International Travel While Pregnant or Breastfeeding

Healthy tips for traveling while pregnant

Here are tips for traveling while pregnant:

  • Try to plan ahead for any problems or emergencies that could come up before you travel. Check that your health insurance is valid while you are abroad. Also check to see whether the plan will cover a newborn, should you deliver while away. You may want to think about getting a supplemental travel and medical evacuation insurance.
  • Research medical facilities in your destination. Women in the last trimester of pregnancy should look for places that can manage complications of pregnancy, toxemia, and cesarean sections.
  • If you will need prenatal care while you are abroad, arrange for this before you leave. Talk with your healthcare provider or midwife to figure out the best way to handle this.
  • Know your blood type and check that blood is screened for HIV and hepatitis B in the areas you will be visiting.
  • Check that safe food and beverages, such as bottled water and pasteurized milk, are available at your destinations.
  • If flying, ask for an aisle seat at the bulkhead. This gives you the most space and comfort. If morning sickness is a problem, try to arrange travel during a time of day when you generally feel well. Seats over the wing in the midplane region will give you the smoothest ride.
  • Try to walk every half-hour during a smooth flight. Flex and extend your ankles often to prevent blood clots in the veins (thrombophlebitis).
  • Fasten your seat belt at the pelvis level, below your hips.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. Aircraft cabins have low humidity.
  • Try to rest as much as possible while away. Exercise and activity during pregnancy are important. But try not to overdo it.
  • Special considerations for traveling while pregnant

    Pregnant women frequently travel, and it is normal for them to do so. But it’s crucial to consider any issues that might arise when traveling abroad. Additionally, consider how you would obtain high-quality medical care while abroad. Instead of waiting until pregnancy to get all the necessary vaccinations, get them all before getting pregnant.

    According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a woman should travel safely between 14 and 28 weeks into her second trimester of pregnancy. This is the time when you will feel your best. Additionally, your risk of spontaneous abortion and early labor is the lowest. Many medical professionals and midwives advise staying within a 300-mile radius of home during the third trimester (28 to 40 weeks) due to potential issues like high blood pressure, phlebitis, and false or preterm labor. For domestic flights, women are typically prohibited from flying after 36 weeks, and for international flights, after 28 to 35 weeks. At any point in your pregnancy, you and your healthcare provider or midwife should decide together whether and how far you should travel.

    Most pregnant women do not experience a risk from cosmic radiation when they fly. However, flight attendants and frequent flyers might go over radiation limits.

    Pregnant women with the following conditions may be advised against visiting nations that demand pre-travel vaccinations, according to the CDC This list may be incomplete. Therefore, before making travel plans, talk to your doctor or midwife about your medical history:

  • History of miscarriage
  • Incompetent cervix
  • History of ectopic pregnancy
  • History of premature labor or premature rupture of membranes
  • History of or current placental abnormalities
  • Threatened miscarriage or vaginal bleeding during current pregnancy
  • Multiple fetuses in current pregnancy
  • History of toxemia, high blood pressure, or diabetes with any pregnancy
  • History of infertility or trouble getting pregnant
  • Pregnancy for the first time over the age of 35 years
  • Heart valve disease or congestive heart failure
  • History of blood clots
  • Severe anemia
  • Chronic organ system problems that need to be treated
  • Additionally, you might be counseled against visiting locations that might be dangerous. The list below may be incomplete. Before making travel arrangements, discuss them with your healthcare provider or midwife.

  • Places with high altitudes
  • Places that have outbreaks of life-threatening food- or insect-borne infections
  • Places where malaria is common
  • Places where live-virus vaccines are needed or recommended
  • What can you do to stay comfortable on a flight? (Photo by Nadezhda1906/Getty Images)

    Even when flying is deemed safe during pregnancy, it can still be uncomfortable due to morning sickness, general pregnancy discomfort, and the increased risk for blood clots that all passengers need to be aware of.

    Dr. Gopal offered advice on how to handle these typical problems when flying during pregnancy in (baby-)friendly skies. Wearing compression socks to maintain blood flow and lessen swelling in the legs is her top tip for remaining comfortable during flight.

    Additionally, “I also advise my patients to stand up and move around on the plane at least once an hour,” Dr Gopal said.

    Some doctors “may also prescribe a low-dose aspirin to prevent clotting,” she added. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) does not recommend it, but it is also not harmful. “.

    There are medications that are generally regarded as safe that you can take to treat your symptoms if you suffer from nausea or acid reflux. Speak with your provider prior to your flight to make sure you have what you need on hand. These would be the same ones that your doctor would prescribe for morning sickness.

    Dr. Gopal also suggests drinking extra fluids to counteract the pressurized air in the cabin and keep you hydrated as well as donning loose, non-restrictive clothing (along with your seatbelt, of course).

    The bloating that can result from the pressurized air can also be treated with over-the-counter Gas-X, according to Dr. Gopal said.

    Traveling During Pregnancy | Kaiser Permanente

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