Top Twelve Pregnancy Pointers
Don't put off
for tomorrow what you absolutely must do today. Try
to have at least your first prenatal checkup before
you travel. Your doctor or midwife is the best person
to consult with regarding your upcoming journey.
You should check
your airlines' rules about pregnant passengers before
you book your ticket. Most airlines will allow you to
fly up to the 35th or 36th week of your pregnancy, providing
you're healthy and there is no previous history of premature
labour. However rules do vary so it makes sense to re-check
at the time of booking. You could also be asked to supply
a letter from your doctor verifying the stage of your
pregnancy. It's a good idea to carry this document along
with your other important travel papers.
Check your travel
insurance policy carefully to make sure that you'll
be covered for all eventualities. Most policies don't
automatically cover pregnancy-related conditions or
nursery care for premature infants.
Most, but not all,
vaccines are considered safe during pregnancy. Once
your pregnancy is confirmed, you'll require special
advice. In Canada, an organization called Motherisk
will answer any questions you might have about appropriate
drugs and immunization. Call (416) 813-6780 or visit
their website at: http://www.motherisk.org.
In the United States, pregnant women traveling to less
developed countries should consult the The Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at (404) 639-3311
on the web for country-specific information.
If possible, avoid
travelling in malarial zones. Even while taking anti-malarial
drugs, pregnant women are more liable to catch the disease,
and the illness tends to be more severe.
Dreaming of finally
climbing that mountain? Especially if you're in the
first trimester of your pregnancy, avoid high-altitude
destinations, where oxygen to the fetus could be decreased.
According to Dr.
Jane Wilson Howarth in her book, Bugs, Bites and Bowels,
the safest time to travel seems to be during the second
three months of pregnancy. Providing your pregnancy
has been problem-free, the risk of miscarriage will
be small and there is little chance of early labour
or other complications.
When planning your holiday, avoid too hectic a pace.
It's very wise to build in extra rest stops while you're
on the road. Remember, your body is busy nurturing a
baby, and the extra effort of travel makes it work even
It isn't always
easy to eat properly when travelling. Constipation can
become a problem, especially if you're taking iron supplements.
Try to eat plenty of high-fiber foods, like fruits and
Where the quality
of water supplies is less than perfect, the pregnant
traveller should avoid using iodine to purify her water.
Iodine could have an adverse effect on the fetal thyroid.
In developing countries,
pasteurized milk is often difficult to find. You should
take powdered milk with you if you want to ensure that
you get enough calcium. It can be mixed into or sprinkled
over most foods.
For coping with
morning sickness, ginger is an excellent remedy. Crystallized
forms can be found in the baking section of most supermarkets.
Otherwise, raw root ginger can be found just about anywhere
in the world, and can be grated into your food in small