Pregnant women may need to travel but travelling in their condition may pose a challenge. It is, therefore, important that you know the pros and cons involved to protect your comfort and safety as well as that of the unborn baby. Pregnant women are at a risk of developing complications from infections which in turn affects the foetus.
Preparations for safe travel for pregnant women
Consult your gynaecologist
Pregnancy usually comes with numerous complications such as hypertension, gestational diabetes or ruptured placenta. Some conditions worsen when travelling by plane. It is important for women who have had previous miscarriages, foetal loss, premature delivery or other health problems to consult with their gynaecology before they plan to travel. Expectant women should find it vital to discuss with their health care provider the length of the trip, destination, activities they plan to engage in and the medical care available in the other country.
It can be very uncomfortable to have a long haul flight during pregnancy. Therefore, choosing a destination within 2-3 hour flight is ideal. Travelling to areas of altitudes above eight thousand feet is not advisable since oxygen level at these points is low and can cause sickness. Due to nausea and tiredness experienced during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy, travelling during this time is discouraged. Travelling during the last months can also be tiring thus the best time to travel when the pregnancy is from the fourth to the sixth month.
Ask about restrictions
Some airlines usually prohibit pregnant women from travelling without the consent of a physician in written form. Some may even require that you have a midwife close to you if you are closer to your delivery date. To travel safely, it is wise to ask about the airline’s restrictions for pregnant women.
Drink water in plenty
Water plays a vital part in the healthy growth and development of your foetus. Water also helps in forming the placenta as well as serving as a source of nutrients for the baby during pregnancy. Drinking a lot of water will make you avoid dehydration while travelling.
Reducing swellings and discomfort during your flight is important. Deep vein thrombosis is one of the greatest risks when travelling during pregnancy. Doing small exercises like flexing your knees, stretching your calves and rolling your ankles can reduce swellings, cramps as well as stiffness.
Care should be taken when pregnant women travel for the good of the foetus and the mother as well. Put these factors into consideration next time you travel to ensure safe travel.