Traveling Abroad During Pregnancy: What You Need To Know

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You don’t have to postpone your dreams of traveling overseas just because you’re pregnant. While some women may feel uncomfortable heading abroad during pregnancy, you can still travel – as long as you’re medically cleared to do so and meet airline requirements for pregnant travelers.

Flying

Before booking with an airline, you should first check with your doctor to make sure you can safely go abroad. If you are having a difficult pregnancy or are more than 35 weeks along, air travel may not be a good idea for you. Airlines also have restrictions that apply to pregnant travelers, so check with airlines about those policies before you book your flight.

While flying, pregnant women should try to get up and walk around as much as safely possible in order to prevent blood clots in their legs. Taking short strolls to keep the blood circulating through your legs is especially important during long international flights.

Food and drink

To avoid falling prey to stomach ailments while in developing countries, avoid drinking the tap water or eating uncooked and unpeeled fruits and vegetables that have been washed. Intestinal illnesses can quickly cause dehydration in pregnant women, which can lead to a lot of other problems, such as low amniotic fluid and possibly even miscarriage. Drink bottled water to reduce the risk of water-borne illness.

General precautions

If you are heading to a developing country or a tropical location, you may be required to get a number of immunizations or to take medications that could potentially harm your unborn baby. On the other hand, not getting these important immunizations could leave you vulnerable to a disease that could pose even more danger to your fetus. This is an important topic to discuss with your doctor. You may find that the potential risk means you should delay your trip.

Of course, unfortunate accidents or illnesses can happen in any country at any time. That is why it is important that you purchase international travel medical insurance if you are traveling abroad, especially if you are pregnant. Although policies vary, good international travel medical insurance will not only pay for your treatment and doctor costs if you are hospitalized, but some will even fly in a family member to help take care of you, or fly you home if specialized treatment is required.

Safest time for travel

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology suggests that the best time to travel when pregnant is during your second trimester. At this point, most pregnant women have gotten past their morning sickness. The second trimester is also the time when a pregnant woman has the least chance of suffering a spontaneous miscarriage or of going into premature labor.

Travel smart

While you don’t have to curtail all traveling abroad while pregnant, it is best to consider the consequences before booking a trip, especially if you are planning on heading to a developing country. If you do decide to travel, then make sure to take all the necessary precautions and talk to your doctor, so that both you and your unborn baby can have the safest trip possible.