How Safe Is It To Travel During Pregnancy?

Travel During Pregnancy

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The journey could be for work, pleasure, a family occasion or an emergency, but if it is unavoidable, what must you do?

Do you suddenly need to travel during your pregnancy? Are you in a dilemma, not knowing if it is recommended or not? Well, the golden rule is that since every pregnancy is unique; consult your doctor before making this decision. Only the doctor alone knows how much at risk you and your baby are and what mode of travel during pregnancy will suit you the best.

When Your Doctor Might Say No To Travel:

It is important to consider the risks associated with travelling during pregnancy, and you can best understand it from your doctor. If he/she says you have some complications and asks you not to travel, then please don’t.

Here are some situations in which the doctor may advise you to avoid travelling during early weeks of pregnancy:

a. History Of Preterm Labor Or Miscarriage:

If you had a miscarriage in the past or anyone in your family experienced miscarriag

e, you need to be extra careful. You might not be able to prevent a preterm labour because it is difficult to detect it, but you can surely ensure a healthy and safe pregnancy.

Other than having a healthy diet and taking prenatal care, you have to restrict heavy exercise and travel during the pregnancy. You need to meet your doctor more often for physical examination and tests to see the status of your pregnancy. You need rest if you want a healthy baby. You also need to take preventive medications like weekly shots of a type of progesterone hormone called hydroxyprogestrone caproate (Makena) during the second trimester.

Also using vaginal progesterone gel during the second and third trimesters can reduce the risk of preterm labour, especially in women with a short cervix. So it is important not to miss your weekly shots and your visits to the doctor. So travelling is definitely not on the list.

b. Multiple Pregnancies (Twins, Triplets Or More):

Twins and triplets are usually born early so it is important to talk to your doctor midwife about the birth options. If you are due to have multiple pregnancy it is important to take special care. Generally twins and triplets are born before 38 weeks; more than half of all twin pregnancies go beyond 37 weeks. Nearly 75% of triplets are born before 35 years.

So naturally your doctor will say not to travel in this delicate condition during the third trimester. Since you can enter into labour anytime and it is best to take the precautionary measures, stay home and take rest.

c. High Blood Pressure:

If you develop high blood pressure or hypertension during pregnancy it is important that you take precautions and enough rest. Since, high blood pressure can cause complications during delivery. Generally, high blood pressure occurs during conception or during the pregnancy.

High blood pressure during pregnancy poses various risks like decreased blood flow to the placenta. Thus the fetus is deprived of oxygen and nutrients necessary for development. This is a reason behind low birth weight. High blood pressure can cause placental abruption or separation of placenta from the uterus wall. This is a serious condition since it can cause heavy bleeding in the mother and deprive the fetus of oxygen. Some high pressure can trigger premature delivery to avoid all life threatening complications. If the women develop preeclampsia and high protein content in the urine after 20 weeks of pregnancy then there is a high chance that she will develop cardiovascular disease later in life even if the pressure comes back to normalcy after pregnancy.

Chronic hypertension generally begins before pregnancy and lasts more than 12 weeks after delivery. Gestational hypertension develops 20 weeks after pregnancy is detected. It is temporary and it disappears after delivery. Sometimes both chronic and gestational hypertension can cause preeclampsia; it is a serious condition that can cause life threatening birth complications. If you have constant headaches, blurred vision, abdominal pain in the right side, sudden weight gain and edema or swelling or hands and feet it is a sure sign of preeclampsia and it needs immediate medical attention.

It is best to take rest and keep a calm mind of you are suffering from hypertension. Rule out all travel as rest and maintaining good health should be the priority. Travel will tire you out and may further complicate situations.

d. Placental Abnormalities:

If you are suffering from placental abruption, this means the placenta detaches itself from the uterine wall suddenly posing danger to both mother and baby. Also placenta praevia or low lying placenta can block the mouth of the cervix; this is also a serious pregnancy complication that needs to be resolved.

The woman experiences heavy bleeding if she suffers from either placental praevia or placental abruption. So it is not a wise idea to travel in this delicate condition and subject oneself to more discomfort. Placental disruptions pose a risk to both fetus and mother’s health so it is important to stay at home and take rest and medications. So you need to concentrate on the treatment of these conditions.