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John Przybysz: Traveling while pregnant takes preparation

By John Przybys
The Las Vegas Review-Journal
Posted on 7/20/2015, 11:28 AM

So you're traveling for two this summer, even if your traveling companion doesn't yet qualify for a reduced-fare children's ticket.

How should pregnant women prepare for their summer trips? First, check in with your doctor, suggests Dr. Julie Goodell, an obstetrician-gynecologist of Women's Health Associates of Southern Nevada.

Some physicians recommend that women don't travel after a certain point of their pregnancies, Goodell says, and only your own doctor can make recommendations based on your own unique circumstances.

If traveling by air or with a cruise line, call ahead to find out what policies they may have about pregnant travelers, Goodell says. Be sure to factor in the length of your time away so that you'll still meet their guidelines on your return trip.

Goodell recommends taking along a copy of your prenatal records. That way, if a problem occurs while you're away from home, an out-of-town physician easily can be brought up to speed on your medical history.

Pregnant women's feet are prone to swelling, so it's a good idea to get compression stockings before you leave, Goodell says. Be sure to pack any vitamins and medications you might need while away, and ask your doctor about medications you can pack to safely battle nausea and other pregnant travelers'? maladies.

In a plane, choose an aisle seat -- it'll make it easier to get up to stretch, walk around or get to the restroom --?and make it a point to get up, stretch and walk a bit occasionally anyway.

Even when driving, "you'?re probably going to want to make sure you get out of the car every couple of hours,"?¯ Goodell says, noting that pregnant women are at higher risk of developing blood clots in their legs.

Be sure to wear a seat belt -- and to wear it properly -- whenever flying or driving, Goodell says. Pack small, healthy snacks, make sure you stay hydrated, and let somebody else wrestle with the luggage.

Note, too, that all of this advice applies only to women who are having a "normal-risk pregnancy,"?Goodell says. For women who have high-risk or more problematic pregnancies, postponing the trip completely may well be the best option.

"I always give the caveat that every person is unique,"?Goodell says.

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