How Many Months Pregnant are Allowed to Travel
For decades, there have been concerns about pregnancy and travel. As long as there is no medical condition during your pregnancy, you can travel during your pregnancy. Whether you are travelling by air, bus, train, auto rickshaw or two-wheeler, it is generally safe to travel. As long as you and your fetus are healthy –
You can travel until the 36th week of your pregnancy..!
The best time to travel during your pregnancy is during the second trimester. In most cases, during this time you are past your morning sickness and you are safe from the last few weeks of the pregnancy when you will be generally fatigued. Most common pregnancy complications occur during the first and last trimesters. During your second trimester, your energy levels are normal and you can get around easily. However, make sure that you pay close attention to how you are feeling.
When you are travelling, ensure that you observe the following in order to make your journey comfortable and safer. Remember you are not travelling alone.
• Buckle-up – whether you are flying or travelling by car, make sure that you wear a seat belt. It is essential to buckle both the shoulder and lap belt for better protection for you and your baby.
• Remain seated – if you are travelling by bus, ensure that you are seated while the bus is moving. Most buses have very narrow aisles and small space between seats, ensure that you go in the bus early enough to secure a seat that you can sit comfortably. If you must move while the bus is on the move, make sure to hold to the seats or the rail. This will help you maintain balance.
• Keep the air bug on – if you are travelling by car, ensure that the airbag is on. The safety benefit of the airbag during pregnancy is ideal. It will protect you and your unborn baby in case of any eventuality.
• Stretch often – take advantage of the bus stops to stretch yourself. When you stretch, it helps your blood to circulate more freely as compared to when you are seated.
• Short walks – if you are travelling by train, it is more spacious as compared to a bus. You can walk in the train to encourage blood circulation to all parts of the body. However, as you walk around, ensure that you hold to the rails to maintain balance.
• Time – if possible, limit the amount of time you spend travelling. Do not spend a lot of time scooped in a car. The travelling time should be between 5 to 6 hours when you are pregnant.
• Dress code – when you are travelling, ensure that you dress comfortably. It is advisable to wear loose clothing and flat shoes.
• Prenatal records – when you are travelling, ensure that you carry your prenatal records.
As an expectant mother, you should not travel to areas that have life-threatening disease outbreaks such as zika virus or Ebola. Zika virus is spread through mosquito bites and it can cause serious birth defects. In addition to that, avoid travelling to areas prone to malaria outbreaks. Malaria is a dangerous disease for pregnant women. Research and find out the places you are travelling to is safe from such diseases.
Travelling by Car During the First Trimester of Pregnancy
Travelling during the first trimester by car whether you are driving or as a passenger either for long or short trips is perfectly safe. As long as your pregnancy is healthy, it is okay to travel by car.
However, if you are the one driving, nausea and fatigue that you feel might make it hard for you to concentrate. It is advisable, therefore, to take regular breaks as you drive. You should also only drive when you feel refreshed and alert. But you should avoid long trips by yourself. It is advisable to travel with someone more especially a core driver.
To enjoy your ride by car, ensure you do the following:
• Have a bottle of water – drinking on the go will help you to keep hydrated. Also, to keep your energy levels high, carry some healthy snacks.
• Stretch – to help your blood circulate better, stretch from time to time. when you are stretching your legs, start with your heel and then gently twist your leg muscles. Also, rotate your ankles and wrists and wiggle your toes. This will improve your blood circulation.
• Wear loose clothes – tight clothes and shoes prevent the proper circulation of blood.
• Take breaks – if you are travelling a long distance, ensure that you take a break after 90 minutes of driving. This will help you rest and visit the restroom. Sitting for long hours during your pregnancy can be difficult. It can cause your feet and ankles to swell to develop leg cramps. With a little break and movement, all the discomforts will be taken care of.
Also Watch –
If you are driving and your car breaks down, do the following:
(i) Pull out of the road
(ii) Point the wheels of your car away from the traffic and put on the hazard indicator
(iii) Call someone for help
(iv) Got out of your car via the passenger door
(v) If you feel unsafe, sit in the passenger seat and lock the doors.
If you are travelling and your car gets involved in an accident, the following tips are important:
• Even if you feel that you are fine after the accident, ensure that you get a medical checkup to ensure that your fetus is safe. This is because if you are forcefully thrown during the car accident, it might cause your placenta to be separated.
• If after the accident you get any bleeding, contractions or pain, make sure you seek medical attention as soon as possible.
• Ensure that you know your rhesus status. If you have a rhesus negative, it is advisable to get an antigen injection immediately after the accident.
• If the accident is serious and you are injured and taken to hospital, ensure that you inform the medical attendants that you are pregnant and for how many weeks.
- How Long Can a Baby Wear a Diaper At Night
- How to Entertain a Toddler All Day!
- How to Handle a Stubborn and Aggressive Child
- What happens when you yell at a child
Travelling in Auto Rickshaw and Bikes During Pregnancy
As long as your pregnancy is healthy and you are safely past your first trimester, you can use an auto rickshaw. Usually, an auto rickshaw is used to cover short distances, you can use it. There is no record which shows that travelling by auto rickshaw or, in that case, can cause any damage to your pregnancy.
However, it is advisable to take caution. The only danger to using the auto rickshaw is the unruly traffic and sometimes the bumpy roads.
You are exposed to more danger when you are travelling in this than in a car or bus. If this is your main means of transport, have a word with your doctor and he will help you know the way forward.
