If the expectant mother has an uncomplicated pregnancy, it is likely that she can travel all through her 9 months of gestation. With careful preparation, travelling while pregnant can be safe. Pregnant women can be at an increased risk of becoming infected and/or developing severe complications from certain infections, which can also affect the unborn baby. It is important to consult the doctor and discuss the travel plans before undertaking the journey.
Travelling in First Trimester
Many women experience health issues like nausea, fatigue and vomiting during the initial months. These can make travel a problematic experience. The risk of miscarriage is also the highest in the first trimester. It is best to avoid long distance travelling by road and by plane in the first trimester, as it can cause inconvenience to the pregnant mother and the developing foetus.
Travelling in Second Trimester
The second trimester is the most permissible time to travel unless accompanied by any serious complication. The phase of morning sickness and nausea is over for many, so travelling may come as a good break. Chances of having a miscarriage are also slim. If you wish to travel, consult your doctor and go ahead!
Travelling in the Third Trimester
Travelling during the third trimester needs certain precautions. Only if the doctor advises, the expectant mother can travel during the third trimester. Many airlines do not allow women to travel after 36 weeks of pregnancy. However, if there is some emergency and the mother has to travel, she should follow the safety tips.
However, if the mother is facing any pregnancy-related complications like placental problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, preterm labour etc, then it is advised to avoid travelling.
Mode of travel
- Road travel during pregnancy: Many women prefer travelling by road as they find it convenient to stop every now and then to freshen up or have snacks at the roadside stalls. However, the mother may not be able to stretch her legs and she may get cramps and leg pains. Travelling on bumpy roads is not at all safe for the pregnant mother. So it may not be a very good choice.
- Train travel during pregnancy: Travelling in a train is the right choice in the latter months of pregnancy. Train travel is better than road travel as there is sufficient space to walk around when the mother is tired of lying down or sitting for too long. She can stretch her legs, wiggle her toes, and rotate her ankles, so chances of muscle cramps are also reduced.
- Air travel during pregnancy: The best times to fly would be during the 14th to 28th weeks of pregnancy when the pregnancy is considerably stable. Though it is generally thought travelling by air poses the minimum risk to both the mother and her baby, air travel, especially during the last trimester is considered high risk. The doctor should be consulted before travelling by air.
Here are some safety tips to make travel safe and relatively easy:
- Try not to travel alone.
- Figure out the shortest and safest route to the destination.
- Avoid bad, bumpy roads.
- Always carry some healthy snacks while travelling.
- Carry enough water to prevent dehydration
- Try to avoid public toilets.
- Wear comfortable clothes suited to the weather.
- Wear comfortable shoes.
- Make sure that the emergency contact numbers are handy.
The mother should remember to eat healthy, regular meals and rest well to keep tiredness and dizziness at bay.