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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 1 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

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pregnant women. Updated October 17, 2016. www.cdc.gov/zika/pregnancy/protect-yourself.html. Accessed December 10, 2016.

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 11/11/2016

Updated by: Irina Burd, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. 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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