Travel During Pregnancy:
Travel in pregnancy. Recommendations?
Pregnant and traveling by plane……..When you can no longer fly or even if you will be permitted to fly will largely depend on the course of your pregnancy. If you have a pregnancy that is considered “high risk”, whether that be due to common problems such as gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, bleeding, multiple gestation,or preterm labor/contractions, your obstetrician may be a bit more hesitant to allow you to travel too far outside your hospital radius.
For those patients that are traveling, no matter how near or far, I always advise traveling with a copy of your prenatal record. Your obstetrician’s office should have no problem providing this.
Having a copy of your prenatal record is paramount as it provides an overview of your pregnancy up to your current gestation. Having this information readily available is important as it contains all the pertinent highlights of your pregnancy; specifically lab work, ultrasound findings, problems and management up to said point.
Can I travel during pregnancy?
A resounding yes!
Pregnancy is no reason to be all cooped up in the house, or limited to walks around the mall or the neighborhood park/track. Whether it be by plane, train, or automobile (smile), as long as there are no “issues” with the pregnancy, and you’ve gotten approval from your OB, you should be good to go! If you’re planning a trip to somewhere like Iceland then you’ll certainly want to see all the sights that are there, but being bundled into a bus or a coach to get to them may not be ideal while your pregnant. Traveling in a hire car, like those from Cars Iceland, may help make your experience far more comfortable. You may find that you have to take a lot more luggage when traveling whilst pregnant. This may mean that you won’t have enough space in a car. Sticking with Iceland as an example, you could look into camper van rental iceland so that you have plenty of room for all of your luggage and for you to stretch out.
What is the latest I can fly during pregnancy?
Good question. While this is somewhat dependent on the general course of your pregnancy, it is also airline dependent. Different carriers have varying guidelines on travel during pregnancy with regards to the latest gestational age at which they will allow an expectant mom to fly. This may differ depending on whether the intended travel is domestic or international, and more specifically how close to the due date the pregnant passenger is. Depending on the woman’s gestational age, a letter from her physician, as well as clearance from the airlines special coordinator, may be required. You would be wise to check with your specific airline as there is no “blanket” policy for air travel. Generally speaking, it would be ill advised to travel beyond the 36th week of gestation unless it is ABSOLUTELY necessary.
What is the 2hr stationary rule in travel?
If you are going to be stationary for more than two hours at a time, whether you are flying, driving, or riding on a train, I always advise getting up, taking a walk up and down the aisles, or frequent visits to rest stations. If you are not in a position to ambulate, leg exercises will do. I recommend flexing and extending your feet, and rotating them in a circular motion both clockwise and counter clockwise.
The reasoning behind the recommendation of not remaining stationary beyond two hours at a time is due to the increased risk of clotting that exists as a result of being pregnant.
Last but not least, there are the “general” things that should ALWAYS be remembered such as ensuring that you’ve packed all necessary medications; ensuring that you are traveling with all required documentation(prenatal records/insurance card/etc); making sure you have comfortable clothing; and lets not forgot those emergency phone numbers. Your OB is always but a phone call away!
Hoping this blog post adds value to your day!
Until next time,
Look Better. Feel Better. Be Better.
Wife, mother, Midwesterner, and award-winning OB/GYN, Dr. Angela is equal parts best girlfriend and bold professional, supporting women’s health with innovative approaches to care and heavy doses of humor. Dr. Angela has done more than launch a successful practice, she has defined herself as a voice for a new generation of womanhood, established her ASK DR. ANGELA brand committed to authenticity, and built a community rooted in trust, candor, and compassion.