If you have an uncomplicated pregnancy, you will probably be able to travel during most of your pregnancy. Here are some tips to help increase your comfort and minimize risks.
When you travel by automobile:
Always wear your seatbelt.
The lap belt should be snug and low over your pelvic bones, below your abdomen.
The shoulder belt should be tight against your chest.
Do not put the shoulder belt under your arm or behind your back.
Do not recline your seat while traveling; your seat belt will be too loose to protect you.
Do not drive if you don’t have to.
If you do drive, push the front seat as far back as you can. This will give the air bag as much room as possible to inflate if you’re in a crash.
Source: Reproduced and adapted with permission from the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia
When deciding on your destination, be sure to check for any travel advisories in the area, particularly for women who are pregnant or are thinking of becoming pregnant. Talk to your health care provider or local travel clinic at least 6 weeks before your trip to discuss your travel plans and medical needs. There are some illnesses, like malaria or the Zika virus, which can have serious complications for you and your baby.
Before you buy a plane ticket, check with the airline about their policy regarding pregnant travelers. Some airlines won’t permit pregnant women to fly after 36 weeks gestation. They may also require a letter from your healthcare provider that includes your due date.
If you're flying while pregnant:
- ask for an aisle seat so you can get up and walk frequently
- drink plenty of water
- bring your own healthy snacks
- keep any medications with you on the plane
If you're traveling a long distance:
- take a copy of your prenatal record
- research healthcare services in the area you're traveling to
- pinpoint the location of the nearest hospital
- purchase medical insurance that includes pregnancy and birth
- bring a pair of slippers or flip flops to wear on the plane if your feet tend to swell
It's also a good idea to consult with your public health office about immunizations and any other precautions you should take to prevent illness while travelling. These include drinking bottled water and staying away from ice cubes and uncooked fruits and vegetables.
Resources and Links:
Healthlink BC: Travel during pregnancy