Pregnancy and Travel
As your baby’s birth day approaches and you prepare for sleepless nights, you and your partner may decide that you’d like to go away somewhere remote and romantic, just the two of you, for old time sake.
But can you and should you travel when you’re pregnant?
In most cases, travelling during pregnancy shouldn’t be a problem. The key here, as the girl guides say, is to be prepared.
Speak to your doctor before you prepare your trip.
While some studies have shown no real increase in miscarriages linked to flying, it’s best not to travel in the first trimester of your pregnancy.
Your doctor is also likely to advise you to stay put, if you’ve had complications during your pregnancy, or if you have other medical problems, including a history of high blood pressure. Travelling to an exotic country, known for having tropical diseases such as malaria are an absolute no-no, as you cannot be vaccinated before you travel. In some cases, you may want to keep a record of your medical history; including your blood group, medication that you’re on and contact numbers, just in case you have to go to a foreign hospital in an emergency.
In most cases, airlines won’t allow you to fly, after 30 weeks of pregnancy just in case you deliver your baby mid-air. Should the flight be absolutely necessary, some airlines may ask for a doctor’s note, stating that you are medically fit to travel.
If your doctor gives you the go-ahead, make sure that your medical insurance covers you when you’re overseas. The last thing that you want is to worry about having to go to a sub-standard hospital or not being able to pay doctors in a foreign country.
So what should you do then to have a relaxing, pre-baby getaway?
- If you’re flying ask for an aisle seat so that you can stretch your legs often. If you’re driving, stop every hour for some exercise.
- Wear support stockings, when flying, if you’re prone to varicose veins
- Avoid lugging heavy suitcases about. Ask for help at the airport and use trolley’s as much as possible
- Drink plenty of water, to keep hydrated
- If you’re in a foreign country and you’re unsure of the quality of the food, make sure that you stick to foods you know and trust. Don’t eat from a salad bar, make sure your meat is cooked properly and stick to bottled water.
- Keep a stash of healthy snacks in your bag. Your nutrition shouldn’t be compromised because you’re far away from home
- Plan lots of short little tours instead of a day-long sight-seeing event, so that you can put your feet up regularly and rest
- Make sure that you schedule afternoon naps or quiet time
- If you’re travelling to a warm, humid climate, bring along plenty of cotton underwear, so that you don’t develop thrush
- Don’t decide that your last child-free trip is the time to learn how to ski, surf or scuba dive. Avoid any activity that could hurt you or your baby. You can, however, continue to do light exercise.