Just under 4 million women give birth each year in the United States. Many of these women find themselves needing or wanting to travel during pregnancy. If you find yourself in this situation, know that travel can be possible if the right precautions are taken.
We’ve created this guide to help women understand how to keep them and their baby safe while traveling. While we want to help, always talk with your doctor for their advice before you decide to travel.
The Time to Travel During Pregnancy
Many pregnant women find traveling during the first weeks of pregnancy uncomfortable due to nausea and vomiting. The risk of miscarriage is also high. Other women find traveling in the final months to be uncomfortable and tiring.
This leaves months four through six as the ideal time to travel if you’re pregnant. However, if you have a healthy pregnancy and no additional pregnancy complications, then with the right precautions, you should be able to travel safely throughout most of your pregnancy.
If you want to travel, it’s best to speak with your doctor to confirm your health and safety.
Check Your Policies
The first thing you should check is your airline’s policy. Some discourage women from flying after 36 weeks. You may need to get a note from your doctor that verifies your due date. If you need this type of documentation, contact our office, and we can assist you with this.
You should also check your travel insurance and health insurance policies. This will help you understand what’s covered and what isn’t.
You’ll want to know if your travel insurance covers cancellation due to a pregnancy change or development. You should check your health insurance for coverage of medical care to the area you’re traveling to.
Gather the Right Supplies
Whether you’re planning on flying or riding in the car, you’ll be sitting for long periods of time. The centers for disease control recommends purchasing a pair of compression stockings. They will increase the blood flow and help prevent the risk of developing a blood clot.
If you’re flying, ask the flight attended for an aisle seat. Then you can get up and move around every so often. This will also help with comfort and blood flow.
You should also bring snacks like nuts and dried fruit to help prevent fatigue and dizziness. It’s also important to drink plenty of water. This is even more important at high altitudes.
Check for Travel Vaccinations
While vaccines that use live bacteria or viruses aren’t recommended during pregnancy, there are exceptions. Discuss with your health care provider the risk of not getting the immunization vs. getting it. In certain circumstances, the risk of traveling without the immunization is higher than the actual vaccine.
Prepare for Your Pregnancy Travel
If you’re getting ready to travel during pregnancy, then you should start taking these steps to be prepared. Talk with your doctor about your current stage of pregnancy, overall health, and potential risks.
Once you get clearance, you can start preparations by checking your airline’s policies, looking at your insurance policies, and gathering supplies to make your travel more comfortable.
Book an appointment today and let our experienced and caring team help prepare you and your baby for travel and birth.