Safety During Pregnancy: Traveling While Pregnant


Are you thinking of traveling while pregnant?

Your doctor may be uncomfortable with any type of traveling while pregnant.  For your own knowledge before deciding for sure, take into consideration the following information first.

Although pregnancy is considered a natural phenomenon, along with heart attack, it is also known to be one of the few medical conditions where you can be normal and healthy one moment and in a life-threatening situation during the next.  During each of your pregnancy trimesters, there are particular complications that can occur.  The complications mentioned below can be found in the “Pregnancy Complications” section of this eBook.  Review that chapter if you need more information.

Miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy are the two biggest risks that can leave you in a difficult situation if you are traveling when pregnant.  Miscarriage is considered a self-limited complication as it can be dangerous with heavy bleeding and serious infection.  Sometimes, if a natural miscarriage cannot resolve on its own, a D&C will need to be performed.

Ectopic Pregnancy is a surgical emergency.  When the pregnancy is located in the ovary, the abdomen, or a tube, instead of properly in the womb medical attention is needed as soon as possible.  Ectopic pregnancy can rupture the location, which in turn lead to internal bleeding.

Second trimester is considered the “most stable”.  Incompetent cervix, also known as IC, (which I sadly have fallen victim to resulting in the loss of my son) is what can occur during this stage.  Incompetent cervix happens when the cervix becomes weak and begins to prematurely dilate.  The result of cervical incompetence is often a very premature birth, and/or the loss of the baby.  There is no pain associated with incompetent cervix when dilation occurs, therefore, the decision to travel while pregnant may not be a wise one. Your cervix should be monitored regularly by your doctor beginning around the 12th-13th week of pregnancy.  Read in more detail about Incompetent cervix in the “Pregnancy Complications” section of this eBook.

So you’ve made it to the third trimester. You are smooth sailing now!

Are you? NOT! Keep reading!

In the third trimester, well, you just might go into labor!  If you are planning to travel, a major question that needs to be answered is:

  • Are you going to be in a location where there is a hospital that can meet your needs and is fully equipped to deliver and care for premature babies?

It is often wondered, “Can pregnant women fly?”  If you are considering traveling during pregnancy, determine the TYPE of travel with safety in mind.  What is not recommended is flying pregnant over seas.  In either first, second or third trimester, this is not a wise decision.

What type of medical care can you expect 35,000 feet above water?  Also, even though you have planned to travel to a location that has a great hospital that is only 10 minutes up the road, what good does it do with a doctor who has never seen you and has no idea what type of care you have received or knows nothing about your medical history?  Will you honestly be comfortable with that?

Camping and canoeing, rustic overnight trips are definitely on the list of traveling when pregnant no-no’s.  There’s no good in taking these types of trips.  What happens if you happen to have a complication, or go into labor?  How wonderful would it be when you and your family have to paddle in your canoe like crazy in order to get to the dock, which will then allow you to run quickly (how safe is that?) to the car that is located…  um…  Where?—  To then get you to the hospital that is located…  eh… Where?

Please, please, please! Be sure to consult with your doctor first before traveling!

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