Here are some things that expectant mothers need to keep in mind while travelling.
Travelling is safe as long as the expectant mother does not have complications in her pregnancy. Even then, travelling during pregnancy involves a lot of precautions and safety measures to avoid any kind of mishap. Here are some tips that can help pregnant women travel safely.
See your doctor before travelling
Before booking the tickets, an expectant mother should consult her doctor and ensure she is fit for travelling. If one is prone to motion sickness, one should opt for nausea remedies or any other medication that one might need for the journey.
Before heading out, the expectant mother should put on a comfortable maternity dress and footwear. Do not forget to carry the required medicines, a copy of your prenatal chart, a pillow and a list of emergency contact numbers, among other essential items.
What foods to avoid
Avoid consuming gassy foods and carbonated drinks before and during the journey or it can cause the intestinal gas to expand and result in discomfort.
Travel anxiety and stress is the last thing pregnant women should be subjected to. In this case, it is best to reach the airport or railway station early. Any form of hurry can put the expectant mother at risk of hurting herself.
Don’t lift heavy luggage
Expectant mothers should avoid lifting heavy luggage so that they don’t hurt their back.
Travel by flight
Several airlines have specific guidelines for expectant mothers choosing to travel via flight. Some airlines permit pregnant mothers to fly till the end of 32 weeks of pregnancy. Air India, for instance, mentions in its website, “an expectant mother in good health may be accepted for transportation up to and including the 32nd week of pregnancy.” The airline also makes an exception for advanced pregnancy beyond 32 weeks with anticipation of normal delivery, whereby “the expectant mother will be accepted for travel up to and including the 35th week of pregnancy, i.e., up to, at least five weeks prior to the expected date of confinement. A medical certificate from the attending obstetrician must be obtained stating that she is fit to travel.” Cases of multiple and complicated pregnancy, however, are not accepted after the 32nd week.
Airlines like IndiGo or SpiceJet, on the other hand, allows expectant mothers till the end of 36 weeks of pregnancy, on showing a Fit to Fly certificate (dated not more than one or two weeks before the date of travel) obtained from the treating obstetrician, for travel between the 28th and 36th week.
Pregnant women usually frequent toilets which is why it is best to take the aisle seat in a flight. One can also book a special seat with more leg room to ensure a comfortable journey.
When onboard, keep yourself hydrated by drinking fluids. In case of a long-haul journey, taking a walk from time to time or flexing and extending ankles is advisable to ensure proper blood circulation.
Travel by car
Shorter journeys are always preferable for pregnant women. In case the journey is too long, take a few breaks in between. Stretch your limbs for proper circulation in the body. If you are wearing a seat belt, fasten it around the hips to avoid undue pressure on the abdomen.
Travel by train
Hire a porter if you have a heavy bag or you need to carry your luggage for a significant distance up to the platform. Avoid getting down at halt stations each time. Try and book the lower berth in the train for greater ease in movement. And if you are taking a trip to the toilet, be careful about maintaining balance in the train.