You don’t have to remain stuck at home when pregnant – stress and other ‘enclosure’ related health concerns can easily catch up with you. Traveling is a great way to break the home monotony before welcoming the newborn. It helps decompress, enjoy the therapeutic power of new environments, and ward off stress-related conditions such as an overactive amygdala.
The best time to travel when pregnant is during the second trimester because you’re least likely to experience early labor or a miscarriage. Here are tips to follow when traveling to keep you and your unborn child safe and enjoy your time outdoors.
Carry Copies of Your Medical Records and Other Important Medications
You may require to visit a hospital or a doctor who doesn’t have your medical records in case of an emergency. You should carry your medical records when traveling to give the doctor attending to you a more accurate picture. You should also bring your prenatal vitamins and any other required prescribed drugs.
When flying out of the country, you might need a medical kit to treat any minor conditions you may experience. The medical kit could contain the following:
- Remedies to counter common pregnancy discomforts like hemorrhoids, heartburn, and constipation
- Pregnant women multivitamins
- Oral rehydration pills in case of diarrhea.
Remember to get an accurate report from the travel department on the travel vaccinations you need before flying out.
When traveling over a long distance, either by air or car, you may remain inactive for a long time, which may affect blood circulation in your body. Blood may clot in the leg’s deep veins, leading to a condition known as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). The clots circulate in the body and lodge at parts such as the lungs and could be fatal if not treated fast. Although there are other predisposing factors to DVT when pregnant, long-distance travel increases the DVT contraction risk by two to three times.
To be safe, stretch regularly during the journey (after every 30 mins) to maintain a smooth blood flow around the body. You could also wear some below-knee elastic compression stockings and stay hydrated to reduce the risk of suffering from DVT. If you have suffered from the disease before, you may be at significant risk of a recurrence. You need to talk to your doctor before the long trip. The doctor might recommend a heparin injection before and after traveling for more than four hours, to decrease the chances of blood clots.
Wear Loose Clothes and Dress in Layers
Since you’re going to be seated for most of the journey, it pays off to wear some loose clothing. They will help ease blood flow and keep you comfortable throughout the journey. Loose clothing also plays a massive role in preventing yeast infections by maintaining proper airflow in the body.
Moreover, consider dressing in layers for ease, pulling off or putting on a cloth. Your body doesn’t regulate temperature as usual when pregnant. You may sometimes feel extra cold or overheat with minimal weather changes. Pack various clothes in your bag to easily cope with varied body reactions when traveling.
Get a Comfortable Seat
Book an aisle seat if flying to ease movements to the washrooms or when you want to stretch out in the aisle. Although the bulkhead seat is more spacious, seating over the wing may give you the smoothest ride. Remember to stretch your feet out and flex your ankles when seated to maximize circulation.
If traveling by car, prioritize sitting in the backseat if you’re not driving. Injuries from crashes are less severe on people sitting in the backseat. If you have to take the front seat as a passenger, tilt the seat as far back as possible from the dashboard, and ensure the airbag is on. Ensure you put your seatbelt on.
Carry Some Healthy Snacks With You
Finding healthy snacks to fulfill your pregnancy cravings when traveling can be difficult. Most fast food joints may not have the healthiest options suitable for pregnant mothers. You should carry your snacks to fulfill your cravings while also minding your health.
A good option could be a mix of healthy energy-boosting and fiber-rich choices like veggies, fruits, hummus, granola bars, and plenty of water. These will help maintain optimum energy levels and keep off bloating and constipation, which could quickly ruin the fun of your journey.
Don’t Push Yourself Too Hard
When planning for a trip or during the trip, plan out your schedule early and give yourself regular breaks. Allow yourself enough time to complete a task without speeding through it to avoid over-exhausting. Also, control the urge to get too involved, as overworking yourself may increase your chances of preterm birth, miscarriage, or injury. It may also be detrimental to the health of the unborn and has been shown to affect the unborn’s size.
Keep Pregnancy Boredom at Bay Through Safe Traveling
Traveling during pregnancy can help reduce prenatal home boredom and keep your social life exciting before going into labor. Safety should be your highest priority when traveling to avoid anything that could endanger you or the unborn.
You must watch over your health by keeping your body active and loose throughout the journey. In addition, stay nourished and hydrated to maintain high energy levels and prevent constipation. Whenever you experience discomfort, consult your doctor before self-medicating, and only take drugs that your doctor has approved.