If you are pregnant, the safest time to travel is often during the second trimester, assuming there are no difficulties. If you are pregnant and considering traveling, you should see your doctor first, even more so if your pregnancy is considered high-risk. Consider how good the medical care is at your chosen destination in case you need help.
Certain nations have reciprocal healthcare arrangements with Australia; contact Medicare for further information. Because of the risk of disease and the lower level of medical care in developing countries when you’re pregnant, it’s not recommended to travel to them.
Pregnancy at high risk and travel
Travel is not recommended for pregnant women who are having problems. Several complications include the following:
- Cervical complications, such as an “incompetent cervix,”
- Uterine bleeding
- pregnancy in multiples.
- gestational diabetes, either previous or current.
- Hypertension, either past or present
- Past or present pre-eclampsia (a potentially fatal condition that occurs occasionally during pregnancy), past or present
- anomalies of the placenta, either historical or current.
- miscarriage previously
- I have had an ectopic pregnancy in the past (a pregnancy that develops outside the womb).
- previous preterm labor.
- It is also advised not to travel if you are 35 years of age or older and pregnant for the first time.
Travel vaccination recommendations for pregnant women
Travelers to the majority of developing countries must be immunized against diseases like typhoid. People who are pregnant should not get most vaccines because they can harm their babies or because they haven’t been properly tested for safety.
The influenza vaccine is an important exception to this rule, as it can be safely administered during pregnancy. It is strongly advised for all pregnant women, as influenza can be a very deadly infection during pregnancy. In general, pregnant women should avoid all live virus immunizations (such as mumps and measles).
Certain vaccines, such as those for yellow fever, maybe given cautiously after the first trimester. Consult your physician. Pregnant women are told not to go to poor countries until after their babies are born.
Travel and malaria risk during pregnancy
Malaria is an infection spread by specific mosquito species. Malaria infection during pregnancy increases the chance of miscarriage, preterm labor, and stillbirth. While some antimalarial medications (for example, chloroquine) are deemed safe to take during pregnancy, others (for example, doxycycline) may be hazardous to the unborn child. Pregnant women are advised to avoid travel to locations where malaria is prevalent.
The dangers of long-distance travel while pregnant
Long periods of inactivity while traveling by vehicle, bus, rail, or air increase the chance of developing clots in the deep veins of the leg, a condition known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). These clots can circulate and become lodged in organs such as the lungs.
- Pregnancy increases the risk of DVT if:
- You previously had a DVT.
- You are over 100 kg in weight.
- You are pregnant with multiples.
- A member of your family has had a DVT.
DVT occurs in around one out of every 1,000 pregnant women. According to research, the risk of DVT increases by two or threefold during a long-distance trip.
There is no evidence-based travel advice for pregnant women. However, if you prefer to travel long distances, you should take the following precautions:
- Exercise your legs frequently.
- Regularly walk (in the case of air travel, walk around the aircraft cabin if the flight is smooth).
- Consume plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
- Reduce your intake of alcohol and caffeine.
- If you are at an elevated risk of DVT, it is recommended that you:
- Consult your physician regarding travel arrangements.
- Throughout the voyage, wear well-fitting elastic below-the-knee compression stockings.
- Heparin injections should be given before and after any trip that lasts more than four hours.
Pregnancy and air travel
Before you decide to fly,
- Consult your doctor about any potential dangers associated with your pregnancy. For instance, a woman who is pregnant with gestational diabetes or who is carrying multiples is often advised not to fly.
- Be aware that flying during the last six weeks of pregnancy may cause premature labor, so be careful.
- Consult the airline—some airlines will not allow a pregnant lady to fly at all, while others will require a doctor’s note.
- Examine the fine print of your travel insurance policy—certain policies may exclude pregnant coverage.
- Arrange for a bulkhead seat or a seat near an exit with the airline to gain additional legroom.
- Consider scheduling an aisle seat—it will make getting to the bathroom a little simpler.
- Consult your physician prior to departure to determine whether you should travel with a medical kit. Bear in mind that you should bring this kit in your carry-on luggage to ensure that you can access it during the journey.
The following items may be included in your medical kit:
- Preparations to help you treat common pregnancy aches and pains like heartburn, thrush, constipation, and hemorrhoids.
- Preparations for oral rehydration in the event of traveler’s diarrhea
- Multivitamins designed specifically for pregnant women
- Dipsticks for testing the glucose level in the urine (if required).
throughout the flight:
- Wear your seatbelt over your lap and beneath your bump.
- While seated, stretch and move your legs regularly. Consider wearing compression stockings throughout the flight. The circulatory system of a pregnant woman is already compromised; the lower cabin pressure inside a plane might hypothetically raise the danger of blood clots.
- Consume plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Maintaining a normal fluid intake will also help minimize your risk of DVT.
- If the flight is uneventful, take a half-hour walk up and down the aisles.
- If the flight experiences turbulence, remain seated but frequently flex and stretch your ankles.
- To get breathing oxygen when you’re short of breath or feel dizzy, ask one of the flight attendants to do so.