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Traveling Pregnant

Get tips for going on vacation or a business trip while you're expecting a baby.

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-Whether it's by plane, train, or automobile, if you're planning to leave town with a bun in the oven, listen up before heading out. -Flight 609 with service to Tampa. -The first thing about traveling when pregnant is you don't have a disease. You're pregnant. And traveling by itself is not an unsafe thing. -Dr. Jacques Moritz, an OB/GYN at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital in New York, says a lot depends on where you are in your pregnancy. -If you're in the first trimester, you can go anywhere and pretty much do anything 'cause you always think about the worst case scenario, what if something happens in the first trimester. Well, if you're here in New York City, it's not gonna be much different than if you're in a small town or even in the third world country because there's not very much that we can do. -Parents.com lifestyle editor Sasha Emmons says in terms of comfort, the best time for a pregnant woman to travel is during her second trimester. -You're hopefully over the queasiness that a lot of people feel in the first trimester and yet they're not too big and uncomfortable as they might be in the third trimester. So, if you can swing it, second trimester is really the way to go. -But you should stick to major cities. -Now, second trimester gets a little bit trickier because that's the time that if you have a premature baby, it's nice to be in a major city. So, I usually tell my patients if they're traveling between 24 and 28 weeks they can travel, but I usually want them traveling to major island or city, academic cities, but places with tertiary care. -There's no cutoff for car or train travel, but most airlines won't let you on a plain past 35 weeks. -Airlines make that a cutoff because definitely that is more of the time that they can have a baby. They don't want you having a baby on the airplane. Too much trauma for them. So, I say up to 35 weeks. Airlines are very specific if they want a letter or they don't want a letter, but you should ask your, you know, healthcare provider if they could just write you a letter 'cause you don't wanna be turned away at the airport. -But if you're good to go, it's time to pack. When packing your bags, Sasha says to make sure to bring along your prenatal vitamins and antacid because you're probably going to be eating richer foods while you're away, a comfortable pair of shoes, and a pregnancy safe pain reliever in case one's not available at the place you're staying. -Another good idea is to have a list of all your important numbers. So, your OB's number if you're husband's not traveling with your or your husband's contact information. If you really wanna be on the safe side, you can get your OB to recommend a local OB just in case you would go into labor prematurely or just have any kind of scare. Somebody that you can call locally is also a good idea. -If you're traveling later on in the pregnancy where there's kind of any chance of delivering, I usually give patients a copy of their prenatal records. Why? Because if they have to go to the hospital, they'll have the blood type, they'll have the records, they'll know everything going on. -Okay. You're all packed. Now some tips for you journey. First, wear comfortable shoes. Slip-ons work great 'cause then in airline security you're not having to bend over. Awkward when you're made to try to retie your shoes after you have to take your shoes off for the security line. So, a great pair of comfortable shoes is a good idea. They'll also serve you during the trip because you're probably doing a lot of walking and the last thing you wanna worry about is sore or swollen feet. -Make sure to drink a lot of water. -Air travel is specific because the air is very, very dry. It's like being on Death Valley. So, a pregnant absolutely has to replenish herself and drink tons of fluid on the flight. -Try to score an aisle seat. -First of all, you're probably going to the bathroom a lot anyway, but even if you don't have to, you wanna make sure you get up about once an hour to stretch your legs, keep the circulation going in your legs and make sure you don't get any blood clots. -Because lack of mobility, dehydration, and being pregnant is all a setup for blood clot, which is one of the major, major complications of pregnancy and it definitely can be increased in what they call the coach class syndrome where basically you're smooched in, you fall asleep, 5 hours later you walk up and have a clot. -Dress in your lasers so you can take one off or put one on if you get hot or cold and make sure to pack some healthy snacks. -These days the airlines are cutting way back. They might not have any food at all and the flight are just a pack of pretzels, which is probably gonna do it for you. So, pack some healthy snacks, baby carrots, a yoghurt, and bran muffins. Something like that would be a good idea to bring along on a flight. -The same goes for other modes of transportation. -The same rules for air travel apply to car travel. Stop at all the rest stops, get out, drink a lot of water, move around. Train travel, same thing. Very easy train travel back and forth [unk] that you can use the restroom in every cart, so train travel is [unk]. -And always buckle it. -Definitely wear that seatbelt. Just strap it underneath the bump. It's more important than ever to wear a seatbelt. -But if your pregnancy is high risk, it's best to stay put. -Everything that we're saying is basically addressed to women that are low risk in the pregnancy. You have to, if you're out there watching, know that if you have premature labor, if you have had hypertension, if you had medical issues. You really need to check with your doctor about whether it makes any sense of doing it. Usually if you had contractions or you've been crampy or you've been evaluated premature labor, traveling is not a good idea no matter what the mode of transportation is.