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Taking a trip is usually one of the last things on your mind when you are pregnant. The idea of spending hours in a cramped space followed by trying to get comfortable in a strange hotel room is enough to make an expectant mom decline any travel invitations. But sometimes it is inevitable that a trip is made either for work related or personal reasons. And when this time comes, it is important to make sure that you stay healthy during your trip for your own good and that of your baby.
Here are some Important Health Tips for Travelling Pregnant Women
Check with your doctor
You should have your doctor’s clearance before you embark on any trips especially if you have a high-risk pregnancy. If the doctor gives the go ahead, you need to get a doctor’s note that states how far along you are. Some airlines require this information before they let you fly. Your doctor can also recommend and administer vaccines if you are travelling to certain destinations. If you suffer from motion sickness, you can be prescribed some pregnancy-safe anti-nausea medication for your journey.
Check for access to medical care at your destination
Find out the locations of medical facilities that will be near you in the case of an emergency or a complication. Carry your prenatal records and medical notes; these will help local doctors understand the status of your pregnancy. You should also inquire about travel health insurance especially if you are away for a while in a foreign country.
Time Your Trip Right
Doctors recommend travelling between 14 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. This is a sweet spot just after the first trimester, with all its morning sickness, and just before the third trimester, with its fatigue. Energy levels are higher, and complications are fewer in that time period of your pregnancy.
Pack for Comfort
Make sure that you carry comfortable lightweight clothes, flip flops, and comfy socks. You can also take along your pillow and a warm blanket. Have shoes that give your feet room to stretch. If your trip will last more than a few weeks, pack clothes that have room for your growing bump. Take a variety of clothes to help you stay warm when it gets cold and stay cool when temperatures soar. Take a packed hospital bag in case of an emergency, and you have to go to the hospital. Your luggage should not be heavy especially if you are travelling alone. Check out what specialist luggage retailers like Luggage Direct have available in lightweight bags.
If you are flying, you probably already know that airplane food is not very nutritious. If you are flying with a budget airline, you have no control over what they serve and what is available may make you queasy. So, carry your own nutritious protein-packed snacks and some fruit. Avoid gas producing foods before your trip as cabin pressure increases the discomfort of bloating. If you are flying with a full-service airline, you can request a special meal at the time of booking your flight.
Be sure to dine at recommended and clean restaurants once you are at your destination. You might want to stick to familiar food as much as possible. Avoid experimenting with strange food in your condition. Ensure fruits and vegetables are washed well, and meat, seafood, and poultry are cooked properly. Wash your hands often and pack some hand sanitiser.
In addition, drink lots of water to stay hydrated especially when in the air because the recirculated cabin air is very low in humidity and has the effect of making you feel more parched. Choose sealed bottled water to be on the safe side and avoid ice in your drinks.
During your journey get up and stretch at least once in every two hours. On a plane, you can walk around as long as the seatbelt sign allows and there is no turbulence. Find ways to elevate your feet and try some light exercise as recommended in the airline magazines. Book an aisle seat to make this easier to do. On a road trip, make frequent stops and get out of the car and stretch. Being immobile for long hours while pregnant increases the chance of getting blood clots as your circulation slows down. Doctors recommend that you limit your travel time to no more than 6 hours in a day.
Avoid High-Risk Activities
There are many activities available in travel destinations, but you will not be able to indulge in all of them no matter how fun they are. Discuss with your doctor about any potential recreational activities. Limit yourself to low impact activities like walking and swimming. Whatever you do make sure you are in an area with easy access to medical care.
There might seem to be many restrictions associated with travelling while pregnant. But don’t let this deter you from taking a trip to relax before your baby arrives. You can still have fun and stay healthy as long as you are extra cautious.