With cautious preparation, travel can be safe during pregnancy. There are additional risks and challenges to consider. Pregnant women may be at increased risk of infection. Some infections may be severe, which can also affect the unborn baby. You must consult your healthcare provider. Visit the travel health centre six weeks before your trip to discuss your travel plans.
1. SAFE TIMING OF TRAVEL
The safest time to travel is between 18 and 24 weeks of pregnancy. The most common fetology emergencies occur in the first and third trimesters.
The decision to travel should be made after consulting your healthcare provider. Discuss the goals of travel, destination, planned activities, and length of the trip under pregnancy-related complications.
If you plan to travel during pregnancy, make sure that you have adequate travel health insurance. Review your policy and provides recovery. Most policies don’t automatically cover pregnancy-related conditions or hospital care for infants.
It is recommended that pregnant women avoid live vaccines. For example, measles, mumps and rubella etc. However, non-live vaccines are considered safe such as hepatitis B.
A pregnant woman should consult her healthcare provider before getting vaccinated.
Malaria can cause significant health problems for the mother and her unborn baby. Pregnant women should avoid travelling to those areas where malaria is transmitted.
If you can’t avoid travelling to an area where there is malaria, take special care of your health from mosquito bites. Contact your healthcare provider to discuss which medications are appropriate.
Seek medical attention immediately if you develop a fever on the way or when you return home.
2. Transportation Risks
Travel by Airline:
Pregnant women should travel safely by air. Pregnant women can safely take off for 36 weeks of their pregnancy in the absence of medical or obstetrical complications. Flying is not injurious to the pregnant woman and her unborn baby but consults any health problem with your healthcare provider before you fly.
Check with the airline for its necessities before you reserve a flight.
Select a walkway seat if feasible. It will surely make it easier to go around in the plane.
Avoid air travel when reached 36th week of pregnancy.
As you may have a hazard for early or preterm labour.
Travel by Car
Suppose you are pregnant then try to avoid the long drive. Though, if you can't make it sure and it is necessary to travel than don't travel on a regular or daily basis. And also stretch your body during travel and move around.
Always wear a seat belt whether you travel by plane, car or train.
Appropriate use of airbag is necessary despite the consequences of whether you are pregnant.
Take toilet breaks and short walks minimum every 2 or 2.5 hours on long trips to enhance the blood circulation in legs and to reduce the bladder pressure.
Do exercise (in the car) while you are not driving, like turning and flexing your feet, and wiggling your toes. It will reduce rigidity and distress from your legs and body.
Weakness and wooziness are widespread during this state, so it's necessary to drink more and to eat natural energize food, such as fruits, nuts.etc., during travelling.
Wear your seat belt with cross strap in between your breasts and lap strap across pelvis under bump, to avoid sudden shocks.
Sailing in pregnancy
Transport companies have their own rules and regulations in which they have already mentioned that pregnant women are not allowed carrying heavyweight objects (significantly beyond 32 weeks).
For long boat trips, find out if there are committed facilities to deal with pregnancy.
Food and drink abroad in pregnancy
Take special care to avoid a waterborne and foodborne state of affairs, like traveller's diarrhoea and stomach trouble. Medicines for the treatment of traveller's diarrhoea and troubled stomach are not suitable while travelling during pregnancy.
Drink bottled water. If you feel ill, drink water and keep eating healthy food too.
Many medicines are used to treat vomiting and sickness during pregnancy, and it could also be useful in treating motion sickness. If you think that you may incident motion sickness during travelling, ask your doctor or consultant about medication.
3. Personal protective measures
Foodborne and waterborne diseases
Pregnant women should be careful and put into practice particular food and water safety measures.
Many foods and waterborne diseases can be too harsh during pregnancy and cause a risk to the baby (unborn).
Make it your habit to wash your hands before eating something, after eating too.
Also keep remembering to wash your hands after using the bathroom, having contact with animals and ill people, or after changing diapers.
Drink boiled and covered water or if it is in a sealed bottle.
Avoid using iodine for water cleaning for an extended period because this may affect newborn to develop thyroid.
Eat well-cooked food, especially any meat like fish, chicken, shellfish, mutton or beaf.etc.
Insect and animal illnesses:
Protect yourself from insect bite while using precautionary measures like bed nets, insect repellents and full clothing.
Avoid animal contacts such as bats, rodents, dogs, monkeys, birds and snakes.etc.
Pack a travel health kit
Pregnant women should keep their health kit carrying haemorrhoid cream, medicines for yeast infection, prenatal vitamins and support tube.
Monitor your health
Ask for medical concentration if you realize any of the subsequent symptoms during travelling;
Passing clots or tissues,
Contractions in the belly,
Excessive pain in legs,
And if your water breaks.
If you grow such symptoms than after returning you should consult with your doctor and let them know about your current situation so that they timely treat you. And save you from any misfortune.