By: The MyGuestbook Travel Expert
There are many different opinions on when traveling while pregnant is okay versus when you should stay back and await the baby. It is entirely possible to travel while pregnant, and we’ve compiled a list of a few precautions as well as some important items to consider packing to take along with you.
Traveling while pregnant can make any mom nervous, with many studies still circulating on what kind of radiation is on airplanes and what changes in air pressure can do to an unborn baby. As for changes in air pressure, the adjustment of pressure in the cabin is for passenger comfort and ultimately cannot harm a baby. According to John M. DeSesso, “The change in oxygen level is far too small to affect the tissue or fluid surrounding your baby.” It can, however, mean that less oxygen to the mom can heighten chances of high blood pressure for those who are already at risk. Those who are experiencing a difficult or at-risk pregnancy are usually advised to stay close to home for monitoring and avoid traveling at all during this time.
As for the radiation that pregnant women can be exposed to in the sky, Natan Haratz-Rubenstein, an OB-GYN, describes the basis of this concern: “At high altitudes, the air is thinner and radiation levels are somewhat higher, but they’re not usually high enough to be of concern to the occasional traveler.” That said, if a pregnant mom is planning on traveling extensively via plane, she should certainly get clearance from a doctor prior to going. The doctor will refer her to a doctor in her destination city just to serve as backup in case of any mishaps. Experts also say to avoid traveling past the 37th week of pregnancy in case of early delivery. It’s important to get up and walk around to keep blood circulating, which helps to avoid blood clots during longer flights. Drinking plenty of water can also combat the swelling that accompanies plane rides.
As for what to pack, make sure to bring a comfy travel pillow to either place behind your back for any lower back pain, or around your neck to lay your head on during an in-flight nap. Always bring lots of healthy snacks to stave off hunger and keep your blood sugar at a good level. Easy foods to transport include granola, carrot sticks, or applesauce as just a few options. Bring any prescribed medications to make sure your trip goes on smoothly. Flight socks also help a lot to keep circulation up and swelling down.
Always check with your doctor prior to traveling. But most importantly, enjoy yourself!