Travelling When Pregnant
Are you going to be travelling during your pregnancy? First, second or third trimester - each has different factors to consider.
When I was pregnant with Eve I had to travel to China to see my husband who was working out there. I was only in my second trimester but looked like I was in my third,. If my doctor hadn't advised me, I could have been stopped from flying. However thanks to being prepared the trip went smoothly.
Lots of women worry about travelling when they are pregnant yet according to medical professions providing she has no complications and takes the right precautions there is no reason to stop travelling.
First trimester is often avoided, not because of any risk related to travel but due to the nausea and vomiting often experienced at this stage. Moms to be are also likely to be more tired at this time as their bodies are adjusting to the surge of hormones and changes happening within. Also miscarriage is also statistically higher in the first three months whether travelling or not.
I travelled with my first pregnancy during the first 12 weeks as we wanted to break the news personally to family back home that we were expecting our first baby.
The second trimester is a time most ladies prefer to travel as it is "usually' the more comfortable stage and your growing tummy will not be so big to make your way through the aisles etc and small bathrooms. This was when I travelled to China. Thankfully my Doctor advised I carry a doctors note, declaring I was safe to travel and stating how far along I was so that I faced no issues at the airport. I did get asked to present this, probably because I looked a lot further along than I was (second baby :-)) and was allowed to travel - phew!
The third trimester is the time travel needs to be more considered. Your are likely to be more tired and will be physically bigger too.
Many airlines ask for a doctors note after week 28 to check when you are due and that you aren't at risk of complications, so best to check with your airline on their policy before you go. The chances of going into labour are higher after 37 weeks and 32 weeks if carrying twins and main airlines prohibit travel at this stage for obvious reasons.
If you are travelling long distance - more than 4 hours there is a small risk of blood clots (DVT - Deep Vein Thrombosis) - so if you fly drink plenty of water and try and move about every 30 mins or so to keep things circulating. You can also buy a pair of compression socks or tights which will help reduce leg swelling ( available at most pharmacies). Its also a good idea if flying to choose an aisle seat to give you easy access to the restrooms and to move about. Seatbelts should be placed across the lap and under the belly not across your bump. Wear comfortable clothes and and shoes - loose if usually best and cotton idela to avoid getting too hot or too cold.
Its important to make sure you have the right travel insurance that covers pregnancy (at all stages) and labour etc, also check the health facilities where you are travelling to just incase you need medical attention at any point during your trip.
If you keep a copy of all your medical notes with you this could prove invaluable if you do need any medical help at any point, so the full history is available readily.
Check the destination you want to go to before you plan your trip for any vaccinations needed or health risks related to the place. This way your doctor can advise what you need to do to safely travel or whether you need to consider putting your trip on hold.
Lastly I hope your get to fulfill any plans you have made and have a safe, smooth and comfortable trip!!