Are you pregnant and need to travel? Hitting the road doesn’t have to be a nightmare; here are some tips on how to make your journey easier and more enjoyable.
Check the airline’s policy about air travel during pregnancy and consult with your doctor before embarking on air travel, even if you have done it before. If possible, opt to travel in the middle of your pregnancy, this is when you’re likely to feel your best, and the risks of miscarriage and premature labor are the lowest.
Get plenty of sleep the night before you leave, drink water at regular intervals to keep hydrated and get up and walk up frequently to lessen your risk of developing leg blood clots. Take light snacks to nibble in case you don’t like the inflight options. Get ear plugs and a neck pillow so you can nap comfortably.
For pregnancies that aren’t considered high risk or without complicated, air travel is considered fine until 36 weeks. Decreased air pressure during flight can slightly reduce the amount of oxygen in your blood, but this doesn’t pose risks if you’re otherwise healthy.
Sitting for long periods of time when you’re pregnant can make your feet and ankles swell and leave your legs feeling heavy and give you cramps – so make sure you move. If you can, sit where you can stretch your legs out. Stop every 90 minutes throughout your journey, get some fresh air and do some simple stretches. Have bathroom stops as often as needed
Pregnant women are generally advised to avoid boating during the first trimester and during the last eight weeks of a pregnancy when the fetus is most vulnerable. The second trimester is usually the safest. Avoid long seaborne journeys – you don’t want to have any complications and be far from medical assistance.
Restrict your trip to smooth, calm waters; one of the biggest challenges with travelling on water is the risk of motion sickness, so bring waterproof bags. Make sure you have sturdy shoes, with slip proof soles and keep your safety harness on at all times.
Planning ahead is key to comfortable travel. In all cases, wear comfortable, loose clothes that aren’t restrict. Avoid having a large, heavy meal just before traveling to avoid triggering any heartburn or a queasy stomach.
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