Where, when, how: Travel tips for pregnant ladies

There are various myths and concerns attached to travelling during pregnancy –miscarriages and complications in delivery being on the top. So, we caught up with few medical experts to throw light on the topic and get some healthy pieces of advice

Being a travel lover, I enjoy reading travelogues – about exotic places to explore, tips for a better experience, and much more. While reading one such article, I came across a picture of a pregnant lady travelling and sharing her experience in a heartwarming caption. I showed this to my grandmother and she was not at all supportive of it. "It is wrong to travel in that state," she immediately reacted.

That's when I thought to touch upon the topic and get some expert's advice.

According to medical experts, out of three trimesters in pregnancy, the second trimester is safest to travel – during the first trimester there is lot of nausea, vomiting, tiredness and in the third

trimester the large uterus and

position of baby causes discomfort to the mother.

People believe it is unsafe to travel via air, as it causes miscarriages, to which, Dr S Rajasri, Senior Consultant, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Chennai informs that there is no scientific evidence to prove that.

"Most airlines have their own policy on air travel during pregnancy and restrict pregnant women close to term (34 to 36 weeks and beyond) from boarding the flight. But up to 32 weeks it's absolutely safe and the cosmic radiation that most women are generally concerned of will not affect the foetus."

"Basically, closer you are to term, higher are the chances that labour could start. But air travel per say does not push pregnant woman in labour," adds Dr Rajasri.

She also recommends pregnant ladies to wear loose clothing and comfortable shoes, try to get an aisle seat and take regular walks in the plane. Also, she says that it very important to do stretching exercises every 30 minutes or have water at regular intervals throughout the journey.

"Consuming drinks that contain alcohol or caffeine is a big no. In case there is a long journey – especially by road – take frequent stop, get down and take a walk in between and consume plenty of fluids with light meals. Also, avoid heavy meals," she advises.

Further suggesting few things, Dr Madhu Goel, Associate Director, Fortis La Femme says that there are certain things one should remember while travelling during pregnancy so as to be safe:

Always carry your pregnancy records with you, check with your obstetrician before planning a trip, eat hygienic food, Do not over exert yourself, make a list of medicines which you have to take on the daily basis so that you do not skip any of them.

Though as per medical experts, travelling is not unsafe during the nine-month course, they do mention that a trip to mountains is not advisable.

For international trips, doctors advice to check if any vaccination is required. And, for the road trips one needs to be very cautious. Take care of the safety – use seat belt, do not lift any heavy object, plan proper toilet breaks, do stop by or eat something on regular intervals.

"You must always carry your doctor's number and contact them in the case of emergency," Dr Madhu concludes.

So, travelling during pregnancy is not as risky as believed by our grandmothers. Safety and proper care is the key.

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