Travelling while pregnant is sometimes a little more work but it is possible. Doing a little extra prep beforehand can go a long way to reducing discomforts en route to your destination. Whether you’re planning a holiday retreat before the baby arrives, a work trip or a four-hour drive to visit family, make sure to prioritize your comfort and health while on the go. Here are some travel tips for travelling while pregnant.
Visit the doctor first
It is usually safe for women with low-risk pregnancies to travel. However, it is important to consult your doctor first. Every woman is different and has different experiences during their pregnancy. Once there are no complications, most women are to be able to travel while pregnant. Your doctor will confirm whether it is safe for you to travel or not. Once you get the okay from your doctor, it’s vital to carry a written record of your due date and any medical conditions you have.
Time your trip right
The general rule for travelling while pregnant is to wait until your second trimester of pregnancy (14 to 27 weeks). In most cases, you are past the morning sickness of the first trimester and several weeks from the third stage of pregnancy when you are more easily fatigued. It is advised that women should avoid any long journeys during their last stage of pregnancy, especially if you’re at risk of preterm delivery.
Wear comfortable clothing
Dress comfortably in loose cotton clothing for maximum comfort. Although doubtful, the risk of DVT (Deep vein thrombosis) can be further reduced by wearing compression stockings and wear comfortable shoes.
Check the airline requirements
Check with the airline for its requirements before you book a flight. If you are planning on flying and you are 28 weeks pregnant or more, some airlines will require you to carry a letter from your doctor, dated no more than 10 days prior to travel. This should outline the estimated due date, the absence of complications, and your fitness to fly for the duration of the flight or flights booked.
Pick your flight seat strategically
If flying to your destination book an aisle seat if possible. This will make frequent bathroom trips easier for you. It is also recommended to request a seat in the middle of the plane, over the wing, where you’ll feel less turbulence.
Stretch – travelling while pregnant
Pregnant women are at higher risk of developing blood clots, so it is important to avoid sitting still for long periods of time. Whether you’re flying or driving, try to keep the blood flowing in your legs by taking breaks.
On long haul flights even flex and point your toes as often as you can. Any movement will help increase the blood circulation in your legs and even can reduce bladder pressure.
Wear a seat belt
When on a plane, wear your seat belt strap under your baby bump (your lower lap). It is important to keep your seat belt fastened as much as possible in the case of turbulence.
If you are driving to your destination, tuck the bottom strap of the seat belt under your baby bump for comfort and keep the top strap across your chest where it would usually sit. If you are on a plane and the belt doesn’t fit, ask an attendant for a seat-belt extender. Do not feel too embarrassed to ask — remember, you are yourself and your baby.
Staying hydrated is vital! Drinking water can help prevent swelling of your hands, legs, and feet. Stay hydrated throughout your journey by to drinking non-caffeinated fluids or like water and juice.
For more travel health tips and advice call into your local TMB travel health clinic and speak to one of our qualified professionals. Our experts will guide you through the health requirements for your destination.