Pregnancy is a crucial and exhilarating milestone in every woman’s life. Amidst the anticipation for the newly arriving bundle of joy, the well being and safety of both the mother and the child takes centre stage.
Often, women are plagued with concerns of compromising on this very need when they undertake travel during their pregnancy. This however need not be a deterrent and travel can be a pleasure as long as you take a few basic precautions.
It is imperative that you get a clean bill of health from your doctor. If you are suffering from gestational diabetes, high blood pressure (which predisposes you to a condition called pre-eclampsia), or other pregnancy related complications, it’s better to avoid travel.
First Trimester Travelling
Also travelling in the first trimester is not advisable because of the risk of miscarriage. The foetus is still growing and there are erratic fluctuations in the hormonal levels of women causing acidity, heartburn and constipation. This may cause your symptoms to get aggravated during travel.
Some women suffer from severe morning sickness with excessive nausea, vomiting and dehydration. In such cases travel becomes difficult and is generally not advised.
If at all travel becomes inescapable, it is better to equip yourself with medicines to ease the nausea as prescribed by the doctor. Travelling can become a pleasure and is considered safe between the fourth and the sixth month of pregnancy.
Do not schedule your travel around important prenatal tests or injections. Tests like the foetal anomaly scan are performed at specific times during your pregnancy. Certain blood tests like the glucose tolerance test are done during the fifth month of pregnancy. In case of inevitable travel do seek your doctor’s recommendation.
Equip yourself with a first aid kit, prenatal vitamins and essential medical documents before you embark on your journey. Take down contact information of hospitals and health care providers at your destination station in case of emergencies.
If your stay at the travel destination is extended, do get in touch with a reknowned practitioner for your prenatal check up. Get Travel Insurance if necessary. Dress comfortably. Wear loose, cotton clothes for tropical climates and warmer woollens for colder climate. Tight clothing is not recommended for your burgeoning belly.
Road And Air Travel
For women travelling by road, limit driving time to 5-6 hours with frequent breaks. Munching on snacks like biscuits, crackers, dry fruits and fresh fruit juices will keep your energy levels intact and keep hunger pangs at bay. Basic hygiene like hand washing and drinking clean water must be factored in. To prevent dehydration, drink plenty of water.
Always have your seat belt on. Although uncomfortable, not having one on is simply not worth the risk. Air travel is considered the safest mode of transport during pregnancy. Check with your airline policies for safe travel.
Most airlines do not permit travel in the last trimester, this being rendered possible on the production of a medical certificate. Take the help of airline staff to assist you with your luggage. With the help of the above guidelines travelling during pregnancy could well be a cake walk.