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Traveling While Pregnant? How to Stay Safe
Updated on August 16, 2022
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Traveling While Pregnant? How to Stay Safe

It’s usually safe to travel — unless your doctor says otherwise or you have a difficult pregnancy. Before planning a trip,  it’s best to consult with your doctor. 

Travel restrictions increase as you get closer to your due date. In some cases, airlines restrict travel during the last month of pregnancy.

If you’re planning a trip while pregnant and want to be as safe as possible, here’s what you need to know.

Traveling While Pregnant? How to Stay Safe 2

Best Time to Travel While Pregnant

You might think it’s better to travel early in your pregnancy. This isn’t always the case though.

Morning sickness, which can occur at any time of the day, tends to be worse during the first trimester. Other symptoms that can make traveling unpleasant include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue

The best time to travel is mid-pregnancy — when you’re about 14 to 28 weeks pregnant. This is when your energy levels are the highest.

Morning sickness is mild to non-existent, and you can easily move around. The second trimester also has the lowest risk for complications.

If you are pregnant, you should check with your doctor and make sure you are traveling to a safe destination. However, most pregnant women say that traveling mid-way into pregnancy is just as enjoyable as when they weren’t pregnant.

Here’s a tip: If you want pregnancy to be more comfortable, subscribe to Bump Boxes. They will send you gift boxes with lots of pregnancy goodies. Read our full review of Bump Boxes.

When Is Travel Not Safe for Pregnant Women?

Travel is not recommended for anyone with a difficult or high-risk pregnancy. 

There might be some trips that are safe to take if you aren’t on bed rest. But airline travel is probably not your best option.

Before purchasing your plane ticket, make sure you understand the airline’s policies for pregnant women. 

Some prohibit women from traveling after a certain point in pregnancy or require a medical certificate. This can happen whether you are having a difficult or safe pregnancy.

Health problems that make it risky to travel during pregnancy include:

  • Preeclampsia
  • Pre-labor rupture of membranes (PROM)
  • Pre-term labor
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

Symptoms of preeclampsia include a persistent headache, seeing spots or other changes in eyesight, and swelling of the face or hands.

You must also avoid travel or seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following while traveling:

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Frequent contractions
  • If your water breaks before due date
  • Severe vomiting or diarrhea
  • Pain and/or swelling in your leg

Additionally, you’ll want to choose your travel destination carefully when pregnant. Knowing the potential health risks of traveling to a certain place is important if you want to stay safe and avoid pregnancy complications. 

For instance, you’ll want to avoid areas that have high incidences of Zika virus and malaria. Your doctor can tell you what to look out for when planning your trip.

Preparing for Travel While Pregnant

One of the best things you can do is to prepare well in advance of the trip. This can help you avoid complications and have a plan in case anything unexpected occurs.

Health Insurance

Before departing, check your health insurance policy. Make sure it includes coverage if you go into labor while away. You might also want to expand coverage if you’re traveling internationally.

Medical Care

Make sure you know where local medical facilities are located and find out if they accept regular or travel health insurance. Look up hospitals and clinics in the area where you’ll be. Check in advance if they can provide your medical needs.

Pack carefully and make sure to bring all of your prescription and OTC medications. Everything you use at home to support your pregnancy should be with you on your trip. This includes pregnancy aids like pillows, hot water bottles, and snacks.

Finally, bring all important information with you regarding your pregnancy. This includes your due date, a copy of your health records, and any other paperwork your doctor gives you. 

This way, if you require emergency medical care, you’ll have everything you need to share with local healthcare providers. 

3 Travel Tips for Pregnant Women

There are other things you can do to make traveling more safe and enjoyable during pregnancy.

1. Choose Foods Carefully

Everyone should be careful with what they eat when traveling, but this is especially true if you’re pregnant and traveling out of the country. 

Pregnancy is rarely the best time to experiment with new foods. Drink plenty of liquids. But you should only drink bottled water, pasteurized milk, and canned or bottled drinks. 

Also, avoid eating raw or undercooked foods. If you’re worried about finding safe, healthy food while you’re traveling, prepare packed meals and snacks to bring with you.

Before leaving, speak to your doctor about what to do and what medicine to take if you have digestive issues.

2. Be Physically Active

Blood clots and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) are common risks when pregnant. The best way to reduce your risk is to get some physical activity. 

Take breaks to get out and walk when traveling by car or walking while on the plane. When flying, choose an aisle seat to make getting up and walking easier for you and everyone around you.

If you can’t get up as often as you’d like, get your blood flowing by:

  • Flexing and pointing your toes
  • Drawing circles or squares with your feet
  • Lifting your thighs one at a time off of the seat

These mini-exercises will reduce your risk for blood clots which can happen if you sit for hours at a time. Staying hydrated is also important for reducing your risk.

3. Pack Smart

The earlier you begin packing, the better. This ensures you have plenty of time to consider what you need. Plus, you will most likely remember what to put it in your bag. 

Leaving yourself plenty of packing time is especially important if you are experiencing pregnancy brain fog. It also helps to make a checklist that includes everything you might need while traveling. Don’t assume you’ll be able to remember it all without writing it down.

If possible, pack necessities in your carry-on suitcase. Also, choose a suitcase with wheels so you won’t need to worry about lifting it.

Having all must-have items in your carry-on ensures that everything you need during air travel is accessible. This protects you if your checked luggage gets delayed or lost in transit.

Bump Boxes for Traveling Pregnant Women

It doesn’t matter where you are going and what your reasons are for traveling. A little forethought and planning can help you have a pleasant trip.

Bump Boxes can make traveling easier for pregnant women. When you subscribe to their service, you will receive:

  • Skincare products
  • Snacks
  • Pregnancy essentials

Bump Boxes will send goodies that are suited to your trimester. And you can take them with you during trips.

Whether it’s a babymoon, a family vacation, or a business trip, Bump Boxes makes traveling more fun and comfortable for a pregnant woman.

Resources

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  1. Travel during Pregnancy.” www.acog.org, www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/travel-during-pregnancy. 
  2. Travel during Pregnancy.” Cleveland Clinic, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/21210-travel-during-pregnancy.  
  3. Expert Advice on Traveling While Pregnant from Dr. Jagdip Powar.” Healthier, Happy Lives Blog, 2 Mar. 2018, healthier.stanfordchildrens.org/en/traveling-while-pregnant/.
Kelly Jamrozy
Kelly Jamrozy
Content Contributor
Kelly has experience working with clients in a variety of industries, including legal, medical, marketing, and travel. Her goal is to share important information that people can use to make decisions about their health and the health of their loved ones. From choosing the best treatment programs to improving dental and vision health to finding the best method for helping anyone who is struggling with health issues, she hopes to share what she learns through informative content.
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