Family vacation planned? Best friend’s wedding? Girls trip? You may be wondering if you need to cancel your upcoming travel plans because you have recently found out you are pregnant. Good news! There are certain methods one can follow to ensure safer travel.
It is advised to drink plenty of water while traveling. Try to drink at least 100-120 ounces of water a day (this is a great goal always!). It is also important to take frequent breaks, try to walk around once an hour. You can roll your ankles, stand and stretch often. You can also use below the knee compression stockings and should try to avoid other restrictive clothing.
Airline travel is generally considered safe for pregnant individuals with uncomplicated pregnancies. Airlines have their own restrictions for travel, so be sure to check the policies of your airline carrier. Most airlines allow travel up to 36-37 weeks. Car travel is safe, as long as you take the precautions mentioned above and wear your seatbelt!
No matter how far along you are in your pregnancy journey, it is important that if you decide to travel, you are familiar with the medical care that will be available at each specific destination. In addition to medical care, you should be familiar with any and all potentials for infection exposures. Pregnant women are at higher risks for complications when exposed to illness, some including travelers’ diarrhea, malaria, Zika virus, SARS-CoV-2. Traveling during influenza and RSV season can also pose a risk. Taking precautions to lower chances of infections is strongly advised. Zika virus during pregnancy is associated with congenital microcephaly, therefore, pregnant individuals should consider postponing travel to areas with high transmission of mosquito-borne Zika virus.
It is best to stop traveling after 36 weeks of pregnancy. If you are pregnant with twins, or have a complicated pregnancy, the time to stop traveling might be earlier. You can always check with your provider to see when they suggest restricting travel. Restricting travel after 36 weeks can help avoid delivery in an unknown area and prevent complications occurring without your medical provider being nearby.
Each pregnant woman must balance the benefits of traveling with any potentials for a complication at her destination. We are here to help you make your decision, but you should feel encouraged to travel safely while growing your bundle of joy.