Of course, there are certain restrictions for pregnant women who are planning to travel, but most pregnant women can travel safely with a little advance preparation. If you are one of those pregnant women who are planning an international trip, follow the tips below which will help you and your baby to stay safe and healthy.
Think about travel health insurance and pre-travel care
It is recommended to see a doctor who specializes in travel medicine at least 4 weeks before your trip abroad. A doctor who specializes in travel medicines can review your planned route, make recommendations which are based on health risks at different destinations, as well as give you necessary vaccines. You should talk to your obstetrician as well, so she or he can make sure that you can travel safely. Your travel medicine doctor and your obstetrician should talk to each other about your care and safety.
You have to think about your care overseas, because your health insurance in one country might not repay medical services in other country. Taking into account this fact, get in touch with your insurance company. Remember to make sure that the health insurance policy also covers the baby if you give birth during your journey. Everyone who travels abroad should obtain a policy which covers medical evacuation in case of emergency. Also supplemental travel health insurance is a good idea.
Think about transportation
Before you buy airline tickets, find out how late in your pregnancy a given airline will let you fly. Majority of airlines lets pregnant women fly until 36 weeks, but some of them have an earlier cutoff. You have to know that your feet may become swollen on a long flight, so think about loose clothing and comfortable shoes, as well as walk around every hour. To avoid the risk of blood clot, think about compression stockings or some leg exercises which you can perform while sitting in your seat.
Not only airlines, but also cruise lines have restrictions regarding pregnant women, therefore, before going on a cruise find out whether cruise lines have specific guidance for pregnant women. Most of cruise lines do not allow to travel after 24 – 28 weeks, as well as pregnant women may need to have a note from their doctor which proves that they are fit to travel on a cruise.
It is important to wear a seat belt while driving in a car or a bus, but straps should be placed below and above a stomach.
Think about food and water
If you eat or drink contaminated food or water, you can get a travelers’ diarrhea. One of biggest problems connected with travelers’ diarrhea is dehydration which is particularly dangerous for pregnant women. Also certain bacteria and viruses which are spread by food and water can lead to severe illnesses, causing different health problems for pregnant women and their babies. Taking into account these risks, be careful choosing food and water, namely, eat only cooked and hot food, eat peeled and washed fruits and vegetables, drink only bottled and sealed water and drinks, do not eat cold or room-temperature food, do not eat undercooked meat and fish, as well as unpasteurized dairy products. Avoid drinks with ice, because ice may be made of contaminated water.
Watch out for malaria
Every woman who is pregnant should not travel to areas with risk of malaria. If you have to travel to such areas, talk to your doctor about taking drugs which can prevent malaria. As you know, malaria is spread by mosquitoes, so obtain some insect repellents for additional protection.