For most women, travel during pregnancy is completely safe and comfortable. Keep your travel plans as flexible as possible as issues with your pregnancy may arise at any moment. Consider purchasing travel insurance to help protect your interests should you have to change or cancel your plans at the last minute.
See your doctor for a prenatal check - up and ask her if it is safe for you to travel. Disclose all of your travel plans and have her fill out a medical certificate that indicates it is safe for you to travel. Check with your doctor specifically about low air pressure and increased exposure to radiation if you fly frequently. For a pregnant woman who travels only occasionally, air pressure and radiation should not be worrisome. • Low cabin pressure has little effect on a pregnant woman or her fetus as the body is able to adapt to the deficiency naturally. • A fetus exposed to radiation has an increased risk of some cancers. At airport security, minimize the risk by asking that you be searched by hand or a wand instead of a security machine. Check with the airline or cruise company to make sure you will be able to travel. • Many airlines restrict or strongly discourage pregnant women from traveling after 36 weeks. Some international airlines may have an earlier cut - off date. The majority of
airlines also will require a medical certificate deeming it OK to fly in the last trimester. Take a copy of pertinent health information and your insurance card in case of emergency while traveling. Pack or wear comfortable clothing and shoes while traveling. Pay attention to your general nutrition while traveling. • Regular meals and snacks can fight travel - related fatigue. Extra water consumption can help you stay hydrated inside a very dry airplane cabin. Wear your seat belt to maintain safety for both you and your baby while traveling by car or airplane. The chances of survival in a crash dramatically increase through the use of a seat belt. • Buckle the seat belt low on your hips, positioning it below your baby bump. The shoulder belt should be positioned between your breasts.
Travel by Car
Plan short trips with frequent stops.
• Limit your driving to 6 hours per day. Long car trips can be exhausting even for someone who is not pregnant. Get out and stretch your legs often. If you ' re sedentary for more than 4 hours you ' ll have an increased risk to developing deep vein thrombosis. • Deep vein thrombosis occurs when a blood clot forms in the legs and can travel to other areas of the body. A serious condition, pulmonary embolism, can occur when the blood clot travels to the lungs. Pregnant travelers are an additional risk of developing deep vein thrombosis. Make adjustments to your vehicle to allow for safe traveling while pregnant. • Keep air bags turned on. The air bags will help you and your baby survive a crash. • Move your seat back as far as possible but in a way in which you can still reach the foot pedals effortlessly. • If possible, tilt the steering wheel up and away from your belly.
Travel by Airplane
Book an aisle seat whenever one is available so you have easy access to the bathroom and can get up and stretch your legs during the flight. Avoid drinking soda or eating foods that cause gas such as beans, oatmeal and prunes before your take - off. The low air pressure on flight can cause gas to expand and increase discomfort in pregnant women.
Travel by Ship
Evaluate whether or not you have experienced motion sickness. Symptoms include balance problems, dizziness, nausea, headache and weakness. • If you don't normally experience motion sickness you may find yourself able to tolerate the ship's motion during your trip. However, it may be best to consult your doctor about what kind of motion sickness medication you may take while pregnant. • If you have never been on a cruise before you should forgo planning this kind of trip while pregnant. Check if a doctor or nurse will be on board during the cruise. Scheduled port stops should include modern medical facilities in case an emergency situation should arise. Consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to see if the cruise ship has passed the required health and safety inspections before you book your cruise. • The norovirus infection is especially common on cruise ships and is severely contagious. People get infected with the virus when food, drinks and surfaces
become contaminated. The norovirus can cause severe stomach pain and vomiting for up to 2 days.