Holiday Travel: Is it Safe When Pregnant?

A spring or summer due date may complicate your holiday travel plans this December, but don’t cancel your trip just yet. Consider the research and your options.

When deciding to travel, experts recommend always consulting with a doctor before purchasing tickets and getting a checkup before taking off or hitting the road. Most doctors will caution against traveling in the third trimester, but usually give the green light if you are in the second trimester.

Is it safe to travel while pregnant?

After the first three months of a pregnancy, a woman is less susceptible to morning sickness. The probability for a miscarriage and premature labor is also less in the second trimester. A doctor will help identify potential risks or complications specific to your pregnancy, though the safest time to travel is generally 14-28 weeks into a pregnancy.

Aside from the aggravation of moving your pregnant body through hoards of holiday travelers, air travel is mostly safe for pregnant women. Airport screening devices are unlikely to harm a pregnancy. Airplane cabin pressure and radiation can slightly reduce the amount of oxygen available to the blood, though a healthy pregnant woman faces no serious health risk in the air. However, frequent fliers can face increased exposure to radiation.

Holiday Travel Tips

If you get the go-ahead from your doctor and decide travel is right for you this season, follow these holiday travel tips for an easier and more joyous journey.

Get organized
Maintain a close eye on your prenatal test schedule prior to flying or driving during the holidays. Plan or reschedule your appointments for before and after you’re out of town. Also, be sure to bring lists of doctors, medications and health insurance information in case of an emergency. Keep your cell phone and battery charger close by rather than burying them deep in your luggage.

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