Valerie Gommon Midwife’s Blog

Travelling in pregnancy

Posted on: April 20, 2010

With the holiday season approaching I thought I would write about safety considerations when travelling whilst pregnant.

A holiday is a great idea to recharge your batteries before your baby arrives, but remember holidays can be stressful, particularly the travelling, and planning ahead can help to minimise difficulties.

Most vaccinations are not recommended whilst you are pregnant, so take this into consideration when planning your holiday.  For the majority of women it is considered safe to fly until 28 weeks but after this time you may need a letter from your midwife or doctor and it is important to check the exact requirements of your airline and you may wish to consider extra travel insurance too.  If you tell the airline you are pregnant they may be able to give you a seat with extra legroom.

I would encourage you to see your doctor or midwife for a check-up immediately prior to your holiday – good to know that you and your baby are in good health and that you are fit to travel.

Remember to take your maternity record and any medication you take with you just in case you need any treatment – the record will give any health professional a huge amount of important information about your pregnancy.

If travelling by plane short flights are ideal; but whether you have a short or long flight it is important to wear flight socks as you are more prone to getting blood clots in pregnancy.  It is also important to keep well hydrated (so drink plenty of water) and to get up and more around if possible.  Whilst sitting you can also circle your ankles and move your legs around which will help your circulation.

When travelling by car build extra stops into your journey to allow you time to walk around; it also may be helpful to use cushions to make yourself comfortable and it is important to remain well hydrated and also to move your legs around as much as possible.

Whilst away remember to be very careful with food hygiene – food poisoning is horrid for you, but it is particularly important to avoid whilst pregnant.  When abroad it is probably better to drink bottled water and avoid ice.  Ensure that any food you eat is properly cooked and be careful with buffets if food is left out for long periods – it is also probably better to avoid street food.

Whilst pregnant you may well find that you are more affected by the heat so remember to wear loose, comfortable clothing, wear sun cream and keep out of the sun.  It is really important to ensure that you take enough fluids and don’t try to overdo things as being pregnant is hard work but lastly ENJOY your holiday!

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