There was a time when pregnancy was considered more of a disabling condition than it is today. Modern medicine and research have given us the knowledge that allows a greater degree of freedom for the pregnant woman. Once considered controversial, we now know that travel can be completely safe for a pregnant woman.
The best time for a pregnant woman to travel is during the second trimester. This is also generally the time that you may feel the most like traveling. During the first trimester, you may be particularly prone to motion sickness, for example. Also, there are some studies that suggest a link between air travel during the first trimester and miscarriage, but these are not entirely conclusive. In terms of the last trimester, you can generally travel up until just a couple of weeks before your due date. At that point, you probably don’t want to be more than an hour or so away from your health care provider.
There are some basic, common-sense tips you should follow if you are pregnant and wish to travel. They include:
– If you have a high-risk pregnancy, such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, placental abnormalities, prior miscarriage, or a variety of other factors, you are generally advised not to travel.
– If you travel to a developing nation, try to make sure you have been vaccinated prior to conception. Most vaccines can either be harmful to unborn babies, or the effects are not known.
– Be aware of airline regulations. Some airlines require a doctor’s note if you wish to fly after your 35th week of pregnancy.
– Always wear your seatbelt underneath your belly and strapped across your lap.
– Be conscious of circulation. Try to get up and walk around at least for a few minutes each hour, when traveling by car. Consider the use of support stockings when traveling by plane.
– Keep on top of your nutritional and hydration needs.
– Check with your health care provider to determine if you have any particular risk factors that should be addressed.