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Pregnancy Articles

Traveling During Pregnancy

Plan Ahead for a Safe, Healthy Trip

Traveling during pregnancy is usually acceptable if you are having an uncomplicated pregnancy and are not considered high risk. Determining if it’s safe for you and your unborn born baby to travel depends on several factors. Use this guide to help you plan a safe trip during pregnancy.

How Far Along You Are
Generally, the second trimester is best time to travel. Women are usually feeling their best during this time and are in the least amount of danger of experiencing a miscarriage or premature labor. It is important to discuss your medical history and travel plans with your physician before planning travel at any time during pregnancy—especially when traveling in the early and late stages of pregnancy.

Pregnancy Conditions and History

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), your physician may recommend avoiding travel during your pregnancy if you have any of the following conditions:
  • History of: miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, premature labor, premature rupture of membranes, infertility, difficult conceiving, or thromboembolic disease
  • Being pregnant with multiples or being over age 35 and pregnant for the first time
  • History or presence of placental abnormalities, toxemia, hypertension, or diabetes during any pregnancy
  • Incompetent cervix, severe anemia, valvular heat disease, or congestive heart failure
  • Signs of possible miscarriage or vaginal bleeding during present pregnancy
  • Chronic organ system dysfunction that requires frequent medical intervention
Your Travel Destination
Healthy women may also be advised against traveling to destinations considered to pose additional health risks during pregnancy, including:
  • Areas of high altitude
  • Areas known for outbreaks of life-threatening food and/or insect-borne infections
  • Areas where live-virus vaccines are required or recommended
  • Areas where chloroquine-resistant forms of malaria are present
How Long You Will be Away
Remember, getting adequate and regular prenatal care is essential to the health of you and your baby. When planning to travel, schedule your appointments for before or after your trip, or arrange to receive care (if needed) at your destination. Also, if traveling late in pregnancy, be sure to return to the city you plan to delivery by an appropriate time (your doctor can help you determine this).

Planning for Safe Travel
Once you have been given the go ahead to travel, it is important to put some thought and planning into the arrangments. Pregnancy brings about some additional concerns, but you can have a fun, safe trip if you plan and organize before traveling begins:
  • Anticipate any complications or emergencies that could arise. Call your health insurance provider to see if your insurance is valid while you are abroad, and check to see whether the policy will cover a newborn, should you deliver while away. You may want to consider obtaining a supplemental travel insurance policy and/or medical evacuation insurance policy.
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About The Author

Tanya Jolliffe
Tanya earned a bachelor's degree in dietetics and nutrition and has more than 15 years of nutrition counseling experience. She has worked with clients in such areas as prenatal nutrition, general family nutrition and therapeutic nutrition in end-stage organ disease.

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