Prenatal care - travel
Most of the time, traveling while you are pregnant can be safe and enjoyable. However, it is still a good idea to talk to your health care provider before you plan your trip.
Most of the time, it is fine to travel while pregnant. As long as you are comfortable and safe, you should be able to travel. It is still a good idea to talk to your provider if you are planning a trip.
When you travel, you should:
Get medical care right away if you have:
DO NOT take over-the-counter medicines or any non-prescribed medicines without talking to your provider. This includes medicine for motion sickness or bowel problems.
Travel by Land
When traveling by land:
Travel by Air
When traveling by air:
Travel by Sea
When traveling by sea:
Talk to your provider if you are planning a trip out of the country. Plan ahead to allow time for any shots or medicines you may need. When you travel, take a copy of your prenatal care record with you.
Traveling to high altitudes, like the mountains, may cause problems during pregnancy. Higher altitudes have lower air pressures and less oxygen. Your body and the baby will have to adjust. It is best for all pregnant women who live at low altitudes to avoid traveling over 6,000 feet (1,800 meters) during pregnancy.
If you live at a high altitude, it is safe for you to stay there. Your pregnancy will adapt to the lower oxygen levels.
The Zika virus
Protection from the Zika virus during pregnancy is especially important.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Pregnant women. www.cdc.gov/zika/pregnancy/protect-yourself.html. Updated November 16, 2018. Accessed December 26, 2018.
Freedman DO. Protection of travelers. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 323.
Mackell SM, Anderson S. The pregnant and breastfeeding traveler. In: Keystone JS, Freedman DO, Kozarsky PE, Connor BA, eds. Travel Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2013:chap 22.
Thomas SJ, Endy TP, Rothman AL, Barrett AD. Flaviviruses. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases, Updated Edition. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 155.
Review Date: 9/25/2018
Reviewed By: John D. Jacobson, MD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda Center for Fertility, Loma Linda, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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