Travel in Pregnancy

The best time to travel is probably the middle of your pregnancy – between weeks 14 and 28. Most common pregnancy emergencies usually happen in the first and third trimesters.

Car

During a car trip, make each day’s drive brief. Try to limit driving to no more than 5 or 6 hours each day. Be sure to wear your seat belt every time you ride in a motor vehicle, even if your car has an air bag . Plan to make frequent stops to move around and stretch your legs.

Air

Some airlines restrict travel during the last month of pregnancy or require a medical certificate; others discourage travel after 36 weeks of pregnancy.

When traveling by air, you can take the following steps to help make your trip as comfortable as possible:

–     If you can, book an aisle seat, so that it is easy to get up and stretch your legs during a long flight.

–     Avoid gas-producing foods and carbonated drinks before your flight.

–     Wear your seatbelt at all times. The seatbelt should be belted low on the hipbones, below your belly.

–     If you are prone to nausea, your physician may be able to prescribe anti-nausea medication.

Ship

It may be a good idea, just in case, to ask your healthcare provider about which medications are safe for you to carry along to calm seasickness. Seasickness bands are useful for some people, although there is little scientific evidence that they work. These bands use acupressure to help ward off an upset stomach. Another concern for cruise ship passengers is norovirus infection. Noroviruses are a group of viruses that can cause severe nausea and vomiting for 1 or 2 days. They are very contagious and can spread rapidly throughout cruise ships. People can become infected by eating food, drinking liquids, or touching surfaces that are contaminated with the virus.

You should not travel to areas where there is risk of malaria, including Africa, Central and South America, and Asia.

TRAVEL TIPS

When travelling out of the country, make sure to follow these tips:

–     The safest water to drink is tap water that has been boiled for 1 minute (3 minutes at altitudes higher than 6,000 feet). Bottled water is safer than unboiled tap water, but because there are no standards for bottled water, there is no guarantee that it is free of germs that can cause illness. Carbonated beverages and drinks made with boiled water are safe to drink.

–     Do not put ice made from unboiled water in your drinks. Do not drink out of glasses that may have been washed in unboiled water.

–     Avoid fresh fruits and vegetables unless they have been cooked or if you have peeled them yourself.

–     Do not eat raw or undercooked meat or fish.

–     Locate the nearest hospital or medical clinic in the place you are visiting.

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