You don’t need to cancel your travel plans because you are pregnant. As long as you follow a few simple guidelines and your doctor says it’s safe, in most cases you can travel until close to your due date. The safety and means of travel depend on whether you have any problems that need special care, how far along you are in your pregnancy, and your comfort.
Buckling Up During Pregnancy
For the best protection in a vehicle, wear a lap–shoulder belt every time you travel. The safety belt will not hurt your baby. You and your baby are far more likely to survive a car crash if you are buckled in.When wearing your safety belt:
- Always wear both the lap and shoulder belt.
- Buckle the lap belt low on your hipbones, below your belly.
- Never put the lap belt across your belly.
- Place the shoulder belt across the center of the chest (between your breasts)—never under your arm.
- Make sure the belts fit snugly. Pull any slack out of the belt.
The upper part of the belt should cross your shoulder without chafing your neck.
Never slip the upper part of the belt off your shoulder.
Safety belts worn too loosely or too high on the belly can cause broken ribs or injuries to your belly.
More damage is caused when they aren’t used at all.
When and Where to Travel
The best time to travel is mid-pregnancy (14–28 weeks of pregnancy). By that time many women are past the morning sickness phase of early pregnancy. During late pregnancy, it’s often harder to move around or sit for a long time. Women often are most comfortable during mid-pregnancy.
When choosing how to travel, think about how long the trip will take. The quickest way often is the best. No matter how you travel, take extra steps to ensure your comfort and safety.
Car safety advice doesn’t change for pregnant women. You should wear your seat belt every time you ride in a car, even if it has an air bag.
Travel in an airplane is almost always safe during pregnancy. Most airlines allow pregnant women to fly until about a month before their due dates. Long haul flights are associated with an increased risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and this risk is also increased in pregnancy. Staying well hydrated, mobilising and wearing flight stockings can reduce this risk.
Planes of major airlines are pressurized. That means the air in the cabin has more oxygen than the air outside. Don’t worry about walking through the metal detector at the airport security check. It will not harm you or your baby.
Choose your seat with care. You may want to reserve an aisle seat. This will make it easier for you to get up and walk around every hour or so. You also won’t have to climb over others to get to the bathroom. A seat just behind the wall that divides first-class and coach seats has extra room to stretch your legs.
Sea travel can be fun. It also may upset your stomach. If you have never been on a ship before, this may not be a good time to try it. If you have done this before and you think your stomach can stand the ship’s motion, check on cruise rules for pregnant women. Make sure the ship has a doctor or a nurse on board. Also make sure that it docks in areas with modern medical facilities.
Ask your doctor about safe medicines for calming seasickness
If you are planning a trip out of the country, discuss it with your doctor before calling the travel agent. He or she can help you decide if foreign travel is safe for you. Your doctor also can help you figure out what steps to take before your trip. Also be sure to take a copy of your hospital notes with you.