If you are using a bike as your means of transport, you can use it during the first and second trimester. Also, ensure that you sit on the sideways. The following are some of the precautions you can take when travelling on a bike:
• Wear a helmet all the time
• Avoid travelling during peak hours
• Stay clear of high traffic roads
• Keep distance from vehicles
• If you are feeling dizzy, do not drive
• Know the hospitals near the road that you use frequently. This is helpful if you feel unwell while on the road
• Keep your balance, keep a position that you can be able to turn easily without straining
• If it is during summer, avoid going out in the middle of the day
• Do not ride your bike late at night
Can Bumpy Roads Cause Miscarriage
There is a common belief that riding on a bumpy road can lead to miscarriages.
There is no scientific record to prove this belief.
A bumpy ride either on a car, bus, auto rickshaw or bike cannot do your unborn baby any harm. This is because your baby is surrounded by an amniotic fluid which acts as the shock absorber.
However, during the final 3 to 4 weeks of your pregnancy, it might not be safe to take a bumpy ride. But one bumpy ride even during this time will not affect your pregnancy. This is because if the ride can cause your body any harm, your body will warn you immediately.
If cannot avoid travelling on a bumpy road with potholes all over, leave home early and ask your driver to drive slowly. There is nothing to worry about. Go about your business with your head held high, your pregnancy is safe.
The Best Time to Travel During Pregnancy
The best time to travel during your pregnancy is between the 14th to 28th weeks.
This is basically during the second trimester. However, travelling during the first trimester is safe as well, but most miscarriages occur during this trimester. Therefore, to avoid having a miscarriage, talk to your doctor first before travelling during the first trimester.
If you are having any pregnancy complications, travelling is not recommended. Some of the pregnancy complications that can cause you not to travel include the following preterm labor, preeclampsia, and pre-labor rupture of the membranes. Travelling is also not advisable if you are expecting twins. Some other conditions that might pose a risk on your pregnancy if you travel are bone fracture, cardiac disease, haemorrhage, severe anaemia and respiratory diseases.
Effect of Stress during Pregnancy on Infant and Child Development
There are effects that are related to prenatal stress during pregnancy and birth outcomes. The avoid the implications of stress on children, pregnant women should be given the best emotional health care during pregnancy.
More public education is required in order to educate pregnant women to take good care of themselves emotionally. Maternal prenatal stress increases the chances of a child developing a number of complications. Some of the most common complications that are associated with prenatal stress include the following:
• Readily distracted attention (ADHD)
• Conduct disorders
• Impaired cognitive development
• Emotional problems
• Impaired brain development
• Behavioural problems
• Cardiovascular disorders
Many studies have found a direct relationship between the mother’s prenatal stress and the development of the increased development of the above-mentioned problems. While some of these problems are genetic, but the quality of prenatal care has a strong influence on the child’s development.
Studies have indicated that extreme stress during pregnancy such as anxiety and relationship problems can have adverse effects on the growth and development of the baby.
In one study, the increased cases to the development of schizophrenia in children are associated with extreme stress during the first trimester of pregnancy. The risk of the development of other complications is related to the second trimester.
The underlying mechanism of the development of these conditions is the altered functioning of the placenta. When the placenta’s proper functioning is altered, it allows stress hormones from the mother to pass through to the fetus.
Tips for Traveling During Pregnancy
Before you hit the road, as an expectant mother, take the following precautions:
1. Wear the seat belt always
There is a common myth that pregnant mothers should not wear seat belts. The myth has it that the seat belt will harm the unborn baby. This is further from the truth. During pregnancy, a baby is protected by the amniotic fluid which functions as the shock absorber.
According to the Indian National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an expectant woman should wear a seat belt at all stages of the pregnancy. Besides that, when travelling in a car, the airbag should be left on at all times.
2. Carry Extra Supplements
If you are going for a long trip, in addition to the normal vitamins that your doctor gave you, carry some extra medicines. This is due to the fact that your trip may take longer than you anticipated due to the unknown.
3. Drink Plenty of Water
While on the road, ensure you drink enough water. Besides the fact that it will keep you hydrated. But also when you are dehydrated you might experience uterine contractions. For this reason, ensure you have a bottle of water that can sustain you the whole trip.
4. Travel During the Safe Trimester
As already discussed above, the safe time to travel during pregnancy is the second trimester. This is because, during this time, there are lower risks of developing any complications for your pregnancy.
5. Take Breaks
It is recommended by medical practitioners that a pregnant woman should take a break after every 90 minutes. The break and stretching enable blood to flow freely to all the parts of the body. Poor circulation of blood exposes you to the danger of contracting deep vein thrombosis.
During your pregnancy, before you decide to travel using any means, consult your doctor. He will examine the condition of your health and advice you according. This is critical if you have any medical or pregnancy complications.
If during your journey you experience any complications, contact your doctor immediately. Also, check in to the nearest health provider where you are. The doctors will be able to examine you and treat you and advice you on what to do.
Once you reach your destination, make sure that you get enough rest. Rehydrate yourself and have a good meal. However, you should not get on another long trip without getting enough rest.
If you are above 35 years of age and you are pregnant for the first time if possible avoid travelling during your pregnancy. Remember that there is no journey that that is worth the well being of your unborn baby. Therefore, follow what your doctor tells before you embark on any journey. If the journey is not a must, out it on hold until you deliver your bundle of joy and then travel.
Have a healthy, happy and pregnancy. Enjoy every part of your pregnancy no matter what you are going through. Pregnancy is your best time and you can function normally. Make memories that you will look back at your pregnancy with a smile on your face.