Travelling during pregnancy
Recharge your batteries
The baby’s room has been lovingly furnished, the nappies are all laid out ready. Now is the time to recharge your batteries. A holiday during pregnancy can be just the thing - at least it can be, if you give careful thought to the destination, the stage of your pregnancy and the means of transport. To help you with your planning, the medi team has summarised the main factors for you.
There is now a new word for going on holiday during pregnancy - a “babymoon” – derived from “honeymoon”. A newly married couple go on honeymoon and strengthen the bond between them. A “babymoon” gives couples the chance to relax together and consciously prepare for a new stage in their lives. Many hotels now specialise in the needs of parents-to-be. Choices range from Tibetan singing bowl therapy and herbal foot baths to prenatal yoga.
Plane, car or train?
Provided that you avoid the time just before the delivery date, flying is completely safe for pregnant women. But you should bear three key points in mind: The lower oxygen content of breathable air when flying, sitting still for a long period with the possibility of developing thrombosis and, finally, the increased exposure to cosmic radiation.
You should preferably weigh up the risks and personal benefit together with your doctor. Until the sixth month of pregnancy, you can also go on holiday by car. Please note: for optimal protection, you should not secure your seat belt across your abdomen. Place it between your chest and abdomen. 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 this phase. The initial symptoms, such as nausea or dizziness, have resolved and the hormones ensure that you feel well-balanced and have plenty of energy. And your baby bump isn’t too heavy yet.
So, where should you go?
Obviously, the longer the journey, the more strenuous it is for you. Furthermore, a dramatic change of climate can place a strain on your body. So it’s best to look for a European holiday destination. But if you still 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. Areas where malaria or other tropical diseases are prevalent are unsuitable for pregnant women. The same applies to prolonged stays at altitudes over 2,000 metres. At such heights, the oxygen content in the air is so low that the baby’s supply could be impaired.
During pregnancy, the risk of thrombosis is always higher than in non-pregnant women. Long periods of sitting in cars, planes or trains increase this risk. Thrombosis 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:
- Buy some travel socks
- 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 unborn baby can be a wonderful, invigorating experience. The positive effect of a mother who is rested after a holiday 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 precautions. This is the most effective way of reducing the risks. In fact, you can actively prevent the increased thrombosis risk and the associated risk of pulmonary embolism.
For example, you can wear travel socks, medi travel. It is available in five sizes (S-XL), two lengths (normal, short) and in the colours black and powder. The patented Clima Fresh System ensures antibacterial freshness for the feet. The Clima Comfort Technology transports perspiration away from the skin to the outside. That makes it an ideal travelling companion - even in warm climes! You can also fall back on modern compression hosiery from medi. They also offers protection from blood clots and are indistinguishable from normal socks and tights. There are many colours and varieties: whether as tights with an extra-comfortable panty section for the baby bump, stay-ups (thigh-length stockings) or knee socks: Your doctor will be happy to advise you on finding the correct hosiery for your “babymoon”.