Pregnant? Tips for Traveling Abroad
Being pregnant doesn't mean that you have to forego your travel plans. In fact, most pregnant women safely can travel both domestically and internationally, provided they take proper precautions and don't have a high-risk pregnancy.
First, before you plan your international vacation, be sure to talk to your doctor. He or she will be able to provide specific guidance and advice on what is safe for you and your baby. Once your doctor does give you the OK to travel outside the U.S. during your pregnancy, there are a few extra steps you may want to take to stay safe:
- Pay attention to travel warnings. A trip to Western Europe is less risky than a journey to a remote region of Central Asia.
- Make sure you travel with a copy of your medical records and doctor's contact information.
- Familiarize yourself with the specific health risks in the place you'll be visiting. Be cautious about what you eat, make sure drinking water is clean, and avoid taking any unnecessary risks.
- Make sure you're up-to-date on all vaccines, including less common vaccines that may be required in the country you'll be visiting. However, be aware that some vaccines (like those for yellow fever and typhoid) may not be recommended for pregnant women. You and your doctor will have to decide whether vaccination in these cases is right for you.
- Purchase travel insurance. At MedFlight911, we always recommend that people traveling abroad purchase a travel insurance policy that covers medical evacuation via international air ambulance.
- If you'll be traveling later in your pregnancy, research local hospitals and health providers. Have a place in mind you to go if you go into labor prematurely.
The CDC also recommends that pregnant women travel with:
- Basic first aid items (aspirin, ibuprofen, cough drops)
- A blood pressure monitor
- Hemorrhoid cream
- Antinausea drugs
- Prenatal vitamins
- Medication for vaginitis or yeast infection
- Talcum powder
- Support hose
Finally, the best time to travel while pregnant? The American Pregnancy Association suggests traveling during your second trimester, since morning sickness will likely have passed but you'll have more energy than in your third trimester. Also, keep in mind that airlines may require women in their last month of pregnancy to present a note from their doctor OK-ing the trip.