Traveling During Pregnancy
With the holidays rapidly approaching, it is a good time to discuss travel during pregnancy. For those with uncomplicated, low-risk pregnancies, air travel until 36 weeks is acceptable, though the second trimester (between 14-28 weeks) is probably the most comfortable time. After 36 weeks, most domestic airlines will not allow air travel. When flying, it is important to drink a lot of water or other uncaffeinated beverage to stay hydrated. On long flights, over 2-3 hours, try to get up every couple of hours to walk around and stretch your legs; this helps to prevent blood clots which are more common in pregnancy.
Road trips can be planned at any gestational age; however, you should always research where hospitals are located along your travel route and the closest one to your destination in the event of an emergency. Additionally, if you are at term (37 weeks or above), you may consider remaining local as labor can happen at any time. For women with high risk pregnancies due to complications such as bleeding, preterm labor, or elevated blood pressure, travel, especially by air, may not be advisable. Always discuss travel plans with your obstetrician, and of course we are always available at NJPA to answer any questions you may have. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has published a helpful FAQ article regarding travel in pregnancy. Whether you are packing your bags or spending your holidays in town, we wish you a very safe and happy holiday season!