3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Travel During Pregnancy

Travel During Pregnancy


The thought of a holiday appeals to many pregnant women because this may be the last chance of time alone together with their partner for some years. Most women feel at their best during mid-pregnancy, when fatigue and nausea are less likely. Wherever you are going, take a copy of your antenatal records with you. Travel in loose clothing and wear shoes that will allow your feet to swell while travelling.

Driving

It is safe to continue driving during pregnancy but, as always when travelling long distances, take a break after a couple of hours and walk around. The seatbelt might feel more uncomfortable but it is still important to wear it. Make sure that the diagonal strap goes between your breasts and the lap strap goes across the lower part of your hips, flat on your thighs - not across your bump.

Air travel

Most airlines will not accept women after 34 weeks of pregnancy onto flights, but check with the individual airline. In some cases it may not be advisable to fly during pregnancy, for example, if you have a history of high blood pressure or premature labour, so check with your doctor first. Also, it is unwise to fly in an unpressurized aircraft because this can significantly reduce the oxygen supply to you and your baby.

Pregnant women are at increased risk of deep vein thrombosis so on a long flight you should get up and walk around every couple of hours. Ask for an aisle seat if possible, so that you can stretch your legs and leave your seat easily. You can also wear supportive flight socks that reduce the risk of DVT. Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration and wear slipper socks, as your feet will inevitably swell during the flight. If you are suffering from pregnancy sickness, ask for a seat over the wings as the ride is less bumpy there.

Travel sickness

Although some travel sickness medicines are safe for most pregnant women under medical supervision, you may prefer to do without them. Travel bands'- stretchy bands worn on the wrists - work on the acupressure point to reduce nausea. Children's travel bands stretch to fit most wrists and are available from pharmacies.

Foreign travel

You should take extra precautions if you are travelling to a foreign country.

  • Ask your doctor whether you need any vaccinations and which ones are suitable during pregnancy.
  • Make sure that your travel insurance covers you for pregnancy-related cancellation and health problems.
  • Take a record of your notes, including your blood group, any allergies and contact numbers for your midwife or doctor.
  • Where food and drink are concerned be scrupulous about hygiene. Drink bottled water if you have any doubts about the tap water - and remember to avoid ice for the same reason.
  • You may not be able to tolerate the heat as much during pregnancy, so stay in the shade and drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration and keep your body temperature down.