Travel during pregnancy generally is safe if you're healthy and not at risk for problems. The safest time to travel is between 14 and 28 weeks, when your risks for miscarriage and early labor are lowest. Check with your doctor before you travel.
Traveling by car
You will probably be able to travel by car throughout your pregnancy if you're having no problems. But talk to your doctor or midwife before you take any long car trips.
- Always wear your seat belt.
- Strap the lower belt across your lap, under your belly. Remove any slack in the seat belt.
- Run the shoulder belt between your breasts and around (not over) your belly.
- Use air bags properly.
- Slide the seat as far back as possible. Tilt the seat back slightly to increase the distance between your chest and the air bag [to 10 in. (25 cm) or more].
- Do not turn off the air bags.
- Try not to drive for more than 4 hours a day.
- On long trips, take steps to reduce your risk of blood clots.
- Take short walks at least every 2 hours. And try to change positions or move your legs regularly while sitting. This helps keep blood moving in your legs.
- Drink enough fluids, such as water.
- Ask your doctor if you can wear compression stockings.
- Take regular bathroom breaks on long trips to help reduce pressure on your bladder.
- Carry a written record of your due date and any medical conditions you have.
Traveling by air
A good time to fly during pregnancy is between 14 and 28 weeks. Morning sickness has usually improved by this time, and you can still move around easily. The risk of miscarriage or preterm labor is also lower during your second trimester.
- Talk to your doctor or midwife before you fly or take any extended trip.
- Check with the airline for its requirements before you book a flight.
Some airlines restrict flying during the third trimester.
- Carry written documentation of your due date.
Some airlines ask to see this information.
- Choose an aisle seat if possible.
This will make it easier to move around the plane.
- Wear your seat belt across your lap, under your belly.
Keep your seat belt fastened as much as possible in case of turbulence.
- Take a few walks while on a long flight.
This helps keep blood moving in your legs and helps reduce your risk for blood clots.
- Avoid air travel if:
- You've reached your 36th week of pregnancy.
- You have a placenta-related problem, such as preeclampsia, or have risk factors for early (preterm) labor.
- Your doctor has advised against flying, based on your medical history or current condition.
Some long airplane flights can expose you to radiation. If you have to fly often, talk to your doctor or midwife.