Post # 1
Back in March we booked our dream vacation to Italy this summer. Little did we know that we would be expecting shortly there after (whoops!), and I will be 4 months along at the time of our trip. I’m borderline high risk due to previously having high blood pressure so my doctors haven’t ruled the trip out yet, but I was just wondering if I am able to still go if anyone else has done an international trip/ really long plane flight during pregnancy? Also, how did you manage to get some sleep/stay comfortable and safe/etc. Any tips would be greatly appreciated! 🙂
Post # 3
I don’t have any tips because I have not done it yet, but if all goes according to plan (fingers crossed SO tightly) we will be traveling to India while I am pregnant. Obviously, traveling to India is a bit different than Italy, so I talked to both my OB and GP before TTC to see if they would have any issues. Both gave me the green light (as long as I am healthy and have no complications) with the following conditions:
- get all the vaccines I will need before TTC
- be careful about food and water safety (all the normal things you do when you travel abroad)
- make sure to drink loads of fluids, esp. water (see #2)
- request an aisle seat on the plane so you can spread out a bit more and get up whenever you need to
- get up and move around A LOT on the flight (and possibly wear compression hose)
- make friends with flight attendants so they will hook you up with all the water you want
- pack healthy, high-protein snacks for the plane
- take it easy – listen to my body, nap, build in relaxation time, try not to get overheated, don’t ride any camels, etc.
- make sure my health insurance covers international travel
- carry a list of reputable hospitals and good OBs for the cities we will be in so that we know where to go if there are any problems
I hope this helps! I have a lot of friends who travel internationally for work and all traveled through pregnancies with no problems, so I can’t imagine that you wouldn’t be totally fine. ENJOY!
Post # 4
I travel internationally for work and did a NZ trip at 4 months. Honestly that far along there isn’t really a lot to be prepared for as there is now (as in I have a belly, my legs fall asleep etc). Stay hydrated though and walk around. Also, you’re going to Europe, not some weird 3rd world country so shots and such are not an issue and based upon where I see you live your flight is not exactly doing a long haul (long haul traditonally is 8+ hours).
Post # 5
I was not high risk, but I did got to Japan when I was 8 weeks pregnant and to Mexico when I was 24 weeks pregnant. I didn’t have to do anything special, except for drink lots of fluids and walk up and down the aisles on the long international flights.
Post # 6
I took international trips at 8,15,21,28 and 31 weeks. Only the last one was somewhat uncomfortable. I concurr with all the advice you’ve gotten, so don’t worry about it and just enjoy yourself!
Post # 7
Thanks everyone for the tips! @septcabride
Post # 8
@wagamama: & @rugulach: Just curious, did your doctors have any concerns with your traveling during the first trimester? I know miscarriage is possible (but still only 15-20% risk, which isn’t that high), but my doctor seemed really concerned about my waiting to travel until the second trimester. I guess because nausea is annoying when you travel and the possibility of having to have a m/c or D&C in another country is scary, but I am having questions about her insistence, especially if you ladies traveled no problem. (and, obviously, because limiting travel this way gives me a really short window to TTC before taking a mandatory break)
Post # 9
My doctor gives us a “pregnancy passport” and updates it at every visit. It has how the baby is measuring, my blood pressure, weight, baby’s heart rate, the meds I take, etc. They like us to bring it everywhere just in case something happens and you have to go to the hospital, they’ll have all the info on how your pregnancy has been going. Maybe you can ask your doctor for something like that.
Post # 10
I just realized my last reply was extremely cut-off…hate that. Anyway,
@artbee that is a great idea…thanks!
Post # 11
I traveled to Ireland during wks 14-16, and the hardest part was the travel (between two 6 hr flights, delays (hrs sitting on the runway both times), layovers, etc. it ended up being 18 hrs to get there and 23 to get home). Things I wish I had done to that would’ve made it easier:requested an aisle seat, bought a neck brace (not u-shaped) type travel pillow, and made sure we had seats far from the restrooms (stench was brutal, esp. with my newly developed super-sniffer). Things that were good: hand lotion (my skin has totally changed– much drier than before pregnancy), a huge supply of oyster crackers (for nausea– bring them bc 1. they hold up better than saltines, 2. they’re impossible to find outside of the US), and compression stockings. Nice benefit of int’l travel while pregnant– between being tired from the travel and just being “I’m pregnant tired” I had NO trouble adjusting to the time difference, unlike Darling Husband.
Also, we went to Italy a few years ago. Food is hard enough while you’re pregnant– trust me, you’ll enjoy Italy while pregnant way more than I enjoyed Ireland while pregnant. Especially if you’re like me, and love pasta with an undying passion that no pregnancy could ever, ever change. Just make sure you learn how to ask “Is this cheese pasteurized?” before you go.
Post # 12
Oh, and septcabride– my midwife was all about travel at the end of the 1st/early 2nd trimester. I really think it’s worth pressing your midwife or doc about why they don’t want you to travel during the 1st tri. You’re right that morning sickness, miscarriage or D&C would all be rough in a foreign country– but if those are the risks she’s worried about, it’s worth deciding for yourself if it’s a risk you’re comfortable with. (Personal experience, morning sickness in a foreign country isn’t fun for sure, but you figure out how to cope and it was still a wonderful trip– we didn’t have to change our plans bc of my nausea or my throwing up. Can’t speak to miscarrying abroad though.)
Post # 13
We did it, but we did get travel insurance prior to traveling just in case. Get up and move around alot on the plane because that was the hardest part for me. I definitely got some edema.
Post # 14
I think it totally depends on your pregnancy, and your comfort with international travel.
I went to Europe at 10 weeks, within Canada at 14 weeks and across N. America at 19 weeks (to the US), all flying. I’m planning to travel within Canada again at 21 weeks (flying) and 30 weeks (loooong drive), as well as back to Europe at 22 weeks for a month. My midwife and doctor had no problem with anything so far, just told me to take it easy, drink lots of water and try to eat well. I had some swelling on the transatlantic flight, but none on the shorter ones; a family doc friend told me to wear compression stockings for the other flights, so hopefully that will help.
I figured I was no more likely to miscarry abroad than at home; I have good travel health insurance, but didn’t bother to buy trip cancellation insurance; I found it was more expensive than the cost to change my ticket would have been.
I also more or less knew what I was/am getting into on all of the trips, and I’m an experienced traveller. I know there are things I wouldn’t want to do at any point in pregnancy (long Asian bus trips???), but cities in Europe aren’t any more ‘dangerous’ than being at home. I only found that I missed a few things by napping on my first trip, but I decided it was worth it.
Post # 16
@septcabride- I would say the doc wasn’t extra worried because of travel. The only plans we altered were in terms of altitude- not surpassing 3000 meters as we had originally planned. Having been to India, my only concern for your trip would be stomach bugs since your immune system is weakened during pregnancy. To be perfectly honest, unless you have already been there before, that’s one place I probably wouldn’t go while pregnant.