Travel during pregnancy shouldn’t be problematic providing you follow the advice in this article and plan well in advance. Consider the stage of your pregnancy, any issues or problems your doctor has indicated and your own physical and emotional condition so that you ensure your baby and you remain healthy.
Ensure you don’t miss any important physician visits or tests while away by scheduling them before you go. These can include Rh immunoglobulin injections (for Rh negative blood types), ultrasounds, glucose screening tests and regular prenatal, physician visits.
So, you’ve performed the above, your doctor says you can go, you need to compile a list of phone numbers and contacts to bring with you. Using this list other travelers or health care professionals can be guided should you encounter any pregnancy related health problems.
Included in the list should be the following:
o Personal information, your medications, insurance details and blood type. List also what immunizations you have had, when your last prenatal visit occurred, your due date and any allergies you have
o Names and telephone numbers for a family emergency contact
o Name and telephone number of your doctor
o Name and telephone number of the doctor you can use whilst traveling should you encounter any problems during your pregnancy
Take adequate pregnancy vitamins, medications (prescription or otherwise) so you are covered for the duration of your trip. Obtain health insurance that will cover all eventualities during travel including complications, your entire pregnancy and birth plus make sure there aren’t any small print clauses regarding travel in certain countries.
Your pregnancy could involve unforeseen health issues that may necessitate altering travel plans or could add extra expenses so make sure your travel insurance will cover these. Included in this cover should be any pregnancy and emergency transportation. Ensure you bring a cell phone and make any alterations required so it will work in all countries on your itinerary.
Make sure you incorporate plenty of rest in your day whilst traveling as you are more likely to become fatigued while pregnant and engaging in normal activities. Take advantage of the facilities and relax on the beach, get room service or watch a pay per view movie in your room. Anticipate culinary and schedule disruptions so carry healthy snacks such as nuts, crackers, dried fruit with you. Flying, traveling and pregnancy coupled with different climates will dehydrate so drink lots of water.
Toileting is an important factor to consider. Pregnancy usually necessitates frequent bathroom visits. Try to plan trips and activities that are close to bathrooms. Build these bathroom visits into your schedule so you have time to get from A to B. Plane travel means long periods of sitting so feet and legs will probably swell. Try to elevate your feet if possible and wear really comfortable, stretchy shoes and socks. Grab every opportunity to get up and walk around and use any pit stops to get some exercise in.
Discuss any necessary vaccines required for foreign trips with your doctor and ensure they are safe for you during your pregnancy. Varicella for measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox is a live vaccine and should be avoided. Information on these vaccines are limited and so they should be considered a risk even though the Centers for Disease Control report no fetal damage from live vaccines. Pregnant women at risk from getting Hepatitis B, tetanus and Hepatitis A should be vaccinated as these vaccines are considered safe.
There may be challenges obtaining quality water, food and healthcare in some developing countries. When pregnant you should try to avoid traveling to such regions. Yeast infections can be brought on in hot, humid areas so avoid same by wearing cotton undergarments and loose, lightweight clothes. Wet swimming suits should be removed as soon as possible and it might be an idea to suggest bringing some anti-fungal cream to your doctor.
Surfing, waterskiing, scuba diving, parasailing, horseback riding, skiing, water slides and extreme carnival rides should be avoided especially later in your pregnancy. You don’t want your body temperature elevated when pregnant so give hot tubs and saunas a wide berth. Exercising in a gym and jogging, if you have done it before and are following a pregnancy suitable regime, is OK as is walking and hiking at low altitudes, swimming in calm water and bike riding. Always discuss your plans for exercise with your doctor first.
Box clever. Don’t be afraid to take a rest if you feel you are overdoing it and feel dizzy, tired or overheated. Indigestion and bloating can be a huge problem when traveling due to changes in diet and eating patterns. Eat little and often. Never eat just before turning in allowing at least 2 hours for digestion. Prop yourself up on pillows in bed. Foods to avoid include spicy, chocolate, acidic foods, fruits and liquids, alcohol, caffeine and fizzy drinks such as pop. Keeping active will help keep things moving in your digestive region and fill up on high fiber foods to alleviate constipation etc.
Sitting in the front of the car and keeping the window open for fresh air will help with motion sickness. If traveling on a ship try to stay on deck focusing on the horizon and sit over the wing on an airplane. Acupuncture, pressure point bracelets are available to be worn on the wrist. Motion sickness and pregnancy morning sickness can be alleviated by these devices.
A comfortable and uneventful trip health wise is possible for a pregnant woman if she follows these tips. Listen to your doctor and if they recommend that you don’t travel..don’t. You can take the trip anytime, this is the time to consider the health of you and your new baby.