Pregnancy and Travel

Most pregnant woman can safely travel until the last month of the pregnancy. If you are planning to travel while pregnant, the best time is between 14 and 28 weeks of the pregnancy. During this period of the pregnancy, morning sickness should be minimal and very few problems should develop. Here are a few things to remember when traveling:

  • Get a copy of your medical records and take them with you.

  • Limit or avoid travel if you have medical problems or problems with your pregnancy.

  • Discuss any trip with your caregiver and get examined shortly before leaving.

  • Get a good night's sleep before leaving.

  • Take your pillow with you, if there is room in your luggage.

  • Try to get names of doctors in the area you will be visiting.

  • Wear flat, comfortable shoes.

  • Rest when at your destination.

  • Eat a balanced diet, take your vitamins and supplements, and drink a lot of fluids.

  • Do not wear yourself out.

  • Do not ride on a motorcycle when pregnant.

TRAVEL BY CAR

  • Wear your seat belt properly.

  • Sit as far away from the dashboard, if you are in the front seat, to avoid getting hit hard if the air bag deploys in an accident.

  • Stop about every 2 hours to use the restroom and walk around. This helps the circulation in your legs.

  • Keep water, crackers, and fruit in the car.

  • Do not travel for more than 6 hours a day.

  • Take a charged cell phone with you.

TRAVEL BY BUS

You are more confined in a bus making it hard to walk around every couple of hours.

  • Get out and walk around if and when the bus stops.

  • Move your arms and legs when seated. This helps with your circulation.

  • Take water, crackers, and fruit with you.

  • Most buses traveling long distances will have a restroom. Ask about that when making your reservation.

  • After a long trip, lie down for 30 or more minutes with your feet slightly raised.

  • Take a charged cell phone with you.

TRAVEL BY TRAIN

  • There usually is more than one restroom.

  • There is a dining room for meals.

  • There usually are sleepers for overnight and long trips. Ask about sleepers when making your reservation.

  • It is a good idea to lie down for 30 minutes with your feet elevated after your trip.

  • Take a charged cell phone with you.

TRAVEL BY PLANE

  • Pregnant women may be restricted from flying after a certain time of the pregnancy. Every airline has its own rules and regulations. You should ask about them when making your reservation.

  • Usually there are only 2 or 3 restrooms available for 150 or more passengers.

  • You should not fly above 7000 feet in an unpressurized plane.

  • You cannot get up and walk around freely.

  • Wear your seatbelt at all times.

  • Put all your medications and medical records in your carry-on bag.

  • Take water, crackers, and fruit with you.

  • Try to get a bulkhead or an aisle seat.

  • Avoid caffeine drinks and do not eat a big meal before flying.

  • There are special meals you can order when making your reservation, if the airline is serving meals.

  • Wear layered clothing because the temperature in the cabin can change.

  • Move your arms and legs while sitting to help with your circulation.

  • After a long trip, lie down for 30 or more minutes with your feet slightly elevated.

  • Take a charged cell phone with you.

TRAVEL BY CRUISE SHIP

  • You should check with the cruise line and ask several questions, such as:

  • Are pregnant women allowed on the cruise?

  • Is there a medical facility and doctor on board?

  • Does the ship dock in cities where there are doctors and medical facilities?

  • Rest and lie down with your feet raised for 30 or more minutes after arriving.

  • Take a charged cell phone with you.

  • Ask your caregiver if:

  • Any medications are safe for you to take if you get seasick.

  • It is safe for you to wear acupressure wristbands to prevent getting seasick.

TRAVEL TO A FOREIGN COUNTRY

  • Discuss the trip with your caregiver.

  • Get copies of your medical records and have them with you at all times.

  • Take your medications and important documents with you in your carry-on bag.

  • Ask your caregiver if there are any medications that are safe to take for diarrhea, constipation, nausea, or vomiting.

  • Check to be sure you have the required vaccinations for entry into that country. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) can advise you (800-311-3435) about vaccination requirements.

  • Ask your medical insurance company if you and your baby will have insurance coverage while traveling outside the country. Emergency medical and evacuation insurance information is available at the following website: www.travel.guard.com

  • Before making plans to go to a foreign country, call the American Embassy for the name of the Regional Security Officer to get information regarding the embassy's location, weather, any prevalent disease problems, crime, and other questions you might have.

  • It is a good idea to make copies of your medical records, passport, and other important papers, in case you lose the originals.

  • Do not eat uncooked foods of any kind.

  • Drink bottled water and do not use ice.

  • Wash fruits and vegetables with soapy hot water.

  • Only drink pasteurized milk.

  • After you arrive, ask for the location of doctors and hospitals.

  • After arriving, lie down for 30 minutes or more and get some rest.

  • Your cell phone may not work in many foreign countries. Ask your mobile phone carrier about cell phone coverage.