Is it time for your annual vacation, or are you suddenly struck with a spur-of-the-moment yearning to fly to Cancun? Wondering if you can safely travel during pregnancy? Of course you can! Traveling as a mom-to-be can be safe, comfortable, and loads of fun. Here are a few tips to help you on your way.
Obstetricians generally agree to reasonable travel plans for pregnant women other than those at risk from hypertension, diabetes, bleeding, or a history of miscarriage. It's a good idea to discuss your travel plans with your doctor or midwife, particularly if you have a high-risk pregnancy.
Timing Your Trip
The second trimester of pregnancy, from weeks 14 to 28, is the optimum time to travel. By then the nausea and fatigue of the first trimester have generally abated, and the body has adjusted to pregnancy. Likewise, the higher risk of miscarriage during the first trimester has subsided, according to Dr. Cynthia Flynn, CNM, PhD, of Columbia Birth Center in Kennewick, Washington.
Traveling in the third trimester, however, can prove uncomfortable, particularly with the uterus pressing on the bladder and the added risk of preterm labor looming as a distinct possibility. In fact, most obstetricians discourage clients from traveling beyond a 100-mile radius after their 28th week of pregnancy.
Yet professional opinions differ. "I advise my clients that if their pregnancy is a healthy one, it is OK to travel during pregnancy up to about week 32," says Dr. Flynn. "After that, I only encourage long car trips. Finally, I like my clients to just stay home after 36 weeks; then they are 'grounded.'"