Travel is a safe option during pregnancy. There have been no studies showing any concern for maternal or fetal health during traditional air flight.
General recommendations for Air Travel include:
- Domestic travel can continue until 34 weeks
- International travel can continue until 32 weeks
- Your partner should stop traveling at 37 weeks to ensure they are present when you go into labor
- Avoid X-ray security machines at the airport. Metal detectors and pat-downs are acceptable alternatives (We just don’t know how much x-ray exposure you get from scattered x-ray devices)
- Stay well hydrated while flying
- Bring snacks that are healthy options with reduced salt content to reduce leg swelling
- Avoid lifting heavy luggage bags
- Keep moving while in your seat, flexing your legs and/or walk around every 2 or so hours as it is important to keep good circulation going thru your legs, reducing the risks of deep vein clotting.
- Consider wearing compression leg stockings, known as Teds, found at your local pharmacy, to reduce lower extremity swelling and deep vein clot formation for longer than 4-hour flights.
- If you are traveling to higher altitudes- it may take 48-72 hours to acclimate. Make sure to hydrate well, minimize strenuous exercise until breathing becomes easier and consider an iron supplement for 48hours before you depart to altitudes greater than 8,000 feet.
You may be asked not to travel if you are bleeding during your pregnancy, have a placenta previa, evidence of preterm labor, history of a prior preterm delivery or if your blood pressure is elevated.
General recommendations for Car Travel:
- During any car travel, it is important to wear a standard 3-point
Seat belt, low and tight across the lower abdomen, below the uterus.
- If you are engaging in long-distance car travel, >2-3 hours, stay hydrated, stop regularly for ambulation, and keep your legs moving. Know where local hospitals are along your route in case of emergency.
- If you are in a car accident, with or without your airbag deploying, contact our office immediately. Direct abdominal contact with the airbags or steering wheel, or just the sheering forces if you are in a car accident can affect your placental stability and close monitoring and medical attention will be recommended.