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Pregnancy and travel

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:

  • Eat as you normally do.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and clothing that isn't tight.
  • Take crackers and juice with you to avoid nausea.
  • Bring a copy of your prenatal care records with you.
  • Get up and walk every hour. It will help your circulation and keep swelling down. Being inactive for long periods of time and being pregnant both increase your risk for blood clots in your legs and lungs. To lower your risk, drink plenty of fluids and move around often.

Get medical care right away if you have:

  • Chest pain
  • Leg or calf pain or swelling, especially in just one leg
  • Shortness of breath

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.

Alternative Names

Prenatal care - travel

References

Anderson S. Advice for women travelers. In: Sanford CA, Pottinger PS, Jong EC, eds. The Travel and Tropical Medicine Manual. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 14.

Bernstein HB, Lee M-J. Maternal and perinatal infection in pregnancy. In: Landon MB, Galan HL, Jauniaux ERM, et al, eds. Gabbe's Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 57.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Pregnant women. www.cdc.gov/zika/pregnancy/protect-yourself.html. Updated April 23, 2020. Accessed January 26, 2021.

Mackell SM, Borwein S. The pregnant and breastfeeding traveler. In: Keystone JS, Kozarsky PE, Connor BA, Nothdurft HD, Mendelson M, Leder, K, eds. Travel Medicine. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 22.

Review Date 10/5/2020

Updated 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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