An pregnant woman needs special care and attention and much more so when she plans to travel. Get some advice on the dos and don'ts of travel during pregnancy.
Pregnancy needs extra care and attention from the expecting mother, her partner and family. Traveling during pregnancy can be made foolproof and safe by taking certain precautions and doing some further planning.
Below are some tips which will help you be armed for travel with your bump
- A visit to your doctor/obstetrician: It is of extreme importance that you visit your doctor to get a ‘go ahead’ signal before starting out for your trip. Your overall health needs to be in perfect shape before you can think of traveling during pregnancy. Any medical concerns, which is either present or foreseen should be attended to or taken into consideration. Consult your doctor of any need for prenatal care visits while you will be traveling. You should preferably schedule your journey in such a way that it does not disrupt any prenatal tests or prenatal care visits and proceed after the test results are favorable to do so. If your trip requires you to be away for some time then you would need to have an alternate doctor for consultation while visiting a place, ask your obstetrician for recommendations. Complicated cases of pregnancies and medical concerns can keep you grounded for some time which you should comply with for you and your baby’s health.
- Keep your prenatal, medical and health records handy: While you are traveling, keep copies of all medical and prenatal records with you so that in case of emergencies it becomes a crucial reference point. Your records should contain information regarding your due date, previous pregnancy complications (if any), any medical conditions and any other relevant data.
- Wear comfortable clothing for your travel: Pregnancy can make you suffer from various discomforts such as bloating, sweating, tendency to frequently urinate and general uneasiness. Traveling during pregnancy should be made comfortable by wearing appropriate clothing which is loose and breathable. Wear comfortable footwear which has no heels and is not too tight or loose.
- Pack all necessary medications: Remember to pack all required medications like prenatal vitamins and any prescribed medicines. Any medication that you might be taking during your pregnancy should be approved or prescribed by your doctor. It is always wise to carry your prescription or your doctors recommended medicines in writing as not only will it help in purchasing further medicines in case you run out of your medication but will also help in medical emergencies.
- Health and Travel insurance: Getting insurance cover for your health while you are traveling during pregnancy can be helpful, especially if you are traveling abroad and for a long duration. You would need to check personally about various insurance companies and their guidelines and what kind of safety cover they can provide for pregnant women travelers. Always carry copies of health or travel insurance with you while traveling.
- Try to stick to your usual schedule: While traveling can make your everyday routine go haywire but strive for sticking to a regular pattern. Have healthy and nutritious diet which is broken into mini meals throughout the day. Do not let traveling be an excuse to break away from a healthy routine of healthy meals and snacks at regular intervals. Ensure you get appropriate amount of fiber in your food as constipation during pregnancy is common and you would want to avoid it by all means.
- Be hydrated: Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated and keep fatigue at bay. Ensure the source of water is pure and not contaminated in any way. Buy only packaged mineral water of reputed brands or better still carry your own water bottle.
- Move around: Traveling can get tiring even by merely sitting around for long hours. So, make sure to get up from your seat and walk down the aisle or when you are traveling by car, take frequent stops to stretch and relax. Light leg raises and stretching can help relax your tense muscles. Moving around will also aid in blood circulation and prevent formation of blood clots in the legs or lower body.
- Flexible travel plans: Keep your travel plans and itinerary flexible as pregnancy can bring on sudden changes which may call for cancellation of trip. Avoid trips during your first and third trimester of pregnancy unless it is really necessary.
- Travel in company: It is always safe and comfortable to travel with somebody, be it your husband, a family member or a friend. Avoid traveling alone. Traveling with somebody helps in emergency situations and helps in providing a helping hand anytime in the journey. It also of course helps in passing the time quickly as you will not get bored alone.
- Check rules and regulations of airlines: Different airlines have varying rules and policies regarding traveling for pregnant women. Airlines need a letter from your doctor mentioning your estimated due date and overall health status to book your ticket. There can be many formalities which would need to be carried out if your pregnancy is more than twenty-eight weeks.
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