Gone are the days when women had to avoid traveling because of pregnancy, because modern means of transportation have made traveling easier and safer for pregnant travelers. Most commercial airlines have provisions for pregnant women incorporated in their safety procedures, so traveling while pregnant is generally safe. Only pregnancies that have been classified as complicated pose a high risk of concern for traveling women. Pregnant women with high-risk or complicated pregnancies should undergo a medical check-up before traveling. For those women with normal pregnancies, it’s ideal to travel during their second trimester when all the usual pregnancy discomforts are no longer experienced.
Pregnant women who travel by car for long distances should always plan the intended route and take note of rest areas. Each phase of the road trip should be limited to between five and six hours, and pregnant women should be given time to rest and exercise their legs to prevent cramps and poor blood circulation. With the route carefully studied, pregnant women should prepare provisions for the trip like water, medication, and sanitary items. Reading material, portable music players, snacks and beverages will also make long drives more enjoyable and less stressful. However, extensive reading while traveling should be avoided to prevent eyestrain. Once inside the vehicle, pregnant women should buckle-up and should make sure that both the lap and shoulder belts are secured for best protection. Further, ensure that frequent bathroom stops can be made.
Those who will be traveling by public land transportation such as bus or train should make sure that they are seated near the restroom if one is available. Bus operators should be informed that a pregnant woman is onboard so she can be seated near the restroom. If a pregnant woman is seated far from the restroom, she should make use of handrails or seat backs while standing or moving inside the bus or train. Once the bus or train is in motion, the safest thing to do is to stay buckled. Pregnant women should do stretching exercises or take short walks during stopovers to ensure better blood circulation and prevent muscle strain due to prolonged inactivity.
Air travel is also safe for pregnant women who are not yet in their last trimester. Most airlines still allow pregnant women to travel until the eighth month of pregnancy. Beyond that period, the expert advice of a medical professional should be sought. Although most commercial airlines have made air travel comfortable, pregnant women should be aware of practical ideas to ensure a safer and more enjoyable travel. Foremost among these is to ensure that the seat belt is fastened at all times. This will prevent injuries in case of turbulence. Pregnant women are also advised to make use of handrails or seat backs while standing or moving inside the aircraft’s cabin. Flight attendants should be informed of pregnant passengers’ conditions in order that the latter can be accorded extra attention during the flight. In addition, they should make sure that pregnant women are not sitting in exit rows and are properly informed of special procedures that apply to them in cases of emergency situations.