Travel when Pregnant - Preparation & Check List
Is it Safe to Travel when Pregnant?
Travel when pregnant is safe; however, each pregnancy can be different. If there is a history of complications or there is concern with your pregnancy, be extra careful before travelling especially if this is going to be a long journey.
Ideal time to Travel during Pregnancy
The ideal time for any long distance traveling or any oversea travels during your pregnancy is during the second trimester as in most cases most people will be passed the morning sickness of the first trimester. The third trimester or the later stages of pregnancy is better spent closer to home in case of any emergency.
Preparation and Check List for Travel While Pregnant
The following guidelines on the preparation and check list for travel when pregnant are suggestions only. Before making your traveling plan, or travel when pregnant, please seek advice from your doctor. Please check if there is any prenatal test that needs to be schedule in case it falls within your travelling time.
Plan your travel to make your travel less stressful
- Plan Ahead
If one plan everything all in advance, the travel experience will be less stressful to the pregnant women. These include any prearranged meet up in the airport, car rental, hotel reservation, aisle seat and any specific meal arrangement for flights, and reconfirm any other bookings that may have already been made.
Give yourself extra time to get to train or bus station, airport or even when travelling by car. This will at least overcome any stressful situation if caught in the traffic jam.
Plan for bathroom breaks along the journey and take your own supply of toilet papers and sanitary pads. Remember that travel during pregnancy can be stressful if it is your first pregnancy, so be prepared for all things that you will need along the journey. This preparation & check list for travel when pregnant is to make your travel less stressful.
- Get all the required records and information on your pregnancy
Bring along a copy of your prenatal chart and medical records. Also, include all the essential contacts and their phone numbers including mobile and home phone numbers. In case of emergency, one need to refer to this list, so keep it in your handbag and get an extra copy for your partner. Do not forget to include your hotel and airline phone number on your travel destination when you travel when pregnant.
- Travel Insurance
It is always a good practice to buy travel insurance even if the person is not pregnant. It will cover any missed flights, lost baggage, stolen items but make sure the policy includes pregnancy complication as travel during pregnancy can be unpredictable.
- Insurance Policy on Travel when Pregnant
Check your health insurance policy for any exclusion for travel when pregnant, and if in doubt consult your insurance agent.
- Travel during third trimester
If one has to fly during the third trimester, check with the airline policy on travel when pregnant. Bring your doctor’s letter that states his support, for your travel.
- Is Vaccination Safe when Pregnant?
It is best not to take unnecessary medication and vaccination, when pregnant. However, one may have to do so if your travel destination requires this. Check in advance and consult your doctor. Pregnant women should avoid live vaccines such as for chicken pox, measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination.
- Take extra precaution during your pregnancy
Anything can happen while traveling, so make sure there is a mobile phone (and charger!). If currently not an auto club member, either join one or have phone numbers of car towing companies in case of any breakdown. Travel when pregnant can be unpredictable, so you always want to be within reach.
- Pack sufficient supply of medicine
Pack sufficient supply of your medicine in case it might not be available at your travel destinations. These will include your prescription medication, over the counter medication (for diarrhoea, travel sickness etc.) and prenatal vitamins.
- Travel Light
Pregnant women should pack only the necessary items especially when travelling alone. Consider the worst case scenario where there is no one to help and, you have to do everything yourself. A handy carry-on bag on wheels will be the best bet for travel when pregnant. This may be trivial, but is an important part of your preparation & check list for travel when pregnant.
- Have regular meals
Always have meals at regular interval, however, when traveling, meal schedules tend to get disrupted. So take any healthy snacks, sandwiches, fruits, nuts, and bottled water with you. This will come in handy if the traveling time takes longer than expected or if you encounter a problem with local food. Snacks will also help keep nausea at bay.
Travel, as well as pregnancy can make you thirsty. Do not forget to drink plenty of water as dehydration can lead to an early labour. Take at least eight ounce glasses a day.
Pregnant women MUST avoid drugs, alcohol and cigarettes.
- Give yourself time to relax and do not remain stationary over a long time
Traveling is always hectic and put additional stress to pregnant women. Give your self sufficient time to take a break. Stretch yourself, or go for a short walk. Put your feet up whenever possible and wear comfortable shoes. Take a nap. Travel when pregnant can be stressful.
Travel when Pregnant : Additional points to consider when traveling by car, bus or train
- Pregnant women must always buckle up when traveling in a car. Ensure the use of both lap and shoulder belts for protection to your growing baby and yourself.
- When traveling in a bus remain seated when the bus is moving. The narrow aisle and small bathrooms can be difficult for pregnant women.
- Trains as compared to buses have more legroom but hold on to rails if there is a need to move around.
- If you have to travel alone with a baby, click on this link to read more.
Additional points to consider when traveling by plane
- Airport screening machines are safe even for pregnant women. If one is uncomfortable when going through this machine, inform the airport security personnel, that you are pregnant. Ask for alternative such as a physical "pat down" search instead.
- Drink plenty of water especially on long flights
- Wear seat belt all the time. Potential air turbulence can make you uncomfortable
- Find time to stretch your leg
Additional points to consider when traveling by sea
- Some cruise line has doctor on board. If in doubt, check with the company in case of complication, during the journey. Check if the port of call has immediate access to the medical centre.
- Make sure seasickness medication is suitable for pregnant women.
Go through all the preparation & check list for travel when pregnant again, in case you missed a few items or have yet to complete them.
Related Hubs on Pregnancy & Travel
- Pregnancy Books-Great Books To Read When You Are Expecting: Jennifer's article on her two favourite pregnancy books that should cover all you ever wanted to know about pregnancy.
- Preparing for Pregnancy-Mentally, Physically-Spiritually: rebekahELLE's article on preparing for pregnancy
- Nutrition During Pregnancy: doubleH's article on eating well balanced meals during pregnancy
- Travel Alone with Baby: Check list of things to do if you have to tavel alone with a baby
- Check list for Female Business Traveler: Check list for Female Business Traveler, for a safe and comfortable journey.
Travel when Pregnant : Don't forget to enjoy yourself
When we are on vacation or if we have to travel on business, there are so many things that we want to do. However, remember that pregnant women tend to tire easily. The different time zone and eating meals that one may not be accustomed to may add to your fatigue. So use your common sense and slow down when needed.
Another reminder : Have you gone through the preparation & check list for travel when pregnant, again?
Finally, do not forget to enjoy yourself and have a pleasant journey of motherhood.
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