In most cases pregnant patients can travel up to 36
weeks as long as they do not have any complications
and they understand the risks that are involved. It is
important for obstetrical patients to realize that some
complications can arise without warning and traveling
may require receiving medical attention away from
their familiar provider. The best time to travel is mid-
pregnancy (14-28 weeks) because many pregnancy
symptoms have subsided and you will be the most
First Trimester Travel
Traveling more than two hours
from home before you first ultrasound has established
an intrauterine pregnancy is not advised. During this
time you are at risk for miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy,
and spotty bleeding. Also, your body is physically
adjusting to the pregnancy and you can experience
cramping, significant fatigue, nausea and vomiting.
Second Trimester Travel
Once an intrauterine
pregnancy has been established, traveling during this
time is generally safe. If you have any of the following
obstetrical risk factors please consult your provider
before making any travel plans:
Third Trimester Travel
- Incompetent cervix.
- History of or current pre-term labor.
- History of premature rupture of membranes.
- History or current placental problems.
- Vaginal spotting/bleeding.
- Multiple gestations.
- History of or current toxemia, preeclampsia, blood pressure problems.
- History or current gestational diabetes.
- Advanced Maternal Age (older than 35) or younger than 15 years of age.
- If you have any complications that are not on this list, please consult your provider before traveling.
If you are without
complications, traveling up to 36 weeks by car or air is
acceptable as long as you are aware of the potential
risks. Complications such as hypertension, preterm
labor and premature rupture of membranes often come
without warning and can occur quickly requiring
medical attention. If you are 36 weeks or further we do
not recommend any travel farther than two hours from
home by car. Air travel after 36 weeks is not
recommended. Once you have made the decision to
travel you should take the following precautions:
- Make an appointment with your provider a few days before departure.
- Take a copy of your prenatal face sheet with you on your travels.
- Take a copy of your health insurance card with you.
- Locate a medical facility close to your destination in case an emergency would arise.
- Do not stay stationary in the car or air, it is important to walk around every two hours.