Traveling in the Third Trimester

Travel is an incredible way to experience new places and cultures while seeing the world with fresh eyes – but it can also be tiring.

As long as there are no complications with your pregnancy, traveling during your third trimester should generally be safe; however, before booking any flights. There are a few important points you should know prior to making a decision about flights.

Check with your doctor

Before traveling, the most essential step is making an appointment with your doctor and informing them about your plans. In most cases, your trip should be approved, unless complications such as placenta previa, hemorrhage or premature rupture of membranes exist – in such instances it would not be advised for longer than two hour journeys from home.

Travel is usually easiest during the second trimester, though expectant moms should travel until at least 28 weeks of their pregnancy as long as it is medically approved by their physician. Most pregnant women feel best during this stage and the risk for spontaneous abortion or preterm labor decreases significantly during this time.

At this point, you may be feeling both discomfort and excitement. Morning sickness should have subsided by now and your baby’s lungs have likely produced enough surfactant (an essential substance that helps newborns breathe). Although you are at low risk of complications at this point, flying will likely stop once you hit 36 weeks (some airlines even prohibit travel before then).

Whenever traveling for pregnancy-related care abroad, ensure your health insurance plan includes coverage. Furthermore, consider purchasing an additional plan with prenatal and delivery coverage as an added precaution. Bring along a copy of your prenatal chart so it will always be accessible during your trip.

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Know the airline’s rules

Most airlines permit women to fly up until 36 weeks gestation; however, some require medical certification before you can board. Before flying with any airline during pregnancy, always double-check their rules and regulations, speaking directly with customer service or their representative directly if any questions arise.

Second trimester travel is often considered to be optimal as morning sickness has usually subsided and energy levels will likely be at their highest point. However, third trimester can become somewhat uncomfortable as your belly expands further and you need the bathroom more frequently.

Depending on where you’re traveling internationally, a doctor’s note may be required before you can board. As different countries have differing standards of maternity care than others, it’s wise to research hospitals in your destination country in advance so you’ll receive timely medical assistance should any emergency arises.

If you’re traveling during your third trimester, it is a wise move to select an aisle seat so you can more easily access restroom breaks. Furthermore, try standing and stretching every 30 minutes or so in order to improve circulation and keep blood moving freely through your body. In addition, try to limit carbonated drinks and wear compression stockings onboard in order to lower edema and blood clot risk as much as possible.

Know where to go in case of an emergency

Though most women won’t need to travel far during this time, if they do it’s essential that they know where to turn in an emergency. The first step should be having their doctor’s phone number saved in their phone and written down on paper within their purse so in an emergency situation they can contact his office quickly for medical information if required. It would also be wise for them to have contact info for hospitals in their destination city so they can find one quickly if required.

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To prepare for international travel, it’s also advisable to inquire as to the required or recommended vaccinations in their destination country and have all necessary details handy. In addition, be sure to carry over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naproxen as well as avoid drinking icy cold drinks or eating unpasteurized cheese and milk as these could potentially cause listeriosis.

JetBlue allows pregnant travelers to fly domestic flights up to seven days before their due date as long as they present a letter from their doctor dated within 72 hours that states they’re healthy enough. If traveling is your choice, be sure to stay hydrated throughout your flight and stretch often during it. Consider wearing compression stockings in order to help reduce edema and blood clot risks.

Stay active

Your body is going through many changes during the third trimester, as your uterus expands and you gain weight. These changes may make you more fatigued than usual while traveling and sleep may become harder due to discomfort. Therefore, it’s essential that you stay as active as possible throughout your gestation: walking or joining a prenatal yoga class would both help – also be sure to bring snacks so you won’t become hungry during travel!

The second trimester (weeks 13 to 27 of a pregnancy), is often considered the optimal time for travelers during gestation. Most women typically feel their best at this point; any morning sickness or fatigue experienced in the first trimester should have subsided by now, and you aren’t too far into gestation to risk miscarriage or exhaustion. Many couples who want a “babymoon” (one last trip before giving birth) plan their trips during this phase.

Before traveling during pregnancy, always consult your physician first. Your obstetrician may give the go-ahead as long as there are no high-risk pregnancies or complications; just keep in mind they might suggest stopping after 36 weeks when chances of preterm labor increase dramatically.

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