With the pregnancy comes a lot of changes in a woman's life. She needs to be careful and forego many unhealthy practices to ensure that she enjoys a healthy pregnancy. Many women get skeptical when they have to travel during pregnancy. They fear that traveling could affect the pregnancy or the fetus, triggering unwanted complications. While the apprehensions are understood, traveling during pregnancy doesn't always spell danger, especially if you and the baby are both in good health. Mentioned below are few tips and precautionary measures that can go a long way to ensure that your travel is safe and hassle-free.
Consult your doctor
Even if your pregnancy has no complications, it would be foolish on your part to plan a trip without consulting your attending physician. A doctor will know your and the baby's health conditions the best and can suggest the necessary precautions that should be taken care of at the time of travel to avoid any untoward incident. No matter how small the trip or the travel time is, make sure to carry the necessary medicines and first aid so that you are well prepared for any emergency.
Time of Travel
Many doctors suggest that a pregnant woman needs to be extra careful during her first and third trimesters as during that period a woman is more like to suffer from pregnancy-related complications such as morning sickness and preeclampsia, to name a few. With an increase in body weight and a growing tummy, a woman may find it difficult to move around with ease during the third trimester. Thus, unless there is an emergency, it is best to travel or plan a vacation during the second trimester, preferably during weeks 14 to 28.
Choose food and drinks with care
During pregnancy, what you eat or drink can have an impact on you as well as the baby. Spicy, oily, cold or stale foods can give rise to a host of problems including heartburns, gas, acidity. Thus, it is best to carry homemade, light, and healthy foods while traveling. While aerated and caffeinated drinks and beverages are a big No, make sure to drink water and healthy fluids at regular intervals to keep the body well hydrated as pregnant women tend to often suffer from dehydration (the relatively low humidity levels at the airplane will only make the things worse).
Pregnancy brings in many changes in the body, one being the gain in body weight. Wearing tight or rough fabric clothes will only pile on to your agony. Thus, if you are traveling during the summer, make sure to wear loose and light clothes of soft fabric that will let your body breathe.
Choose your seat with care
A window or a middle seat may not be an ideal option for a pregnant woman as she may face difficulties and discomfort while moving around. Thus, during traveling, always try and go for an aisle seat. With understanding co-passengers around, exchanging seats will not be a problem either. With an aisle seat, you can move around freely and also stretch your legs more often.
Avoid long duration flights
During pregnancy, staying cramped in one place for 8-10 hours is the last thing you will want. Instead, you can opt for break journeys to make the travel less tiring for you.
Take care of the swelling
Many pregnant women experience swelling of the legs, feet, and ankle during traveling. One of the underlying factors responsible for this swelling (also known as edema) is improper circulation of blood. In this regard, compression socks come in handy. These socks not only improves the overall blood circulation but also goes a long way to alleviate the swelling and the associated discomfort. Thus, to play it safe, always use compression socks or support stockings during traveling.
Take care of the luggage
If you are traveling alone, don't overload your luggage with unnecessary things. Keep the luggage as light as possible to make things easier for you.
It also makes sense to plan your travel well in advance to avoid chaos or unwanted health problems or complications in your pregnancy. So make sure to travel light, safe and with good planning. Never forget to get the thumbs up from your doctor before going on a journey.