Pregnancy Myth Busters!

Traveling During Pregnancy

The Myth: It's safest to travel during your first trimester.

It might seem natural that the best time to fly or go on a road trip during pregnancy is during your first three months, when you're smallest and getting around is still relatively easy. However, according to a new ACOG report, this can actually be among the riskiest of times for you to take off. "The incidence of miscarriage is highest during the first 14 weeks, and the farther away from home you are, the harder it will be to get to your doctor," explains Savita Khosla, M.D., an ob-gyn at Hackensack University Medical Center, in New Jersey. Plus, while harmless to the baby, "air jolts and road travel can bring on or increase feelings of nausea," she notes.

The good news: Unless you're considered high risk by your doc, the second trimester is prime for getting away: Not only will increased blood flow give your energy level a major boost, but your belly shouldn't yet have grown large enough to be a hindrance. Still, it's important to take extra care of yourself when you do fly, says Dr. Khosla, so make the trip more comfortable by drinking eight ounces of water every two hours, walking a few laps up and down the aisles every 60 minutes to keep your blood flowing to the uterus, and limiting salty snacks like chips, peanuts, and pretzels, which can make you bloated.

Also worth noting: While most commercial airlines allow pregnant women to fly up to 36 weeks, you may find that travel becomes more uncomfortable after seven and a half months. Moreover, that's when chances of premature labor and other complications spike, Dr. Khosla notes, so she recommends sticking to road travel as close to home as possible.

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