Travelling while Pregnant
Many thoughts may go through your mind when you confirm that indeed you definitely are pregnant. If you have an overseas trip planned then this adds another level of complexity to your emotions!
- Is it safe to travel?
- Are you taking unnecessary risks?
- Are there extra precautions which can be taken to make it safe?
- What about the vaccines & even the malaria prophylactic drugs?
- Are they safe?
While every pregnancy is different, there are some guidelines which are worth considering as you consider whether or not to travel at this time.
Stage of pregnancy
Pregnancy can be divided into 3 stages. During the first stage you may feel nauseated and lightheaded. Travelling (long-haul flights, hotter climates etc) may make this more significant.
In the second stage of pregnancy most pregnant women are well and, if they have to travel, this may be the best and safest time.
During the third stage of pregnancy you will be carrying an extra load! This makes exercise more tiring and the pressure on your bladder may mean that you need to find a loo more frequently. Again, not an ideal time to travel. Also airlines will not allow those pregnant to travel close to the date of delivery. (In some cases this is as early as 26 weeks). Some ladies look well beyond their actual dates but the airlines usually go on appearance!
Energy Levels and Heat Exhaustion
During pregnancy the body diverts some blood flow to the womb as this energy is required for the development of your child. You may become tired much more easily from even mild exercise. It is essential that you maintain a good fluid intake and allow yourself sensible rest times so that exhaustion does not occur. You will also be more sensitive to temperature changes. A good, balanced and safe diet is also be essential during your pregnancy.
Immunisations During Pregnancy
It is usually advised not to take any medication during pregnancy – and remember vaccines are medications. This advice is especially true during the first 3 months while the foetus is developing so rapidly. This means that you may not wish to use the basic vaccines which would usually be recommended. However, where necessary, some of the vaccines may be offered as this is regarded as the lesser of two evils! Experience throughout the world does suggest that many of the vaccines are safe in pregnancy but formal research has not usually been carried out.
This is a very exciting time and fantastic news for most people. Doctors may differ on how careful you should be if travelling while pregnant but nevertheless our opinion would be that taking unnecessary risks just doesn’t make sense and so in most cases a non-essential pleasure trip overseas should be avoided during pregnancy where at all possible.
Thank you for reading our blog ‘Travelling while pregnant – Is travel safe during pregnancy?’. Click here for more advice for travelling when pregnant.