You are pregnant and you have itchy feet? Be it for work or for pleasure, it is usually perfectly fine for pregnant women to travel…providing they respect some precautionary measures!
The safest time to travel seems to be during the second trimester (from the 18th to the 24th week). It is during this period that the risks of miscarriage and premature labour are at their lowest.
Many obstetricians do not recommend flying after the 36th week of pregnancy. Actually, some companies such as Air Canada will only admit expecting mothers on their flights up to the 36th week of pregnancy (inclusively), and only if the pregnancy is going along without complications.
Flights do not pose any particular risks to a healthy pregnant woman and her foetus. However, you must always confirm with your obstetrician, as some contraindications do exist.
You are pregnant and are going on a trip? Good for you! Here are a few suggestions to make your flight more enjoyable:
- Fasten your seatbelt under your abdomen, directly on your hipbones. - Ask for a seat closest to the aisle in order to be able to get up more easily, at the end of the aisle for more room or at wing-level for a smoother ride. - Get up and walk around every half hour or, if the seatbelt sign is on, bend and stretch your legs vigorously and frequently in order to prevent blood clots. - Drink plenty of liquids. The low humidity level on an airplane can leave you dehydrated.
Furthermore, do not forget these smart tips:
- Pregnant women must eat nutritious meals and snacks at regular intervals. - While travelling, it may be difficult to find food when you need it. Think about packing healthy snacks like crackers, nuts, dried fruits and cheese. - As you are likely to become easily tired, you should plan your trip accordingly and make sure you can catch a nap whenever possible! - As you know, your need to visit the washroom seems insatiable…think about going any time you can, just in case, and bring toilet paper along for emergencies! - You must speak with your obstetrician about the vaccines required for the country you will be visiting, at least two months before you leave, depending on where you are going. - Avoid activities that put you at risk for falls such as skiing and horseback riding.
It is essential to carry the name of your physician and obstetrician as well as their telephone numbers, the list of medications you must take regularly, a list of emergency contacts and your health insurance contracts.
Happy trails to all mothers to be!