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Learning Choices


Travel for Two--The Pregnant Traveller


Evelyn Hannon

There's good news, ladies. Perhaps travel for pregnant females was frowned upon in our grandmothers' time. But today, with proper awareness and attitude, women can generally travel right up to their 35th week of pregnancy. Flying, trekking or being on the road for an extended period of time can be perfectly O.K. Pregnant women needn't ever stop being Journey women as long as they check with their physicians or midwives for healthy guidelines

The following is our mini-anthology of helpful hints, quotes and quips relating to "travelling with tummy". Whether you're a Journeymother-to-be, a concerned future Grandmama or simply a travellin' woman contemplating motherhood, we hope this information helps!

Journeywoman's Top Twelve Pregnancy Pointers

Pregnant Woman

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: 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 or 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.

Pamper yourself. 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 harder.

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 vegetables.

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 amounts.


Baby words to make you smile...
Box With X

The reason most people have kids is because they get pregnant.
(Barbara Kingsolver, The Bean Trees)

Making the decision to have a child -- it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.
(Elizabeth Stone, The Village Voice)

Home alone with a wakeful newborn, I could shower so quickly that the mirror didn't fog and the backs of my knees stayed dry.
(Marni Jackson, The Mother Zone)

(Source: The New Beacon Book of Quotations by Women, Rosalie Maggio)

To read "Have Tummy Will Travel Tidbits", click here





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