With the proper precautions, and armed with information on when to travel, vaccinations and insurance, most women can travel safely well into their pregnancy.
Wherever you go, find out what healthcare facilities are at your destination in case you require urgent medical attention. It’s a good idea to take your medical records with you so you can give doctors the relevant information if necessary.
Make sure your travel insurance covers you for any eventuality, such as pregnancy-related medical care during labour, premature birth, care of the baby and the cost of changing the date of your return trip if you go into labour.
Some women prefer not to travel in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy because of nausea and feeling very tired during these early stages.
Whether you’re travelling or not, the risk of miscarriage is higher in the first three months. While there’s no reason why you can’t travel at this time, if you have any worries discuss them with your midwife or doctor.
Travel within Australia by bus, car, train, or boat is usually not a problem as long as you are comfortable. When travelling long distances or overseas, it is wise to consult with your doctor, especially if your pregnancy is considered high-risk.
Flying is usually not harmful to you or your baby, but discuss any health issues or pregnancy complications with your midwife or doctor before you fly.
The likelihood of going into labour is naturally higher after 37 weeks (around 34 weeks if you’re carrying twins), and some airlines will not let you fly towards the end of your pregnancy. Check with the airline for their policy on this.
After week 28 of pregnancy, the airline may ask for a letter from your doctor or midwife confirming your due date, and that you aren’t at risk of complications.
Fatigue and dizziness are common during pregnancy so it’s important to drink regularly, eat natural, energy-giving foods (such as fruit and nuts) and stop regularly for a break. Keep the air circulating in the car and wear your seatbelt with the cross strap between your breasts and the lap strap across your pelvis under your bump, not across your bump.
Road accidents are among the most common causes of injury in pregnant women. Avoid making long trips on your own and share the driving with your companion.
Women are more vulnerable to contracting food and water-borne illnesses, such as stomach upsets and diarrhoea, during pregnancy.
Take extra care with what you eat and drink if you are traveling to places where water and food-borne illnesses are present. Always check if tap water is safe. If in doubt, drink bottled water, use bottled water to brush your teeth, and avoid ice in drinks, salads and uncooked fruit and vegetables.
If you get ill, keep hydrated and continue eating for the health of your baby, even if you may not be hungry. See a doctor as soon as you can because some medicines for treating stomach upsets and diarrhoea aren’t suitable during pregnancy.
Maternity Leave Coach provides free, non-judgemental emotional support and reassurance. We provide guidance on children’s growth, behaviour and development and are able to refer parents to local services. Our maternal child health nurses work with parents to ensure the health and wellbeing of their children and family.
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