General points to consider:
- If you are heading overseas, check on vaccination requirements. Consult with me regarding the safety of vaccinations during pregnancy.
- Consider other health issues dependent on your destination and the safety of travel to this area particularly during pregnancy (i.e. areas with a high prevalence of malaria).
- Overseas travel
- consider the standard of healthcare at your destination in case you need it
- check on insurance coverage for both you and your baby should you require medical care.
Flying and pregnancy
Commercial airline travel is generally safe for women with uncomplicated pregnancies. Some women have medical conditions that could be exacerbated by air travel or who are at a higher risk of requiring emergency care and they should avoid flying.
For most commercial airlines in Australia, you will need medical certification to fly after 28 weeks. This is usually a letter written within 10 days of travel. If you are planning to fly, please check your requirements for and suitability for travel with me and with your airline.
Towards the end of pregnancy in particular, your suitability for travel applies to how many weeks pregnant you are and also to the duration of the flight. Check with your airline what the conditions and restrictions are. There are also restrictions on travel after delivery so, once again, check with both your airline and me.
There is an increased risk of blood clots in your legs and lungs, especially with long haul travel.
If you are flying, it is recommended that you:
- Maintain hydration
- Partake in regular movement, particularly of your lower limbs – leg exercises; walking
- Consider wearing compression stockings
Don’t forget to wear your seatbelt to help prevent trauma from unexpected turbulence.
Car travel and correct seatbelt placement during pregnancy
- It is vital that you always wear a seatbelt to help prevent trauma to you and your baby in case of an accident.
- Have the lap part of the belt as low as possible, below your abdomen, across your upper thighs and sitting snugly on your hip bones. Don’t have it above or across your abdomen.
- Have the shoulder belt to the side of your belly, in between your breasts and away from your neck. Don’t place it behind your back or under your arm.
- Have your belly a safe distance away from the air bag – you may need to adjust your seat backwards as your baby grows. Your breast bone should be about 25cm away from the dashboard or steering wheel. You can also adjust the steering wheel to angle towards your breast bone and away from your belly.
- Leave the air bags on – they help protect you and your baby.
- Your seatbelt helps to maximize the effectiveness of an airbag. Air bags are not a substitute for seatbelts – so make sure you leave your seatbelt on.