the top of the belt across your collarbone with the lap belt under the abdomen. If you must drive, position yourself at least one foot away from the steering wheel. Tilt the steering wheel upward to its pointed at your chest, instead of your belly. If you are involved in an accident, the last thing you want is the steering wheel slamming into your belly. Even better, avoid driving at all. As an extra precaution, move the front or passenger seat back in order to distance yourself from the airbag.
Visit your OB-GYN
Always ask your OB-GYN for travel advice specific to your health and pregnancy condition. Check with your OB-GYN for any upcoming prenatal checks or care that you will need to take care of while traveling. Ask your OB-GYN for a copy of your medical record to take with you. If traveling abroad, ask for a letter from your OB-GYN that states your due date and clears you to travel. This is because certain airlines will not accept women in the final stages of pregnancy on their flights. If traveling locally, ask your OB-GYN if they know any doctor’s in the area. If not, check with your insurance company for the names of a few health care providers. Don’t forget to keep your OB-GYN’s phone number and email handy. Finally, if you have any pregnancy complications, such as gestational diabetes or high blood pressure, check with your OB-GYN for the best ways to manage them. You can find a doctor you can trust on Vitals.
In conclusion, traveling while being pregnancy is safe and manageable through proper timing, avoiding fatigue and staying comfortable. Take extra caution when driving or flying and always first consult your OB-GYN.