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Travel During Pregnancy




With proper precautions, you can travel safely throughout your pregnancy, unless your doctor  diagnoses complications in your pregnancy and advises you against it.  Make sure you discuss your travel plans with your midwife or doctor well in advance so you can prepare adequately. Below are some general guidelines that will help you plan better for travel during pregnancy:

  • Time Your Travel: The risk of miscarriage is highest during the first three months of your pregnancy. You may want to minimize travel during this period. This is also a time you will probably suffer frequently from morning sickness, general nausea, and fatigue. Travelling during the last two-three months of pregnancy can also be exhausting and uncomfortable. The best time to travel would therefore be mid-pregnancy, between your fourth and sixth month. Try to schedule any long-distance travel during this period.
  • Research Your Destination: If you’re travelling far from home or abroad, find out what healthcare facilities are available at your destination, in case you need urgent medical help.
  • Take Medical Records and Medications: It’s a good idea to take your medical records file with you so that in the unlikely event of an emergency, doctors can quickly find the information they need to treat you. Don’t forget to also take any medications, Vitamins and Supplements your doctor may have prescribed. If you’re going to an area where certain diseases are more prevalent than at your usual location, ask your doctor or midwife if you need any preventative medications or vaccinations to protect yourself.
  • Pack Light: Avoid taking heavy luggage you will have to carry around with you, especially if travelling alone. Take only essentials, in a small bag.
  • Travel by Public Transport: Travel by public transport is difficult for many pregnant women in Sri Lanka due to the lack of seats, lack of ventilation, crowds and rough driving. If you have to use public transport, try to avoid peak hours and look for a bus or train that is less crowded.Do not be embarrassed to ask for a seat. Many buses and trains have seats specially allocated for pregnant mothers, and these should be given to you. Don’t feel embarrassed to ask the driver to drive slower if his reckless driving is making you feel uncomfortable. Never try to get into or off a moving bus or train. Alert the driver or conductor so they know they have to keep the vehicle stopped till you are seated or until you have safely stepped off.
  • Car Travel During Pregnancy: Feeling motion sick (dizzy or nauseous while during travel) is common during pregnancy, so make sure to drink regularly, eat light snacks and stop regularly for breaks during long distance car travel. Make sure there is plenty of ventilation in the car. Bring along some peperments to suck if you feel nauseous, and avoid reading while travelling. Always wear your seatbelt as this can reduce the risk of injury to you or your baby in an accident. Wear your seatbelt across your chest and make sure the lap strap goes under your bump-not over it. Also make sure the air bags in the car are working in case of an accident. You may find sitting in the front passenger seat is most comfortable so you can stretch your legs comfortably. Avoid driving long durations on your own if you have a long journey ahead.
  • Flying During Pregnancy: Travel by airplane is not harmful to you or your baby, but do discuss your travel plans with your midwife or doctor in advance. Many airlines do not allow you to fly towards the end of your pregnancy because of the risk of going into labour after 37 weeks (34 weeks if you’re pregnant with twins). Your airline may ask for a letter from your midwife or doctor confirming your due date and approving air travel. During long distance flights make sure you drink plenty of water and walk around every 30 minutes of so, to avoid the risk of blood clots. You can also purchase travel stockings at a pharmacy to help, especially if you have been diagnosed with varicose veins.
  • Sailing During Pregnancy: Many ferry companies advice against sailing if you are more than 32 weeks pregnant. If you opt to go on a longer boat trip such as a cruise, find out if they have adequate facilities on board to handle a medical emergency.
  • Eat and Drink Safe During Travel: Since you may have to eat out during travel, make sure you purchase food and drink only from safe shops. The best option would be to take your own food and drink with you if possible. It is very important you avoid stomach upsets and diarrhea during pregnancy as standard medicines you could normally take to treat yourself are not suitable during pregnancy.

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