It is difficult for most women to put their entire lives on hold for nine months while they are pregnant. This is especially true for women whose professions involve traveling, or for the traveling enthusiasts who love visiting new places. While traveling on a whole is not discouraged throughout a woman’s pregnancy, it is important to speak with your doctor before traveling.
Traveling while pregnant involves its own unique set of challenges. While serving in a third world country may be on your heart through mission work or community service, it is not suggested that any pregnant women visit a third world country while pregnant. The amount of diseases present in most third world countries make a pregnant woman and her unborn baby highly susceptible to being infected. This not only puts the health of the mother at risk, but it can put the life of an unborn baby at risk and lead to several preventable issues.
Flying presents its own set of challenges to women that are pregnant. Swelling from high elevation can become incredibly uncomfortable, and it can lead to blood pressure issues that put the life of the mother and unborn baby in danger. While flying is typically allowed during the first and second trimester, it is highly discouraged in the third trimester for most women.
Traveling by car also presents challenges. Swelling and blood clots are the most significant concerns. Because circulation is altered by pregnancy, it is important for women to walk every hour in order to increase the circulation and decrease the risk of a blood clot. Also, take care to wear your seat belt, but to rest the shoulder belt between your breasts and off to the side of your belly. This will take away any unnecessary pressure from your growing uterus and baby.
Traveling by cruise is highly discouraged by most obstetricians. Not only can seasickness make pregnancy nausea even worse, but because there are high instances of stomach viruses on cruise ships, traveling by cruise can put your unborn baby at risk.
At Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A., we understand that not all traveling can be put off or is desired to be halted by pregnancy. However, we also understand the need to keep our patients and their unborn babies safe and healthy. If you are planning to travel while you are pregnant, we encourage you to speak with us beforehand so that we can give you pointers for the safest methods of taking care of yourself and your baby.