Being Pregnant Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Travel!
Travelling while pregnant is safe and often provides a much needed distraction from the stress of preparing for a new baby. A few minutes of extra thought and preparation can make your journey relaxing and worry free.
If your itinerary will take you on the road, make sure to schedule a little extra time for bathroom breaks. Plan to stop at least every 90 minutes to stretch and move around. Be safe inside a car by wearing your seat belt low under your belly and sit as far back from the airbag as possible. If you are in an accident, even a small one, check with a doctor immediately. As a passenger, try stretching your legs, rotating your ankles and wiggling your toes to help aid in circulation. When traveling by bus or train by very careful when traversing the narrow aisles and corridors. Try to limit movement, if possible, to when the vehicle is stopped. Avoid trips that keep you on the road longer than 5 or 6 hours.
If your plans take you by air, check with the airline’s policy on flying while pregnant. Most major airlines allow travel up to 36 weeks on domestic flights and 32 weeks on international flight. If you are visibly pregnant a doctor’s note may be required stating your due date. Keep in mind the security requirements as you dress for travel and avoid wearing shoes that will require pregnant acrobatics to put on again.
For travel by sea, check with the specific cruise line for pregnancy guidelines. Most major cruise lines restrict third trimester travel. For long cruises make sure there is a medical staff available. Most boats carrying over 100 passengers will have medical personnel.
Also, pregnant women may have to consider getting insurance before traveling by sea, however, most insurances have different policies when it comes to pregnancy. A common problem is that while insurance companies don’t cover pregnancy cases, some ferries might actually have no problem allowing pregnant women to travel, as long as they are not beyond their 34th week.
If your pregnancy has no complications, it would be best to travel in between your 14th and 28th week because this is the time where miscarriage is less likely to occur. However, you must check with your OB-Gynaecologist first if it is perfectly fine for you to travel, because it is your doctor who knows and understands your condition the best.
If your doctor assures you that it is perfectly okay, then the next thing that you should do now is to do some thorough research on the place you are planning to go to. Look for some hospitals or health care facilities in case you might need medical attention. You must bring your prenatal records with you when you travel.
You must now contact your ferry service and ask if they will allow you to travel with them. Most ferries allow pregnant women to travel, but only those who have not yet reached their 28th week can do so without having to avail of a medical certificate or permission; however, it all depends on the length of the travel. If you are more than 28 weeks and less than 34 weeks, you will need to get a medical certificate or permission from your OB-Gynaecologist (if he/she allows you to travel that far along in your pregnancy) stating that it is still okay for you to go. However, if you are more than 34 weeks, your ferry service will not give you the authorization to travel anymore. You should know how far along you are, and you must inform the ferry service before you purchase any tickets so that your money will not be wasted in case you will not be allowed to travel.
Since pregnant women get morning sickness, you might be more prone to sea sickness whilst traveling. Motion sickness wristbands are very cheap and are available in pharmacies, so, you can use them as precautions. They might also be available on board the ferry. Motion sickness wristbands use acupressure points to help prevent an upset stomach and nausea. They may be a good alternative to having medication, but if you want to, you could still consider having morning sickness medication on hand, just in case you might prefer taking them, instead of wearing sea sickness bands. But you must first check with your doctor if those medications are safe for you.
Check with the ferry if they have a health care provider on board, just in case of any unexpected complications that might occur during the journey.
International travel planning should include checking with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website ( cdc.gov ) for disease warnings and vaccination information. Your doctor can help you determine which vaccines are safe for your stage of pregnancy and what diseases are particularly harmful. Prepare to heed warnings about local water supplies and check with your insurance company for instructions on seeking medical attention at your destination.
Regardless of your method of transportation, taking along a few extra items can make your journey more enjoyable.
-Always bring bottled water. If you are concerned about airport security, plan a little extra time and bring a few extra dollars to stop by an airport vendor and purchase some before boarding your flight. Being out of your daily routine can disrupt your normal water intake. Dehydration can cause many problems for a pregnant woman during travel but is very easy to avoid. Drink up!
-Pack some healthful snacks in the event that food is not available or is unappealing. A package of whole grain crackers, an energy bar or a low-fat cheese stick might make all the difference.
-Bring along ear plugs and eye covers to catch up on a little rest during the trip. A favorite pillow or travel-sized blanket can help you find more comfortable positions during a long drive or flight. Jetlag, time zone changes and fatigue can make anyone’s vacation less enjoyable. Take advantage of your downtime and rest.
-Antacids, breath mints or gum, a toothbrush and toothpaste, moist wipes and a waterproof motion sickness bag can come in handy in the event that nausea is your unwelcome travel companion.
-Medical information can come in handy even on short trips. A list of the name of your doctor or midwife, your blood type, allergies, medical insurance cards and any other information your doctor recommends you carry with you can be stored in your purse just in case. Make sure your travel companion has access to this information in the event of an emergency.
