Pregnancy: Advices for pregnant travel

While waiting for the arrival of a baby, nothing better than a short trip to take time for oneself. But, can we leave anytime and anywhere? Which mode of transport to favour? We tell you everything.

pregnant woman with her husband

Pregnancy: How many months can I travel?

It is not recommended to leave during the 1st couple of weeks of pregnancy because of the risk of spontaneous miscarriage, which is relatively frequent since it would touch at least one pregnancy out of 5. In case, it is thus better to be able to consult its gynaecologist quickly. A priori, once the 12th week of amenorrhea has passed, the risk of miscarriage is extremely rare. In addition, nausea is often more common in the first three months of pregnancy, so it’s not ideal when you travel! It is also not advisable to travel during the third trimester of pregnancy. Why? It is better not to be at the other end of the world in case of contractions before the term, even if the threat of premature birth. Obviously, this is case by case, and it all depends on the destination and your general state of health. Thus, the ideal time to travel would be the 2nd quarter. In any case, seek the advice of a health professional, gynaecologist, midwife or doctor. Finally, remember to consult before leaving to check that everything is going well, especially to check the condition of the cervix.

What is the best destination?

The purpose of this holiday? Rest! We will avoid camping, hiking or trekking and we will opt for a relaxing holiday. This is an opportunity to take long naps, to go back to reading, to make some walks history of keeping fit or even a few fathoms in a pool. Indeed, know that you can swim to the end if all goes well, moreover, the pool is healthy for the back and for the breath. On the other hand, water sports such as surfing, diving, boarding are to be avoided. Whatever the destination, choose comfort and tranquillity. For example, the mountain has many assets: it is good, the nights are cool, nature is relaxing. Attention, however, to the altitude not necessarily ideal for pregnant women. Areas above 2,100 m can be dangerous for the future baby and his mother, because of the lack of oxygen. So you have to go step by step. If you are driving, ride 600 m per day to minimize risk. Finally, you can also go to a seaside resort and enjoy the benefits of a prenatal spa.

Which countries are to be avoided?

We avoid going to a country where the climate is too hot and could cause hot flashes or swollen legs. Indeed, pregnant women are more sensitive to rising temperatures. In particular, hot and humid climates are strongly discouraged. Also, tropical countries should be avoided: those with high transmission of malaria or who are the source of dangerous infections, those where hygiene conditions are not optimal or those in which medical structures are rare. In any case, most drugs against parasitic diseases and many vaccines are contraindicated during pregnancy. Obviously, if you can not delay your trip and a vaccine is needed, your doctor will tell you if you can leave. He can also give you advice on hygiene and the procedure to follow in case of problems.

What is the best mode of transportation?

Driving for 10 hours by car in the heat to reach one’s vacation spot is not advisable when you’re expecting a baby. The ideal: to go within 300 km or to take steps to not stay in the car for too long. Why is it tiring? The sitting position is not comfortable at all, and one tends to force on the legs. But above all, between accelerations, braking and possible shaking when the road is bumpy, the uterus is too busy. The contractions can then intensify and forcibly shorten the cervix. Conclusion, if you go too far, it is better to choose another means of transport, train or plane.

Pregnancy: can I take the train?

Yes, because the train is generally air-conditioned, it does not cause jolts, the seats are more extensive than the plane, and you do not have to sit all the time. So indeed, this seems to be the best mode of transportation for pregnant women. Be still forewarning because not all trains meet the same criteria of comfort. Check before departure to see if there is a dining car and the train is air-conditioned. If you travel at night, book a berth to avoid getting tired. Finally, try to take a ticket that will take you directly to your destination and avoid connections.

Pregnancy: can I fly?

Yes, but some recommendations anyway! The first thing to do, make sure the airline accepts pregnant women! Be careful, some companies refuse pregnant women over seven months, so it is better to check the conditions before going on vacation. Sometimes a medical certificate specifying the term of your pregnancy may be required upon boarding. Another reflex: book in advance so you can choose your seat or request a priority boarding. Ideally, choose a place at the front and near the central aisle so you can relax and be as close to the toilet as possible. Finally, avoid private planes that, unlike airliners, are not all pressurized. Also, you may run out of oxygen during pressure changes.

Traveling pregnant by plane. Dress lightly and comfortably, plan snacks if the menu proposed by the company does not suit you. Also, it is necessary to stretch your legs as often as possible (every 1:30), to change position very regularly and to make foot movements to improve the venous circulation in the legs. Finally, if you are particularly prone to varicose veins, or venous insufficiency, you can wear stockings or compression tights during your trip to prevent phlebitis (to be prescribed by your doctor).

Tips for a stress-free journey

  • Wear light and comfortable outfit. If it’s hot, stay barefoot and try to elevate your legs if possible.
  • Back off the seat to stretch your legs and feel comfortable. If you drive, adjust the steering wheel and step back, so your belly is as far away from the steering wheel as possible.
  • Plan a pillow to support your back or even a pillow for your neck.
  • Take breaks regularly to walk a little (every 1h30).
  • Drink water as often as possible.
  • Avoid taking small winding roads or in bad condition.
  • Always keep an antispasmodic with you during contractions during the trip.
  • Do not forget the seat belt: put the pelvic floor as low as possible, at the pelvis so that it does not rest on the belly, and the other part of the strap, as usual, between the breasts.

Which papers to take with me?

Do not forget to take your complete medical file with you: blood test results, ultrasounds, blood group card, vital card and European health insurance card, which will save time in case of consultation or emergency hospitalization. Also, note the number of your doctor or gynaecologist. Also remember to take all your medications and the prescriptions that come with it, that you will keep in your purse in case of loss of luggage (we are never too careful!). Before you go, it may be helpful to ask your doctor to write prescriptions and other medical papers in English. Finally, find out before you go to medical facilities near your place of vacation: emergencies, obstetric service, nearest doctor, etc. Write down all this information to have them available when needed. If you are going abroad, arrange for repatriation insurance. On-site, if you need a doctor urgently, call your embassy, your consulate or go directly to the emergency room of a hospital.

What to take in your pharmacy case?

a pregnant woman with a bottle in her hand

Only take medications recommended by your doctor. Indeed, self-medication is strongly discouraged during pregnancy. Here is a non-exhaustive list of drugs to have on you while travelling:

  • Antispasmodics in case of contractions
  • Iron to prevent anaemia if your doctor has prescribed it
  • An anti-acid drug to avoid frequent acid reflux during pregnancy
  • A medicine in case of diarrhoea. It can have severe consequences for you and the fetus: dehydration, decreased blood flow to the placenta, etc.
  • Paracetamol in case of headache or a small fever
  • A thermometer, possibly

To know. Fever over 38 ° C is usually a sign of an underlying infection that needs to be treated. In this case, you must immediately call a doctor or go directly to the emergency room of the nearest hospital.

Contractions: before the 8th month, a pregnant woman can have up to 8-10 contractions per day without this being abnormal. On the other hand, if they are more frequent, painful or regular, it is necessary to consult quickly.

What to pack in his suitcase?

Already, we do not forget his sunglasses, his sunscreen and his hat. Better not to overexpose yourself this summer. Besides, you will avoid the famous pregnancy mask (brown colour on the skin of the face). Also remember to take a stretch mark cream, a water mist to cool you down, a mosquito net and mosquito repellents if necessary. Be careful, however, be sure to read the precautions for use because some (which contain DEET) are not recommended for pregnant women. On the clothing side, prefer loose outfits and comfortable shoes, if you have swollen feet because of the heat. Finally, for a relaxing holiday, you can bring a pillow to relieve your back or tea bags to sleep well.