According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the safest time for a pregnant woman to travel is during the second trimester, when she usually feels best and is in least danger of developing problems. But with your doctor's blessing and some well-advised preparation, there's no reason to sit home.
Dr. Robert Wheeler, Medical Director for On Call International, a travel and medical emergency assistance company, has put together these easy to follow tips to ensure safety for traveling moms to be.
Consult Your Doctor
No matter how far along in your pregnancy you are, it is important to let your doctor know if you are taking a trip. Whether traveling by train, plane, or simply in the car, any trip can cause stress and affect your body and mind, so it is always best to check in with your doctor first.
Whether women like it or not, pregnancy means you are often eating for two! Planes have been known to sit on the taxiway for hours, trains can often be delayed and food may become limited. Be mindful of your travel destination, if you are going to a foreign country, think of how foods are prepared as fresh foods are more susceptible to germs, while baking or boiling food kills them. It is always good to pack extra food and snacks in case of any delays or food limitations in your travel destination.
When traveling, especially when taking a long flight, it is important to get up from your seat and walk up and down the aisles, preventing blood clots from forming. Always bring a water bottle with you to prevent dehydration and weakness. Comfort is key - women should bring comfortable walking shoes and clothes and pack lightly to put minimal strain on their backs.
Tell the World
Pregnancy is a wonderful thing and women should be proud to be expecting. When planning a trip, tell your travel agent, hotels, tour guides, etc. that you are pregnant. There are often special services and accommodations for mothers to be. Be aware that most airlines have restrictions on women traveling after week 36.
Whether you are traveling 50 or 5,000 miles from home, consider purchasing a membership from a travel and medical emergency assistance company like On Call International which offer medical and travel assistance services like a 24-hour nurse helpline, emergency medical transportation, 24/7 emergency travel arrangements and worldwide legal assistance. For more information, visit www.oncallinternational.com/enroll