What to expect when you are eagerly awaiting the birth of your child is always a hot topic of conversation for moms to be. Whether you’re traveling for a “babymoon” with your partner or hitting the road for business, you’re not alone. Many expectant moms don’t let pregnancy stop them from taking a trip.
That’s why we put together a few easy to follow tips to ensure safety for traveling moms to be.
- Consult Your Doctor: No matter how far along you are in your pregnancy, it is important to let your doctor know if you’re taking a trip. Whether traveling by train, plane, or simply in the car, any trip can cause stress and affect your body and mind, so it’s always recommended to check in with your doctor first. This is especially important if you’re traveling to a location where you may need to be vigilant about vaccinations, food and water safety, or other health and safety considerations. If you are being followed for high risk pregnancy (including teenage mothers, women over 35, women pregnant with multiples, mothers with a history of high blood pressure, diabetes, other chronic heart/lung kidney conditions, pre-eclampsia, prior pre-mature labor) limit your air travel to before 32 weeks gestation.
- Pack Smart: Make sure you have plenty of water and healthy snacks. Staying hydrated and keeping your blood sugar steady are important now more than ever. Flight and train delays mean you may be left on the runway or at the gate unexpectedly, leaving your food and beverage options limited. In the early weeks, you might notice you’re more susceptible to motion sickness as a result of morning sickness, so a few crackers could be a lifesaver! Be mindful of your travel destination, and if you are going to a foreign country, think of how foods are prepared. Fresh foods are more susceptible to germs, while baking or boiling food kills them. You might even appreciate having some backup food in case your only choices include unpasteurized dairy or food that is otherwise questionable in safety.
- Stay Active: When traveling, especially when taking a long flight, it is important to get up from your seat and walk up and down the aisles, preventing blood clots from forming. Always bring a water bottle with you to prevent dehydration and weakness. Comfort is key –bring comfortable walking shoes and clothes and pack lightly to put minimal strain on your back.
- Do Your Research: You’re probably checking every pregnancy, parenting and baby website out there, and those sites can be a wealth of information about traveling while pregnant. Sites like parents.com and babycenter.com are great resources. It’s also a good idea to find a local doctor or pharmacy in your destination just in case. Be sure to check with your airline, as well, regarding any specific guidelines they may have for their pregnant travelers. Be aware that most airlines have restrictions on women traveling after week 36. Check your health insurance, travel insurance and travel assistance documentation for limitations, exclusions and other important-to-know information bout what’s covered (and not covered) for expectant travelers.
- Leave the Worrying to Us: Whether you are traveling 50 or 5,000 miles from home, purchasing a travel assistance membership from On Call International before you leave will help eliminate your worries. Mothers to be can purchase a single-trip, annual membership or family membership at www.oncallinternational.com/enroll. All memberships include medical and travel assistance services like a 24-hour nurse helpline, medical monitoring, worldwide medical referrals, 24/7 emergency travel arrangements, legal assistance and more.