Traveling During Pregnancy: Tips from our OB/GYNs

Whether you decide to take a vacation, need to visit an old friend, or have to travel for work, it’s normal to have questions about traveling during pregnancy. In most cases, pregnant women can normally travel until they reach their due dates. But for women with high-risk pregnancies or have pregnancy complications, it can be difficult to determine whether or not it’s safe to travel, how you should travel, and your comfort and safety levels while traveling.

Our Guide For Traveling While Pregnant

Although restrictions for traveling while pregnancy can vary for each patient, there’s a general guideline that women should follow up to their due date. It’s important to know that when traveling, many factors should be considered, especially if you’re faced with certain medical conditions that contribute to a high-risk pregnancy. For patients with a history of preterm deliveries or have other medical conditions that can impact the pregnancy. It’s recommended that women don’t travel at that point during their pregnancy.

However, if you feel that you need to travel, then other factors should be taken into account, including:

  • Trimester Period: It’s recommended that women during the 36 or 37th week of their pregnancy not travel, as it can greatly increase the risk of going into labor while away from home. It’s also important to avoid traveling during the first trimester as it’s the most common period for women to experience symptoms, including nausea and vomiting. Women in their first trimester are also more likely to have a higher risk of miscarriage. It is recommended that women pregnant during the second trimester or between the 13 and 24 weeks of pregnancy can travel. The second trimester is regarded as the safest time for traveling due to common health issues and emergencies being at their lowest.
  • Method of Travel: Depending on the locations you need to travel to, there are many factors involved that can either help or harm your pregnancy. If you intend on international travel, then your method of traveling matters, as certain conditions can be exasperated by flying or by cruise. For instance, while air flight cabins are generally safe for pregnant women, frequent flyers should speak with their OB/GYN about their travel plans and how often they can travel abroad. By cruise, pregnant women should pay attention to signs of seasickness and higher rates of infections on cruise ships.
  • Symptom Management: When considering travel or needing to travel, symptom management should be a high priority, as it’s important to pay attention to unusual symptoms, such as vaginal bleeding, severe vomiting, preeclampsia, premature water breaks, and severe pelvic pain. Under these circumstances, pregnant women should seek a hospital or call their local emergency medical services immediately. In milder cases, recognizing your activity levels will be limited by your pregnancy, including avoiding activities such as scuba diving, amusement park rides, and water skiing.

Double Check with Your OBGYN Before Traveling

These factors are just some things to consider, especially if you have a high-risk pregnancy. For more information about your travel limits and how to travel safely while pregnant, make sure to visit your local fetal-medicine clinic for more information.