Your Doctor

Tips For Travelling While You Are Pregnant

TIPS FOR TRAVELLING WHILE YOU ARE PREGNANT

You might feel like being on holiday is much better for you than being at home while you’re pregnant because it’s relaxing and free from the stresses of everyday life – but it is important to know the facts. Here are Your Doctor’s tips on travelling whilst pregnant. 

FIRST TRIMESTER 

• Make sure you have sufficient travel insurance – and have told your insurance company that you are pregnant. The first three months you are at much higher risk of miscarriage so it’s important that you’re covered if you need to go into hospital. 

• It’s advised not to travel to any countries where you might need vaccines. Some vaccines use live bacteria, which could potentially harm your baby during pregnancy. It’s best to avoid these places, but if you must travel to somewhere where you need a vaccine then you should get medical advice.

• Make sure you avoid all countries where the zika virus is present. Some of the countries where the virus is present may not require inoculations, so they may seem safe. There is no vaccine against the zika virus at present and the virus may harm your baby, it’s also a virus that is extremely hard to avoid as it’s passed on by mosquitoes. It is, therefore, important to take all precautions to avoid getting bitten.

• You might want to try other forms of travel over flying, as during the first trimester you may feel very nauseous so being stuck on a plane is not necessarily ideal. 

• Long distance flying means you’re at a higher risk of deep vein thrombosis, or blood clots. If you’re flying then walk around the plane regularly, drinking plenty of water and wear flight socks which will help reduce the swelling of your legs.

• Try and avoid the saunas or hot tubs if you’re away at a sophisticated hotel. They might seem harmless but over-heating can be dangerous during pregnancy.

SECOND TRIMESTER

• Take special care to avoid food and water-borne conditions when you’re away. Avoid tap water, eating washed salad or eating in quiet restaurants. Many medicines for treating upset stomachs are not suitable for pregnant women so you are potentially much worse off than the average person if you become ill. 

• Try and avoid driving long car journeys, especially in countries where you’re not familiar with the roads. Dizziness and fatigue are extremely common when you’re pregnant but this could increase the risk of a car accident. Car accidents are the most common cause of injury in pregnant women – so if you have to drive, make sure you stop regularly and have enough energy-giving food, and if you can, make sure you have someone to share the driving with.

• Even if you feel you are completely able – there are some activities you must avoid if you are pregnant. Obviously you should avoid any activity that carries a risk of falling, such as, water-skiing, horse riding or climbing. But you also shouldn’t do any scuba diving while you’re pregnant. Scuba diving could cause air bubbles to form in your blood stream that could be affect your baby. 

THIRD TRIMESTER

• Check your airline policy. Some airlines will not allow you to fly after 37 weeks, and 32 weeks if you’re having twins. After 28 weeks, you might have to provide a note from your doctor in order to be allowed to fly. 

• If you’re travelling by ferry you also need to check the company’s policy. Many ferry companies will not let you board the boat if you’re beyond 32 weeks. If you’re on a longer boat trip, like a cruise, then make sure you check there are medical facilities on board in case of an emergency.