Usually it is safe to travel during the first 7 to 8 months of pregnancy. The main concerns with travel during pregnancy are access to medical care, discomfort, getting enough exercise and fluids, and having healthy foods available.
If you do plan to travel, discuss the trip with your healthcare provider. Talk about:
Generally, the safest time to travel during pregnancy is the second trimester, when you are 13 to 28 weeks pregnant. You will probably feel your best and you will be in the least danger of having a miscarriage or premature labor. Avoid traveling long distances from home later in pregnancy. If labor starts before your due date, it’s good to be close to home.
If you have any medical or pregnancy problems, your healthcare provider may advise against traveling while you are pregnant.
Flying is usually a safe way to travel. Most domestic airlines will allow a pregnant woman to fly up to the 36th week of pregnancy if there are no problems with the pregnancy. Each airline has policies regarding pregnancy and flying. Check with your airline when you reserve your tickets to see if you need to complete any medical forms.
Suggested guidelines for traveling by air are:
Seasickness is a concern for many people traveling by sea. Your healthcare provider may recommend medicine that helps prevent motion sickness and is safe during pregnancy. You might also try acupressure wristbands.
Medical services on a ship are very limited. If you are going on a cruise, check with the cruise line to find out what types of regulations and restrictions there are for pregnant women. Also ask about what kinds of medical facilities are available on the ship and in ports of call.
If you are planning to travel to another country, talk to your healthcare provider about it to see if it is safe for you. If it is safe, your provider will let you know what you should do before you leave and when you arrive at your destination. You may want to register with an American Embassy or Consulate after you arrive. It is important to make sure you have had all the shots you need for the countries you are planning to visit. Some immunizations cannot be given to pregnant women.
Make sure your health insurance is valid abroad. Check that the policy covers a newborn if you were to give birth during your travels.
Be especially cautious about what you eat in countries where traveler's diarrhea might be a problem. Diarrhea can cause dehydration and reduce the blood flow to the placenta and your baby.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has an International Travelers Hotline for information on disease and world travel. The phone number is (800) 232-4636. The CDC travelers' health Web site is http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel.