Traveling During Pregnancy
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 comfortable.
First Trimester TravelTraveling more than two hours from home before your 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 TravelOnce 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:
- 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.
Third Trimester TravelIf 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.