Traveling during pregnancy can be fun and comfortable, especially during the second trimester (14 to 28 weeks) when nausea and fatigue have lessened or ceased. Air and automobile travel are safe during most pregnancies providing you follow a few simple rules and your own common sense. During pregnancy, blood volume is up, your center of gravity has changed and your joints are loosening… so take it easy.
If you are planning to travel and you are more than 34 weeks pregnant, or if you have a high-risk pregnancy, please consult your doctor. Likewise, if you are planning a trip to anywhere with extreme conditions (heat, cold or high altitude), please consult your provider.
- Wear loose, layered clothing and comfortable low-heeled shoes. Remember your body temperature is higher than those around you.
- Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
- Carry your own nutritious snacks.
- Walk around every one or two hours to avoid swelling.
- Place a small pillow under your back to avoid strain.
- Give your body time to adjust to your new temperature, climate and altitude.
- Metal detectors in airports are safe in pregnancy.
If traveling abroad:
- Avoid drinking the local water in foreign countries unless you know it to be safe for travelers.
- Be aware of the medical care available at your destination, including the name of the nearest hospital
- Make sure your health insurance is valid while abroad and during pregnancy, and that the policy covers a newborn should delivery take place
- Make sure prenatal visits are not missed
- Check to see if there are immunizations you need (yellow fever, typhoid fever, cholera). Also be aware of medications you may need to take to prevent infections such as malaria
- Consider taking your medical records and be familiar with them
- Know your blood type and other important information
Cruise lines do not allow pregnant patients over 24 weeks to board the ship. If the patient is cruising prior to 24 weeks, they will need physician verification of gestational age and that it is safe for her to travel.
Seatbelt and air bag use
During pregnancy, your seatbelt is as important as ever. How do you position the belt? Start by sitting as upright as possible, and place the lap belt under your belly and as low on your hips as possible (so it pulls against your pelvic bones, not your abdomen). Then position the shoulder belt so it crosses your chest between your breasts. Fasten and adjust the seatbelt so it fits as snugly as possible – you may also need to adjust the seat itself.
Your baby is well cushioned by the uterus and amniotic fluid, and your uterus is well protected by your own body. There is no evidence that safety belts increase the chance of injury to the fetus, uterus or placenta. In most accidents, the baby recovers quickly from the safety belt pressure. However, even after seemingly blunt, mild trauma, please contact your doctor. We do not recommend turning off air bags for pregnant passengers or drivers.