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The do’s and don’ts of travelling during pregnancy

The do’s and don’ts of travelling during pregnancy

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Travelling during pregnancy may not be advisable, as perils of putting on your travel shoes during this crucial period are always there.

Friday, December 2nd, 2016

As long as your pregnancy is free of any complication or concern, it is safe to travel most of the time during the early phase of your pregnancy. Nevertheless, for your own safety, doctors recommend that it is better to avoid travel beyond 30 weeks except under unavoidable situations.

The safe and not-so-safe periods.

Avoid travel during the first trimester. Travelling during the first trimester is not recommended. The chances of miscarriage or complications are high during this stage as the foetus is attaching itself to the mother’s womb.

Second trimester is safer. However, once you cross your 13th week, you reach your second trimester which is a relatively safe period of the entire tenure of pregnancy, provided there are no complications. During the second trimester, the problems of nausea and vomiting subside and you are much comfortable and at ease.

Third trimester. During the third trimester, you almost approach your full term and you may feel difficulty in moving around or staying seated for a long time. It is advisable to avoid travelling during this period.

Avoid long trips across pregnancy. The decision of travelling during pregnancy should depend on how comfortable you are and also as per your doctor’s advice. Avoid taking long trips or travelling to places with high altitudes since low oxygen content at high altitudes can cause shortness of breath. Before travelling make sure you are comfortable and at ease.

Hygiene tips during travelling.

The importance of hygiene becomes even more pressing for a pregnant mother. Here are some important points to remember:

Keep your hands clean: Always carry a hand sanitizer to avoid infections.

Be sure about drinking water: Always carry your own water bottle or use a bottled  mineral water while on a trip to make sure that you remain hydrated and free of water-borne infections.

Using public toilets: If you have to use the public toilets, make sure they are clean, dry and well lit to avoid injury via slipping. If there are disposal seat covers provided, go for it. Maintain hygiene so that you don’t catch any infection.

Choosing the perfect mode of travel.

You should choose wisely your mode of travel. Choose the one in which you are most comfortable and able to complete your journey without discomfort.

Travelling by road: Road travelling can leave you exhausted. Hence, choose a vehicle that reduces the travel time as well as makes your journey less stressful. Cars are always better than buses due to the fear of jerks and bumps on the roads, though you must be very careful even in a car. Keep your seat belt well strapped to avoid sudden jerks and jolts. Keep a safe distance from the dashboard to avoid hitting on it during sudden brakes. Try to avoid front seat to avoid hurting in cases of sudden jerks.  

Tips for a safe road travel.

Seat belt: The seat belt should be worn close to lower belly to avoid undue pressure on your tummy.

Snacking: Healthy and nutrient snacks on the way help prevent nausea during the first trimester and keeps up your level of energy.

Relaxing: Make sure you get down for a stretch after every hour or two to keep the blood circulation going in the body.

Comfort: A pillow can be carried to support your back and for a comfortable position.

Doctor’s advice: Consult your doctor before heading for a trip during pregnancy. Your doctor should be the one to decide whether or not you should consider travelling.

Travelling by rail.

Train journeys are much safer than road trips as there are fewer incidences of sudden jerks and bumps. With less jerks and enough space to stretch and lie down, you can easily span the distance while changing postures and moving around.

You must make sure that you hold on to the railings while standing or walking around. At the time of boarding and de-boarding be careful and be alert on the footboard.

Travelling by air.

Travelling by air is the most comfortable and safe way. Get an aisle seat so that you can stretch and make yourself comfortable. Although at higher altitudes amount of oxygen gets diminished, you need not worry as the aircraft cabins are oxygen pressurized.

For air travel after 32 weeks, avoid travelling by air.  

Note: link to article on air travel

Traveling by sea.

Sea travel is generally safe during pregnancy. The only demerit is that it elevates the intensity of nausea due to sea sickness. There are few precautions that you must take while on a boat or a cruise:

Get a cabin near the middle of the cruise as it is less bumpy there.
Always keep your medicines and reports handy.
Go for hygienic and safe food in the cruise.
Always keep light snacks with you.
Consume light food frequently.
Make sure you have at least the basic medical facilities on board and proper medical care at the nearby shore.
Ensure hygiene of the washrooms on the cruise as during pregnancy, the fear of infections is quite high.
Most importantly, take the advice of your doctor before going on a trip.

Above all, you must not forget even for a minute, that you aren’t travelling alone. There is a persistent companion who is much fragile than you. So, one needs to take extra precautions while travelling during pregnancy.

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