If you have an uncomplicated pregnancy, you are likely to
be able to travel during most of your pregnancy. Just be sure to discuss air
travel and extended trips with your doctor ahead of time. When traveling, it's
also smart to carry a written record of your due date and any medical
conditions you have.
When traveling by car, remember the
Wear your seat belt, even if your car
has an air bag. Strap the lower belt across your lower lap/upper thighs. Run
the shoulder belt between your breasts and up over your shoulder, not over your
abdomen. Remove any excess slack in the seat belt.
Proper use of an air bag is important regardless of
whether you are pregnant. If you are sitting in front of an air bag, slide the
seat as far back as possible, and tilt the seat back slightly to increase the
distance between your chest and the air bag [to
10 in. (25 cm) or more]. For
the latest air bag safety information, see the U.S. Department of
Transportation website at www.safercar.gov.
Take bathroom breaks and short walks at least every 2 hours on
long trips to increase the blood circulation in your legs and reduce bladder
When you're pregnant, the safest time
to travel is during your second trimester (18 to 24 weeks), when your risks for
miscarriage and preterm labor are lowest. During your third trimester, it's
best to stay within 300 miles of home, in case of sudden changes that need
medical attention. Airplane travel tips include the following:
Check with the airline for its requirements
before you book a flight. Some airlines do not allow women more than 35 weeks
pregnant to fly.
Carry written documentation of your due date when
traveling. Some airlines ask to see this information.
seat belt strap over your lower lap/upper thighs. When in flight, keep your
seat belt fastened as much as possible in case of turbulence.
a few walks while on a long flight to increase the blood circulation in your
Choose an aisle seat if possible. This will make it easier to
move around in the plane.
When not to travel by plane
Avoid air travel when:
You've reached your 36th week of
You have a placenta-related problem or have risk factors
for early (preterm) labor.
Your doctor has advised against it,
based on your medical history or current condition.
If you travel by plane frequently as an airline pilot,
flight attendant, air marshal, or courier or on business, it is possible for you
to exceed the cosmic radiation limit considered safe during pregnancy (1
millisievert, or mSv). The occasional flight doesn't pose a risk, but frequent
low-altitude domestic flights or several high-altitude international flights
may increase a fetus's risk of developing cancer during childhood. You can
track your exposure using software from the Federal Aviation Administration,
available online at //jag.cami.jccbi.gov/cariprofile.asp.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerW. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease
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