Travelling during pregnancy

Recharge your batteries

Now is the time to recharge your batteries before the big arrival. The nursery is almost ready and you’ve stocked up on nappies. A holiday could be just the thing you need - at least it can be, if you give careful thought to the destination, where you are in your pregnancy and the mode of transport you want to take. To help you with your plans, we’ve put together a few factors for you to consider.

Are you ready for your “babymoon”? As you know, a newly married couple go on honeymoon to celebrate the bond between them. The “babymoon” gives couples the chance to relax together and mentally prepare for the new arrival. Many hotels now specialise in the needs of parents-to-be, offering packages such as Tibetan singing bowl therapy and herbal foot baths to prenatal yoga.

Plane, car or train?

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists say that flying is not harmful during a low-risk pregnancy and that the safest time to fly is before 37 weeks (or if you’re expecting 2 bundles of joy, then before 32 weeks). However, many airlines have their own rules on when pregnant women can fly so it might be worth checking with your airline. 

However, you should bear three key points in mind: swelling of your legs due to build-up of fluid, nose and ear problems caused by changes in air pressure and motion sickness, making any pregnancy nausea a little worse. The changes in air pressure and the decrease in humidity on an aircraft have not been shown to have a harmful effect on pregnancy. We recommend you weigh up the risks with the personal benefits with your clinician.

There’s no reason not to travel by car but bear in mind your toilet stops! Stretch your legs as often as possible and take plenty of breaks, preferably every 90 minutes at least. Please note: for optimal protection, make sure the top part of the seatbelt goes over your collarbone and between your breasts whilst the lower strap lies across your thighs and hips, under your bump.

Rail travel is the most comfortable means of transport, because you can get up and walk around at any time.

The right time

Of course, you can, in principle, go on holiday at any time during your pregnancy. But if you don’t fancy having to spend your holiday constantly within reach of a toilet or having your baby at your holiday resort, we strongly recommend taking your holiday during the second trimester of pregnancy.

Women feel most comfortable during the second trimester as the initial symptoms, such as nausea or dizziness, have settled and you normally feel well-balanced and have plenty of energy … plus your baby bump isn’t too heavy yet.

So, where should you go?

Common sense is key here. The longer the journey, the more strenuous it is for you. Furthermore, a dramatic change of climate can place a strain on your body. It may be best to look close to home or perhaps a European holiday destination. If you want to fly to the Caribbean, book a room with air conditioning.

Whatever you decide, it’s important to have the right medical care and hygienic conditions available to you. Areas where malaria or other tropical diseases are prevalent would be deemed unsuitable for pregnant women. The same applies to prolonged stays at altitudes over 2,000 metres as the oxygen content in the air is so low that the baby’s supply could be impaired.

Preventing thrombosis (DVT)

During pregnancy, the risk of a DVT is always higher if you are pregnant women. Journeys of longer than 3 hours of sitting in cars, planes or trains increase this risk.  A DVT occurs when a blood clot blocks the veins. This causes blood congestion and can lead to serious consequences. But there are plenty of tips available to help you to minimise the risk of traveller’s thrombosis:

  • Wear clinically proven travel socks (such as the ones from medi UK)
  • Drink plenty of water, tea or fruit juice spritzers
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing and comfortable shoes
  • Give your blood circulation a boost with exercises such as jiggling or twirling your feet
  • Take every opportunity to stretch your legs. Every time you flex your muscles, it promotes the return flow of blood to the heart.

Enjoy the peace and quiet

A holiday together with your partner and your bump can be a wonderful, invigorating experience. The positive effect of a holiday, especially to an expectant mother, should not be underestimated. No pregnant woman should forgo a holiday because she’s overcautious. Instead, she should obtain expert advice from her midwife before the planning stage and take basic precautions. In fact, you can actively prevent the increased DVT risk and the associated risk of pulmonary embolism.

For example, you can wear medi’s travel socks. They are available in 2 colours (black and powder), 5 sizes (S-XL) and 2 lengths (regular and petite) for the perfect fit. The patented Clima Fresh yarn ensures antibacterial freshness for the feet. The Clima Comfort technology wicks away moisture from skin. The ideal travelling companion - even in warmest of climes! If you prefer, you can also use medi’s modern compression hosiery as they are available in socks, stockings or maternity tights and in a variety of colours that will suit your holiday wardrobe too! 

Products from medi

medi travel ®  women
  • Skin-friendly
  • Semi-transparent
  • Available in 2 colours
£ 28.20
mediven plus ®
  • Expanding front panel
  • Hard wearing and durable
  • Available in 12 colours
£ 99.00
protect.Maternity belt
  • Reduces back pain
  • Fully adjustable
  • Comfortable material
£ 24.99
DUOMED ®  soft thigh length
  • Silicone topband
  • Latex free
  • British Standard compression
from £ 15.75
DUOMED ®  soft below knee
  • Soft fabric
  • Latex free
  • British Standard compression
from £ 14.75
  • Skin-friendly
  • Soft cuff
  • Available in 12 colours
from £ 50.00