Travel and pregnant women: how to plan your trip?
Are you pregnant and want to go to your next dream destination? Don’t worry. It’s not only safe but more accessible than you think. However, it is still essential to plan your stay accordingly. Travel and pregnancy are a duo that rhymes with organization!
In the following few lines, discover how to organize yourself to travel pregnant without a hitch: from the plane to the planned activities to the call to your insurance company.
Travelling pregnant: choosing a suitable time
According to experts, the window between 18 and 24 weeks of pregnancy would be the ideal time to travel. This period, which represents the second trimester, is less affected by obstetrical disorders of various kinds than the first and third trimesters.
In all cases, notify your health care provider in charge of your pregnancy follow-ups. They will be able to inform you of the precautions to take, such as travel vaccines for pregnant women and many others.
Selecting an appropriate destination: precautions to take while pregnant
When you decide to travel while pregnant, it is important to know that the destination often dictates the risks to which you are exposed. Here is a list of factors to keep in mind when planning:
Duration of the flight
In general, flying pregnant is not a problem (unless you have a flight restriction of some kind). However, it is essential to discuss the length of the trip with your healthcare professional to ensure no medical complications. Depending on his or her observations, the stage of your pregnancy and your predisposition, he or she will be able to make various recommendations, such as
- Wearing comfortable clothing and flat shoes or sandals
- sit at the side of the aisle so you can stand up regularly
- do seated exercises and stretches every half hour
- keep hydrated throughout the flight
- request a seat belt extension, if needed (available from most airlines)
- Wear appropriate compression stockings
Some isolated cases may make flying a contraindication for pregnant women, such as a history of deep vein thrombosis (possibility of blood clots), recent vaginal bleeding, heart or lung disease and others.
Quick access to health care
If something were to happen, could you get the medical help you need? For example, if you went into labour while travelling, would you be close to a hospital equipped to care for you? Here are some essential questions to ask yourself when travelling while pregnant. Access to adequate health care is a must to check off your list. Talk to your health care professional and an experienced travel agent.
Travel vaccines for pregnant women
Depending on the country of your destination and the activities planned, certain precautions may require vaccination for pregnant women. In general, only live vaccines are prohibited in pregnant women. An appointment with your doctor or a visit to a travel health clinic will give you the facts.
Zika and malaria: a danger during pregnancy
When travelling, the risk of contracting water-borne, mosquito-borne and food-borne diseases increases. Some of these diseases are more dangerous than others for the pregnant woman and her baby. In some countries, the Zika virus and malaria, diseases transmitted by mosquito bites, are among them.
Since no treatment or vaccine is available for these, countries where Zika and malaria are active should be avoided at all costs. For its part, a Zika virus infection in a pregnant woman can lead to severe problems in the child, such as incomplete brain development (micro encephalitis), premature births and more.
As for malaria, the disease is known to drastically increase the risk of infection and death in pregnant women, miscarriage and stillbirth, fetal thyroid problems and more.
The altitude of the destination
When researching, be sure to check the altitude of your destination. Indeed, it is an important environmental factor for the pregnant woman who travels, regardless of whether her pregnancy is at risk or not,
Specifically, all altitudes above 3658 meters from sea level are strongly discouraged by the Government of Canada. This precaution has several reasons, including oxygen deprivation for both mother and child, atmospheric pressure levels and more.
In addition, since high-altitude cities are often reclusive, health services are generally not accessible or simply absent.
Throughout her pregnancy, the pregnant woman experiences different hormonal changes. For example, blood volume increases by about 50%. Also, the body temperature adapts less quickly to the environment. Here are two reasons why a pregnant woman is naturally warmer than most people.
Ideally, hot and humid destinations should be avoided. A rise in body temperature over a long period in a pregnant woman can lead to dehydration, with consequences for her health and that of her baby.
In some cases, long car trips may be a contraindication for pregnant women. For example, the latter can demonstrate certain venous disorders that can worsen during itineraries of a few hours. That’s why it’s essential to talk to a doctor to see if this is a limit for you.
Tourista in pregnant women can cause severe dehydration and abdominal pain. It would be best if you took all possible precautions, such as choosing your destination accordingly.
Choosing insurance such as travel insurance for childbirth
Be prepared for the unexpected with travel insurance. If you already have this type of insurance, check your coverage for possible situations. For example, would you be covered if you were to give birth in another country? Here is some essential information to gather before leaving on a trip.
Above all, pay special attention to exclusions. Some travel insurances cover childbirth only; others do not cover non-pathological expenses, examinations abroad, etc.
Follow the advice given to you
Your health care provider, your insurer, your travel agent: these professionals will give you advice depending on your destination, your activities, etc. We’re thinking here of precautions for the Zika virus and specialized coverage that your insurer can provide. These tips should be an integral part of your travel decisions.
Respecting the restrictions
While some activities or destinations will be prohibited for the pregnant woman who travels, certain restrictions will also be issued. For example, if you are going to the South, it is important to respect the current dietary restrictions (raw fish, dairy products, local water, etc.).
Prepare a complete travel kit
When you go on a trip while pregnant, you need to take extra precautions. Talk to your health care provider about the essentials to bring in this kit as your pregnancy progresses. Here are a few examples of items that every pregnant woman should always have with her when traveling:
- Anti-nausea drugs
- Refreshing wipes
- Commercial bottled water
- Loose clothing and a change of clothes
Answers to your questions
Where to go on vacation when you are a pregnant woman?
Many places in the world are safe for pregnant women. Fortunately, today, data regarding travel restrictions during pregnancy is highly accessible. This allows companies such as travel agencies to direct you to the destinations best suited to your wishes.
Are you looking for ideas on where to travel while pregnant?
Before welcoming your baby, a trip is an ideal way to relax and take care of yourself! Choose a relaxing or cultural destination with your other half. Here are some travel ideas with this article:
Why avoid long trips while pregnant?
A priori, it is a question of blood circulation. Long air travel can impact the circulatory health of pregnant women, especially if they are prone to venous disorders (e.g. venous thrombosis). That’s why it’s recommended to get up regularly to walk during the flight, no matter how long the flight is.
Can I travel when I am 6 months pregnant?
Yes, however, you must have your doctor’s advice to be sure you are following the potential restrictions.
What is the most dangerous month to travel during pregnancy?
There is no specific month of pregnancy that is considered the most dangerous for travel. Each pregnancy is unique and may present different situations. However, it is recommended to avoid travel during the last weeks of pregnancy, as it may increase the risk of complications or premature delivery. Consult your healthcare provider or obstetrician for specific advice based on your situation before planning a trip during pregnancy.