Is travel safe during pregnancy?
For most women, traveling during pregnancy is safe. As long as you and your fetus are healthy, you can travel safely until you are 36 weeks pregnant.
Is it safe to travel during the first trimester of pregnancy?
There are two common problems in early pregnancy – ectopic or tubal pregnancy and miscarriage. Ectopic pregnancy can be life threatening though that is uncommon. Both problems can be a source of vaginal bleeding and pelvic pain. Women who have a normal pregnancy can also occasionally have these symptoms. If you are having these symptoms, it is best to check with your doctor before traveling
Are there areas that I should avoid traveling to while I am pregnant?
Travel is not recommended for pregnant women in areas where Zika outbreaks are ongoing. Zika is an illness spread by mosquitoes that can cause serious birth defects. Travel also is not recommended to areas with malaria, another mosquito-carried illness that is dangerous for pregnant women. For a current list of Zika and malaria outbreak areas, as well as other areas that may pose risks for pregnant women, go to wwwnc,cdc,gov/travel/notices/.
What should I do before going on a trip?
There are a few things you can do to make sure your trip is safe and comfortable:
- Know how far along you are in the pregnancy . If you have a problem while you are traveling, your caregivers will need to know this information.
- Make sure you bring any medications you are taking like estrogen or progesterone in your carry on bag.
- Plan to bring any over-the-counter medications that you may need, such as pain relievers, hemorrhoid ointment, a first aid kit, and prenatal vitamins. Also bring any prescribed medications.
- Check that you are up to date with your vaccines.
What is deep vein thrombosis and why is it a concern for pregnant travelers?
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a condition in which a blood clot forms in the veins in the legs or other areas of the body. DVT can lead to a dangerous condition in which the clot travels to the lungs. Sitting or not moving for long periods of time, such as during long-distance travel, can increase the risk of DVT. Pregnancy further increases the risk of DVT. If you are planning a long trip, take the following steps to reduce your risk of DVT:
- Drink lots of fluids.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing.
- Walk and stretch at regular intervals. For example, when traveling by car, make frequent stops to get out and stretch your legs.
What are some tips for traveling by plane?
Book an aisle seat so that you can get up and stretch your legs. Plan to do this every 2 hours or so. Avoid gas-producing foods and carbonated drinks before your flight. Gas expands in the low air pressure in airplane cabins and can cause discomfort. Wear your seatbelt at all times.
What are some tips for traveling outside the United States?
Check your health insurance policy to see if you are covered internationally. If not, you may be able to buy special health care insurance for international travelers.
Travel to developing countries comes with the risk of consuming contaminated food and water. Travelers can become sick if they eat raw or undercooked food or drink local water. This short-term illness, called “traveler’s diarrhea,” may be a minor problem for someone who is not pregnant, but it is a greater concern for pregnant women. Serious illnesses, such as hepatitis A and listeriosis, also can be spread by contaminated food and water. These diseases can cause severe complications for a pregnant woman and her fetus.
If you get diarrhea, drink plenty of fluids to combat dehydration. Before taking a diarrhea treatment, check with your ob-gyn or other health care professional to make sure it is safe. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid unsafe food and water. The CDC offers food and water precautions at wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/food-water-safety.
For an early pregnancy, when should you seek urgent medical care?
Go to a hospital or call emergency medical services right away if you have any of the following:
- Vaginal bleeding (more than just spotting)
- Pelvic or abdominal pain
- Severe vomiting or diarrhea
- Signs of DVT (see FAQ174 Preventing Deep Vein Thrombosis)
How can I find a health care professional while traveling?
Even if you are in perfect health before going on a trip, you never know when an emergency will come up. If you are traveling in the United States, locate the nearest hospital or medical clinic in the place you are visiting. You also can search online for a health care professional.
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Find an Ob-Gyn
Web site: www.acog.org/About_ACOG/Find_an_Ob-Gyn
American Medical Association DoctorFinder
Web site: https://apps.ama-assn.org/doctorfinder/home.jsp
International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers
Web site: www.iamat.org/
Reference: American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology