Simple steps can make trips easier, safer for expectant travelers
Travel can pose challenges for pregnant women, but for those in good health, a few tips can make getting from here to there a little smoother.
“Because of changes during pregnancy, women are already at increased risk for developing deep-venous thrombosis, or blood clots in their legs. The risk is increased with longer periods of inactivity and dehydration, which can occur during travel,” says Dr. Robyn Horsager-Boehrer, an obstetrician with UT Southwestern Medical Center. “I recommend women move around every couple of hours; even just moving feet and legs back and forth while sitting is helpful.”
Other recommendations from Dr. Horsager-Boehrer:
When traveling by motor vehicle:
- Wear both a lap and shoulder belt. The lap belt should go below your baby bump.
- Keep the airbags turned on. The safer you are, the safer your baby is.
- Make frequent rest stops so you can walk around to keep the blood circulating in your legs.
- Keep daily travel time to about five to six hours.
When traveling by plane:
- Check with your health care provider and the airline about restrictions. Most airlines allow pregnant women to travel through their eighth month, and through their ninth month with permission from a health care provider.
- Walk the aisle occasionally. Consider taking a bulkhead seat so you can stretch your legs while seated.
- Consider wearing support hose, especially on long flights.
When traveling abroad or on a cruise:
- Check whether a health care provider will be available on board or at destination spots.
- Check if you’ll need vaccinations, and find out whether those vaccinations are advisable for a pregnant woman.
- Obtain a copy of your prenatal records from your obstetrician and carry them on your trip in case you need to seek medical attention elsewhere.
Visit http://www.utsouthwestern.org/obgyn to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in gynecology and obstetrics
Media Contact: Aline McKenzie