Travel & pregnancy: True or false?
Are you expecting a baby and planning a trip? It's OK for most healthy women to travel during pregnancy. However, it's a good idea to go over your plans with your healthcare provider—especially if you're going to be traveling far from home. In the meantime, test your knowledge about traveling while pregnant.
True or false: The best time to travel during pregnancy is the 1st trimester.
False. For many women, the best time to travel is in the 2nd trimester. One reason: Most common emergencies occur during either the 1st or 3rd trimester. Also, morning sickness tends to lessen during the 2nd trimester. And traveling could be too uncomfortable in the 3rd trimester.
True or false: Many airlines won't let pregnant women fly in the last weeks of their pregnancy.
True. Some domestic airlines have restrictions on flight after the 36th week of pregnancy. International airlines might use an even earlier cut-off date. Call your airline ahead of time to find out about its policy and whether you need to bring any medical information with you.
True or false: If you travel by air, you should always wear your seat belt, whether the light is on or not.
True. Wearing a seat belt whenever you're sitting on a plane can keep you from getting tossed about during turbulence. Settle the belt low on the hip bones, underneath your belly.
True or false: If you're going on a cruise, the only health problem to worry about is sea sickness.
False. Noroviruses—which can spread quickly on a cruise ship—are also a concern. Noroviruses are extremely contagious and cause severe nausea and vomiting. Also, ask about your cruise line's travel policy for pregnant women—most restrict travel after 28 weeks of pregnancy.
True or false: No matter how you're traveling, you shouldn't sit for long periods of time.
True. Being pregnant and inactive for long stretches of time can increase your risk for blood clots in your legs. You can lower the risk by standing up and moving often. You might also want to ask your provider if you should wear support hose to help prevent blood clots.
Find out what kind of medical care will be available at your destination. You may want to get a recommendation for a healthcare provider in the area in case you experience any problems. If you're traveling out of the country, you can find a doctor through the medical directory at the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers.
Sources: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; March of Dimes