Thursday, 3 October 2013

Travelling during Pregnancy

Introduction

Pregnancy is the time when a lot of care needs to be taken of the pregnant woman’s health, especially by her own self and by others around her. Though, travel during pregnancy is certainly not prohibited, it has be ensured that the pregnant woman takes necessary precautions so that her and child’s health is not compromised.


Best Time to Travel

The pregnant woman is generally advised by the doctor not to travel in the first trimester as at that time the risk of miscarriage is highest. Moreover, she may also have to avoid travelling in case of high risk pregnancy or as suggested by the doctor. The ideal time to travel during pregnancy is the second trimester as most common pregnancy emergencies usually occur in first and third trimester. Also, if you are 35 years or above and pregnant for the first time, it would be better that you don’t travel.

If your doctor has permitted you to travel to your chosen destination, ensure that you are carrying all the required medicines or prescription. Do take a copy of your medical records also as they might be needed in case of emergency. Moreover, some insurance companies don’t cover pregnancy, so you need to check that also.

Precautions to be taken in land travel

Travelling by car, train or bus does not have any disadvantages, though you should avoid long journeys and try to limit your drive to not more than 5-6 hours. Prefer taking frequent breaks in long journey as they are necessary for proper circulation in your body. Do stretch your legs at regular intervals and dress conveniently for frequent visits to the toilet. Even if your car has an air bag, wear a seat belt low on the hips and not on the abdomen to avoid undue pressure. You may also carry a pillow during the journey which can be used for uncomfortable positions.

Precautions to be taken in Air Travel

Most airlines follow strict rules for pregnant travellers. In case you are more than 32 weeks pregnant, you may not be allowed to travel. Air travel may involve risk as the air pressure decreases during the flight and can slightly reduce the amount of oxygen in your body which may cause damage to the membranes of the uterus. But in case you are healthy, it won’t pose any risks.

Before going on a plane journey, make sure that you dress easily, follow airlines’ rules and don’t take any gas-producing foods and carbonated drinks.

Ask for priority boarding for yourself and also use electric car if available at the airports instead of walking long distances. Don’t hesitate to ask for assistance from airline staff.  

If possible, book an aisle seat, so that it is easy to stretch your legs and go to toilet. Wear your seat belt in the same manner as discussed above. Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. Use only bottled water as it is safe and carry snacks with you if safe food is not available.

Other Important Things

In case of travel to a foreign country, make sure that you have taken requisite immunisations much before the date of travel. Many countries have made it mandatory for the foreigners to take certain immunisations before coming to their country. So you should get them as soon as possible because some immunisations have side effects like pain in that area or mild fever etc. It is also recommended that you don’t travel to a place where infection chances are more.

Conclusion

You can enjoy your travel during pregnancy but just remember to follow the instructions mentioned above.


No comments: