To travel in pregnancy for long distance is a dilemma to the women . To clear the confusion ,here are some facts about …..
When the pregnant women wants to travel , think of risks and purpose of travel . Few do’ s and don’t s regarding travelling will discuss here.
WHEN TO TRAVEL ?
- Usually in simple uncomplicated pregnancy, women can travel up to 37 weeks based on RCOG guidelines .
- But practically speaking , in first trimester (1-12 wks ) morning sickness makes the travelling worse . Little miscarriage risk added to it .
- In third trimester (28-36 wks) growing abdomen and altered physiology of pregnancy poses adverse effects to the women . It may induce premature uterine contractions,separation of placenta ,leaking membranes etc .
- So the safer period to travel is second trimester of pregnancy (13-27 wks ).
- Duration of 4-6 hrs travelling is usually safe .More than 6 hrs , adds risk depending on hours and mode of journey.Precautions and care can decrease the risk .
- Usual mode of transport : Air ,by road ( mortar cycle,car ,bus etc) ,train ,sea travelling
AIR TRAVELLING – WHO SHOULD NOT :
Women with pregnancy complications like :
- Placenta Previa
- Severe morning sickness ( Nausea and Vomiting)
- Pregnancy induced hypertension
- Recent history of vaginal bleeding
- Twin pregnancy to some extent ( up to 32 wks they can travel ,if pregnancy is uncomplicated by other means )
- Women suffering from chronic diseases like :
- Severe anemia
- Cardiac disease
- Renal problems
- Sickle cell disease
- Middle ear sinus infections
Recent bone fracture
Recent major surgery ( abdominal surgeries etc)
THE PROBLEMS FACED DURING AIR TRAVEL :
- Nose blockade
- Ear ache
- Fluid retention , edema
- Motion sickness
- Deep vein thrombosis ( risk increases in obese women and women with DVT history )
- Placental separation in risk women
- Premature uterine contractions
SAFETY MEASURES DURING AIR TRAVEL
- Inform to your healthcare provider and take her /his advice before your travel .As the individual effects vary depending on her pregnancy stage
- Carry antenatal records with you including your healthcare provider number
- Carry medicines with you
- Dont try to lift the weights like suitcases ( cabin luggage )
- U should avoid travelling one month before your expected date
- Wear comfortable clothing , loose fitting ,cotton preferably
- Wear comfortable shoes
- Leg stockings ,improves the blood circulation prevents clot formation
- Seat belt tied on upper thighs , not over the abdomen
- Regular small walk( 5-10 min) with in the air craft for every one hour .
- On seat, calf and ankle stretching movements improves the circulation
- Prefferably choose seat in front , just behind the business class where front leg space is more or in buiseness class . Seat on wing also comfortable to the pregnant women
- Take sips of water or juices . Dehydration is not advisable as these induces premature contractions .Avoid aerated drinks,alcohol ,caffeine etc
- Empty the bladder every 2 hrs . Don’t put your bladder under pressure
- Take snacks in between to maintain glucose levels in blood .Preffer healthy cooked food .Avoid raw vegetables and undercooked eggs r meet etc
- In DVT risk individuals do take heparin injections as advised by the physician before and 4 days after journey
- Travel insurance is helpful
- Pregnant women can pass through security scanner without any harm to baby
- Few small domestic flights have pressure changes in cabins , do aware of that and avoid travelling for longer hours in those flights
- Radiation effects are small and not observed any harmful effects on mother or baby during air travel
INTERNATIONAL TRAVELLING IS NOT PREFERABLE –
If situation demands for international travel then u have to look in to other things like :
- Talk to your health care provider regarding your health issues and handover of medical records to consultant in new place ,where ur going to travel .
- Inform in embassy and follow the regulations
- Consult CDC and get approval from them regarding communicable diseases .
- Take vaccinations depending on which country your travelling , for more prevalent diseases and immunological status of yours
MOTOR BIKE TRAVELLING IS NOT RECOMMENDED DURING PREGNANCY
TRAVELLING IN CAR :
- Travelling in car is safe
- Inform and take advice of your healthcare provider and carry medical reports .
- Wear seat belt-upper belt between two breast ,lower belt on upper thigh
- Maintain distance of 25 cm from airbag .
- Every 2 hours , get down from the car and walk for 10-15 min .
- Streching of ankle and calf muscles is advisable during journey period
- To Avoid dehydration take sips of water ,juices etc .Avoid aerated drinks ,coffee,alcohol ,smoking .
- Take small feeds ,biscuits etc
- Empty the bladder every 2 hours
- carry medicines
- pillow or cushion can be put for support of back
- Car driving can be done in second trimester .Problem of nausea & vomiting can cause discomfort in first trimester .And growing abdomen in third trimester makes the women uncomfortable to drive and interfere with the front view
Train travelling : Motion of a train ride will not cause any problems with the pregnancy such as premature contractions ,separation of placenta or leaking membranes
10-15 min of walk in the train is prefferable to improve the circulation
Sea travelling: Motion sickness problem more aggravated in sea travelling .Take anti emetics which are prescribed in pregnancy.
- Diarrhea commonly associated with this type of journey.Take precautions in drinking water and food consumables.
- Know about geography of travelling path ,where u can land ( near by port or island ) in an emergency and know the health care facilities their .
- As in other modes of transport,insurance,medical records ,advice and consent of your health care provider is mandatory.