Being pregnant shouldn’t mean putting your life on hold. If you have plans to travel during your pregnancy, you should take the opportunity to do so, as long as you plan for your trip accordingly. Whether you are traveling for business, to visit family during the holidays, or to go on a relaxing vacation out of country, there are several things you can do to ensure your trip is worry free and that you are prepared for anything during your travels.
Consult Dr. Ayalon
Your personal doctor will know your medical history best and can make the best decision on whether you are safe to travel. Make sure to check in with Dr. Ayalon before booking any flights or marking your calendar. Generally it is safer to travel before your last month of pregnancy. It may also be recommended that women with a history of certain complications (like preterm birth) stay close to home or avoid flying during the end of their pregnancy. Check with Dr. Ayalon to be sure and to travel with more peace of mind.
While it is not recommended that you leave town in your last month of pregnancy, you should keep in mind how far along you will be when your are on your way back home as well. If you are currently planning your itinerary for a trip in the future, you should also keep in mind that you may be limited in the kinds of activities you should participate in. For example, risky activities like horseback riding, skiing, snowboarding, and scuba diving should be avoided. If you are unsure about a specific activity or sport you would like to take part in during your travels, call Dr. Ayalon and ask.
Some countries require certain vaccinations for travelers even if the disease is not currently a threat to the area you are visiting. If you must travel to a country where the threat of a disease is high, be sure to get vaccinated, preferably before getting pregnant. While some vaccines like those for hepatitis B, hepatitis A, and tetanus are safe, it is better if you avoid the possibility of potentially harming your baby with more risky vaccinations. If you can, try to complete any necessary vaccinations around three months before getting pregnant.
Eat Well and Take Care of Your Body
If you will be flying, make sure to pack snacks like nuts, dried fruit, and crackers so you may eat at regular intervals and bring plenty of bottled water to prevent dehydration. Call your airline ahead to check what meals will be served and preorder meals if you need other foods to fulfill your dietary needs. If travelling in a foreign country where water quality is questionable, avoid drinking water that has not been boiled and eating fruits and vegetables that have not been cooked.
Be prepared for frequent restroom stops. If travelling on train or plane, opt for an aisle seat for easier access to the restroom. If you will be sitting for long periods of time, make sure to pamper your feet to avoid swelling in your ankles and aching calves. Do your best to stretch and walk around every 90 minutes if possible. For more comfortable footwear, choose shoes or sandals that have a supportive footbed and skid resistant soles to prevent slipping.
Be Prepared for the Unexpected
Different airlines have different policies on when pregnant women are allowed to fly. We recommend checking these policies beforehand and obtaining a note from Dr. Ayalon confirming your due date to avoid any problems when checking in for a flight. Also, if you expect to be staying out of town for longer periods of time, get to know the area better. Find out where the nearest hospital is and if necessary, check for midwives in the area. Brush up on your insurance policy to be prepared for any possible complications that could arise during your trip.
As a mom to be, pregnancy can be tiring and you will need to relax; taking a vacation during pregnancy can be a great way to de-stress before you’re due. Avoid the additional stress of travelling unprepared for your new needs as an expecting mother by planning well in advance and taking all necessary precautions for you and your baby. Remember to always be aware of changes in your body or how it reacts to different situations. To always be safe, plan your vacations in advance with Dr. Ayalon’s guidance, and enjoy your travels!
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