Traveling outside the United States requires extra planning during pregnancy. Check that your destination has a modern medical facility and ask your provider for a copy of your health records to take with you. For a physician referral for international travel, contact International SOS Assistance (1-215-942-8226; www.internationalsos.com) or the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers (716-754-4883; www.iamat.org).
Find out your immunization status too, if you're leaving the country. Are your vaccines up to date for diseases that are common in the region? Avoid travel to any area where serious disease is a risk. If you have any questions about the health precautions that are currently being advised in a particular foreign country, call the Centers for Disease Control?s International Travelers Hotline (800-CDC-INFO; www.cdc.gov/travel/). Many immunizations are safe during pregnancy, while others are relatively safe only at certain times. Check with your doctor. In general, you must weigh the risks of having the vaccine against the risk of getting the disease it would protect you from. Certain vaccines, such as those for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, or tetanus, are considered safe even during early pregnancy.
This might also be a good time to contact your insurance company to find out what it covers if you're out of the country. Also consider buying traveler's insurance in case pregnancy complications arise and you can't use those plane tickets after all.
Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.
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