Holiday Travel: Is it Safe When Pregnant?

Invest in travel insurance
This is a good time to consider travel insurance or open-ended airplane tickets in case a test reveals a warning sign that could prevent you from flying. Some insurance policies include coverage for expenses due to complications and emergencies. If you don’t have an auto club membership, apply for one with free towing and efficient roadside assistance.

Check airline policies
Some airlines require a doctor’s note if you choose to travel within a month of your due date. Others may restrict travel if signs of labor exist. Most airlines request that pregnant travelers consult with a doctor before flying or avoid sitting in exit rows. Restrictions can be tighter on international travel for women in their second trimester. No matter how confident you are with your test results or doctor’s blessing, it’s best to carry written documentation of your due date.

Is it safe to travel while pregnant?

Mind your posture and circulation
It’s already challenging to maintain routines while traveling. A pregnancy makes it even more difficult. Dress in loose clothing and comfortable shoes. The American Pregnancy Association recommends buying an aisle seat on airplanes so you can stretch and keep your blood flowing during multiple quick walks through a pressurized cabin. If you’re traveling by car, take extra care to plan stretch breaks and bathroom stops at rest areas.

Take care with seat belts
In a tight airplane seat, make sure your seat belt is securely beneath your abdomen or across your upper thighs rather than across the top of your baby bump. Take a similar approach in the car. The shoulder strap should run between your breasts and over your shoulder rather than across your abdomen.

Reduce your stress
Stress impacts a pregnancy perhaps more than anything. Studies link complications during pregnancy to increased anxiety. The expected delays and frustration around holiday travel can increase the chances for high blood pressure or more serious stress-related illness. That’s why planning is key. Make sure to allow yourself plenty of time between connections and pit stops to avoid pushing yourself too hard physically or mentally. Your vital supplies should include music, books, or other media that help keep you relaxed and in high holiday spirits.

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