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Travelling While Pregnant


Introduction

Travelling while pregnant is possible but the destination and method of transport needs to be thought about.

When not to Travel

Most miscarriages occur in the first three months so this is not a good time to be away from good health care. The last three months should also be spent close to good medical care, babies born up to 24 weeks early can survive given the correct medical facilities. If a baby is born prematurely they usually need close medical care for several weeks so you could end up getting stuck. It is important to check for Clauses in your medical and travel insurance which might become void if you travel while pregnant. Long haul flights should be avoided during late pregnancy and most airlines will not let you fly after the 32nd week of pregnancy. Experts therefore recommend that if you need to travel while pregnant then the best period is between the 18th and 24th week.

Vaccines & Medications

Some vaccines for serious diseases should not be taken when pregnant. The ones that should be avoided are those which contain live viruses such as yellow fever, measles, rubella and the oral polio vaccine. Other vaccines that should be avoided are those that commonly cause a fever (e.g. diphtheria, typhoid). The effect of getting a diseases is also a much greater risk for mother and can cause still birth (e.g. malaria). Pregnant women should avoid medications unless necessary. Malaria prophylactics should be taken in areas where malaria is a problem. Special care should be take to avoid getting ill and it is important to maintain a healthy diet.

Miscarriage

Travel does not increase the risk of miscarriage but if miscarriage does occur then good medical facilities are essential. If there is excessive bleeding then a blood transfusion might be required. In poorer countries with poor or no blood screening AIDs and other diseases are a risk. In some countries there might be a lack of sterile medical instruments and skilled staff. If the treatment is not of high standard then there is the possibility of difficulties in future pregnancies.




K.Vans-Colina 1992-2002