Women's Healthcare Topics

What to Expect When Traveling During Pregnancy

Reviewed by James Brann, M.D.

Travel during pregnancy

Travel during pregnancy is typically very safe. This is especially true if you have a low risk pregnancy. There are certain conditions however when you should consider staying close to home. If you have a high-risk pregnancy for example, you may want to stay near your local doctor or health care provider, unless you are traveling to a location with a well-equipped health care facility.

If you plan to travel by air, you may want to check in with your local air carrier. Some have rules and regulations regarding flying while pregnant. Some airlines for example may ask that you present documentation from your doctor that it is safe for you to fly. Still others may not allow pregnant women to fly in the last 4 weeks of pregnancy, due to an increased risk you may go into labor on the airplane! That said most women can fly complication free up until roughly 36 weeks pregnant.

Tips For Improving Traveling During Pregnancy

Of utmost importance to you during your pregnancy should be remaining comfortable while traveling. Most women will have no trouble at all traveling, whether by boat, car or airplane. Many women however, will experience some discomforts associated with travel. Crowded airlines for example may contribute to leg cramping. You may find that you need to use the bathroom more frequently than before, which can be troublesome if traveling in certain conditions. Fortunately there are a number of steps you can take to increase the likelihood you will have a positive traveling experience.

Here are just a few things to consider while traveling when pregnant.

    Learn what to expect when you are traveling in pregnancy.
  • Prepare to take several breaks during your trip.This is especially important if you plan to drive long distances. If nothing else you will need to take several breaks to use the bathroom. You will also find it helpful to get out of the car and stretch your legs on occasion. This can help alleviate any discomfort you are feeling and will reduce your risk for developing blood clots, particularly when flying. If you plan ahead for more breaks you won't feel rushed for time and will find you enjoy the traveling experience much more than if you feel hurried or rushed.

  • Take along your own snacks. If you plan to fly you may find the airline food unappealing. If nothing else it is loaded with salt which will only leave you feeling bloated or uncomfortable. If you suffer from morning sickness you'll want to bring along snacks and soda that is palatable to you. You'll also find that as your pregnancy progresses you are hungry more often than not. It's always a good idea to have a few healthy snacks nearby so you don't go faint with hunger.

  • Have your doctors phone number readily available. You just never know what may happen when traveling. If something were to happen, you can call your doctor immediately and get their advice about the best course of action.

  • Bring plenty of liquids. This is especially important if you are flying. You'll want to stay hydrated even if that means taking even more trips to the bathroom.

  • Dress comfortable. There is no reason to suffer a nine-hour drive in uncomfortable clothing. When traveling you will find your comfort is much more important than your appearance. Besides you can always find something that looks nice and is comfortable at the same time. You might also consider wearing layers in case you get too hot or too cold during your trip.

  • Bring an extra pillow. If staying at a hotel you'll appreciate having your own comfortable pillow. If you can get away with it bring a body pillow so you can sleep easily during your trip. Nothing is worse than going on vacation and not being able to sleep because you are uncomfortable.


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