– Wear maternity clothes. Maternity clothes was specifically designed for the convenience of pregnant women. It designed to be comfortable and does not interfere with your body movement. Choose a material that absorbs sweat, because the body will produce more sweat while pregnant.
– Comfortable shoes. High heels do make the wearer beautiful and graceful, but it is better to avoid this kind of shoes during pregnancy, to avoid the possibility of falling and endanger your pregnancy. Wear sandals or shoes with low heels and comfortable
– Rotate feet. Lift the foot off the floor, straighten and rotate the ankle to the right and left. Do both your legs to maintain the blood circulation throughout the body.
– Drink much to keep the body from dryness and dehydration. If you get bored with plain water, you can choose other beverages such as tea, or juice. Fruit juices also can meet the needs of vitamins and minerals that are needed by the body, especially for pregnant women
– Rest enough. Vacation is fun, but do not forget to take a rest. Straighten your legs and body to give the stretch on the back and legs, because during pregnancy the feet and back will hold the weight of the body increased.
-Other essentials for travelling while pregnant include doctor recommended medications and vitamins, sunscreen, comfortable shoes, a camera, lip balm, hand lotion and a bathing suit that fits your growing body.
If you have the luxury of choosing when you travel, try to aim for the second trimester. For many women this is the most comfortable time as morning sickness is often less intense and energy levels are higher.
Keep your schedule light, your bags well packed, your body fueled and well rested and most importantly, enjoy your journey.
Food To Avoid When Travelling While Pregnant
When you are travelling while pregnant, you wish to enjoy the trip including your meal and food. However, to give the best for your baby, avoid harmful foods is as essential as eating healthy foods. You need to take care of your pregnancy nutrition during the whole pregnancy process and it is important to know what you shouldn’t eat and drink. Here are some ideas to help you avoid the foods that might be harmful for your baby.
You might be curious especially you know that seafood is a great source of protein and iron. In fact, there is a British study suggests that skimping on seafood during pregnancy may contribute to poor verbal skills, behavioural problems and other developmental issues during childhood. The omega 3 fatty acids in many fish help to promote your baby’s brain development too.
However, there are some fish contain potentially dangerous levels of mercury. Generally, the bigger and older the fish, the more mercury it may contain. Your baby’s developing nervous system might be damaged is you consume on fish that have too much mercury. Pregnant women should avoid fish such as shark, king mackerel, tilefish and swordfish. These fish have high level of mercury which may harm the baby.
There fish that contain no mercury and safe to consume are salmon, catfish, shrimp, pollock and canned light tuna. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises that should not eat more than 12 ounces a week of canned light tuna.
When travelling while pregnant, it is important to avoid raw fish and shellfish like oysters and clams. You wouldn’t know whether they are caught in polluted water and contain harmful bacteria or viruses. To play safe and for your baby’s safety and healthy, avoid raw fish and shell fish.
Meat and poultry
Always make sure that the restaurant serves you fully cook meats and poultry. This is to prevent food borne illness. You can also use a meat thermometer to make sure it is fully cooked. A food borne illness known as listeriosis may harm your baby when you expose to the risk of bacterial food poisoning. Your baby may get sick due to the bacterial food poisoning. This is important for you to know that during pregnancy, changes in your metabolism and circulation may increase the risk of bacterial food poisoning. And your reaction may be more serious than if you weren’t pregnant.
If you are not sure they serve you fully cook meats and poultry, avoid them completely. This is a wise choice rather than consume food that might harm you and your baby.
Dairy products that contain unpasteurized milk may lead to food-borne illness. Although we know that dairy products such as skim milk and cottage cheese are essential nutrients during pregnancy, we also need to choose wisely and only eat soft cheeses that are clearly labeled as being made with pasteurized milk. Don’t eat dairy products such as brie, camembert, feta and blue cheese that contain unpasteurized milk.
It is advised that don’t take caffeine at all during pregnancy period. Studies suggest that drinking too much caffeine may be associated with a small decrease in birth weight. It also increase risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. Caffeine might affect your baby’s heart rate and breathing and a large study published in 2008 suggests that 200 milligrams of caffeine a day during pregnancy may slow fetal growth.
If you really think to get a cup of coffee, gynae suggests you consume to less than 200mg a day during the second and third trimesters and totally avoiding caffeine during the first trimester.
While travelling when pregnant, you might need to avoid your hotel breakfast that prepare you with a cup of coffee. A glass of orange juice or other fruit juices are good for your health during the trip.
Avoid alcohol entirely during your pregnancy and your babymoon holidays. Although one drink isn’t like to hurt your baby, but no level of alcohol has been proved safe during pregnancy too. Mother who drink alcohol have a higher risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. Moderate drinking also can impact your baby’s brain development. To protect your baby from fetal alcohol syndrome, avoid alcohol at all.
Remember in your mind the above foods to avoid during your pregnant holidays and I’m sure your travelling is a safe, healthy and happy moment before your newborn arrives.
Safe travel and we wish you a healthy pregnancy and a baby! For more ways to prepare your vacation, visit the Travel Planning category.