Travel Tips in Pregnancy
At last, summer is here! This is the time of year that people travel abroad for their well-earned holidays, although we are having some amazing weather here at the moment! When you are pregnant, there are a few extra things you need to consider when traveling.
Travel tips before you go on holiday
Planning is key to most things in life! Check the weather of your destination before you travel. If you are going to book tours and excursions, it would be better to book them early in the day if possible so you are out of the midday sun.
Do your research on the area you will be staying in to discover important places such as the location of the nearest hospital or medical centre.
You will need to know if you require any vaccinations. Inactive vaccinations are safe to take when pregnant, however some vaccinations are ‘live’. The general advice is that the risk of catching an illness or virus may well far outweigh the potential risks to the baby. You should talk this through with your health professionals so you get the right advice for you.
Pack your medical notes! It’s really important to carry your hand held notes with you at all times but especially when you are away. They contain vital information about your pregnancy that would be helpful if you required any medical help while away.
Flying is relatively safe in pregnancy however it is associated with an increased risk of developing blood clots in your legs – deep vein thrombosis (DVT). It is advisable to wear compression/graduated/support stockings for all flights, even if it is a short flight. Move your feet and ankles regularly throughout the flight and stay well hydrated.
After 28 weeks, most airlines will require pregnant women to produce a letter from their health professionals stating that they are fit to fly.
If you are planning a long car journey, this would theoretically increase your risk of a DVT. It would be sensible to wear compression/graduated/support stockings. The advice is same for flying, move your feet and ankles regularly, stay hydrated and stop often so you can stretch your legs!
Seatbelts should be worn with the lap strap under your bump, not across it.
There are no risks associated with ferries, however, it is advisable to check with the ferry company first that they are happy for you to travel.
Food and drink abroad
Be slightly cautious with the food abroad. Depending on where you are going and where you eat, not all restaurants/food stalls may adhere to strict hygiene laws like they do in this country. Ensure all food is cooked properly. Tell the staff that you are pregnant, particularly if you aren’t showing yet.
Check if the tap water is safe to drink. If not or you are unsure, stick to bottled water
Keeping cool in the hot weather
This can be a difficult time of year for pregnant women, babies and young children. These are my tips for keeping cool –
- Wear loose fitting, light weight fabric cotton or linen clothing, though this could apply throughout pregnancy as you will feel hotter than everyone else most of the time!
- Babies and children need to wear as little as possible. Loose light weight clothes are better for them too.
- Hats – wide brimmed hats offer good protection from the sun for women and toddlers. You can also get hats with a long flap at the back that protects children’s necks from the sun.
- Keep hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.
- You may find that your baby wants to feed little and often or more than usual. This is normal for them to stay hydrated. Offer fluids regularly to your toddler. You can give them ice cubes or ice lollies as a more exciting way of giving them fluids!
- Stay out of the sun in the hottest part of the day, from 11-3pm. Babies under 6 months should be kept out of direct sunlight. Older babies and toddlers should be kept out of the sun as much as possible.
- Wear sunscreen – your skin is more sensitive in pregnancy so you could be more susceptible to sunburn. For babies and children, buy sunblock that is suitable for children.
- Try to rest during the hottest part of the day. With babies and toddlers this is much harder to achieve! Encourage them to play in the shade as much as possible.
- Keep curtains and/or shutters closed in your accommodation. This will block out the heat of the sun and keep rooms cooler. This is especially important for children’s bedrooms to help them sleep better.
For more information on travel tips and how to keep safe in the sun, see NHS Choices.
I hope you have an amazing time on your holidays!
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