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Travel is generally safe during an uncomplicated pregnancy up until 35 weeks of gestation. Pregnant women have a higher risk of developing blood clots (known as deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism) especially during long flights. However, this risk can be reduced by getting up and walking occasionally, exercising and stretching your legs while seated and selecting an aisle when possible. Talk to your healthcare provider as they can recommend additional ways to reduce your risk such as wearing compression stockings.

Before leaving, it is a good idea to get a copy of your prenatal chart with your due date and details of how your pregnancy has been progressing. Your hotel Embassy at your destination should have a list of doctors in the area who are recommended.

Pregnant women need to be especially cautious and practice safe food and water precautions. Many food-borne and water-borne illnesses can be more severe during pregnancy and pose a risk to the unborn baby. Also there is a risk of dehydration with diarrheal illnesses which in turn can cause a decrease in amniotic fluid and/ or blood flow to the baby. It is therefore not a bad idea to carry Immodium and to get a prescription for azithromycin, an antibiotic that is safe in pregnancy and treats traveler’s diarrhea. If you have a lot of diarrhea, pure coconut water is a good way to rehydrate as it has little sugar but lots of electrolytes.

If you decide to travel while pregnant, make sure that you have proper travel health insurance. Review your policy and the coverage it provides, as most policies do not automatically cover pregnancy-related conditions or hospital care for premature infants.


A pregnant woman’s guide to flying – New York Times News Service published in the Globe and Mail Tues Jan 6, 2015

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