Traveling Restrictions While Pregnant

Traveling in the last trimester

travel third trimester

Flying in the Third Trimester



When Is The Safest Time To Travel?
Third Trimester Travel Restrictions?
Travel Insurance - What Do I Need To Know?
Other Tips
Do Mosquitoes Prefer Pregnant Women?

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Pregnancy Guide

When Is The Safest Time To Travel?

Never again will it be so easy to travel with your baby! The second trimester of pregnancy is usually the safest period to travel when you are pregnant. Statistically the risk of miscarriage is slightly higher in the first trimester and the risk of pregnancy complications increases in the last. Additionally, the second trimester tends to be a more comfortable time to travel because many of the pregnancy symptoms such as morning sickness and fatigue have subsided, and the pregnancy has 'settled'. That said, assuming you have experienced no complications in your pregnancy to date, any time up until the last half of the third trimester is considered relatively safe for travel.

Third Trimester Travel Restrictions

Opinions vary on last trimester travel, however most OB/GYNS will advise against flying after week 36 of pregnancy. Many airlines in fact will not allow you to fly after this for fear you may give birth on board. This limit drops to about 28 weeks if you have experienced problems either with this or previous pregnancies or if you are carrying twins/multiples. It is sensible to avoid travel in the last half of the third trimester. The normal risks of complications do increase and you may find yourself stranded in a country without adequate medical care (or insurance cover). Travel in the earlier part of the third trimester will more likely depend on the type of pregnancy you have been experiencing - the more straight forward the experience, the more likely your doctor will give you the green light.

Travel Insurance - What Do I Need To Know?

Pregnant women tend to be categorized as 'high risk' when it comes to insurance companies. So if you are planning on traveling while expecting, particularly overseas, it is worth checking the fine print of your travel or medical insurance. Most insurance corporations will not cover travelers after week 28 of pregnancy, regardless of how complications-free a pregnancy is up until that point. In fact, some insurance policies do not even cover pregnancy related complications if they happen while abroad. If you have an existing policy, do be sure to contact your insurer to let them know that you are pregnant, and ask what the policy covers (and check if the country you are traveling to is included).

Other Travel Tips

Add pregnancy to the usual effects of jet lag, and you may start to feel exhausted before you even go on your trip! Here are a few tips on how to minimize the draining effects on your body while traveling:

Switching Time Zones
Start preparing your body clock a few days before a trip by getting up an hour earlier in the morning and going to bed a little earlier, if you are heading East. If you are traveling West, try and get up and go to bed a little later (if you can!).

Switch to Local Time on Arrival
If you arrive local time at 8am in the morning, and its evening time at home - resist the urge to go to bed. Instead, try to induce a second wind by taking a shower and eating breakfast. Get some fresh air and a few sunrays; this will help readjust your body clock. Try to stay awake until as close as possible to your usual bedtime (local time).

Staying Hydrated
Dehydration can make jet lag symptoms worse, so be sure to drink plenty of water on the plane and continue drinking once you have landed.

Avoid Jet Lag Medications
Do not use any over the counter prescriptions or herbal preparations for jet lag without the consent of someone in your pregnancy healthcare team. If you get a headache, before taking a painkiller learn about the risks, see aspirin during pregnancy.

Pregnancy Aids
Ensure you pack enough prenatal vitamins to last the trip. Also, acupressure bands are useful if you are prone to motion sickness. Avoid traveling to countries which require immunization. Talk to your doctor for more info on immunizations and malaria medications.

When traveling wear layers of clothes. This will help you warm up or cool down more easily. Wear loose fitting maternity wear. If you're still early in your pregnancy, see our question When should I start wearing maternity clothes?

Medical Records
Carry a copy of your current prenatal record and your health insurance card with you.

For more do's and don'ts, check out our pregnancy tips page.

Do Mosquitoes Prefer Pregnant Women?

It is not your imagination, mosquitoes do prefer pregnant women! Scientists have discovered that pregnant women attract twice as many mosquito bites as non-pregnant women. This may be due to a raise in carbon dioxide (pregnant women tend to take more frequent breaths, exhaling more carbon dioxide), or it may have something to do with a pregnant woman's higher body temperature. Either way, if you are traveling to a mosquito infected area, do take sensible precautions. Use mosquito nets while sleeping and a non-Deet based mosquito bite repellent.

  Related Articles on PREGNANCY CARE

Other useful information you may need on your travels:

Diarrhea - Learn about travelers diarrhea.
Flu During Pregnancy - taking the correct medication with you.
Early Signs of Labor - knowing the signs, just in case!

Return to Homepage: Womens Health Advice

Please Note: Information provided on this site is no substitute for professional medical help. See Disclaimer.
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