FOOTLOOSE MINUS THE BABY BLUES - Dr Shivani Sac...

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Expecting a new addition to the family? Don’t put your travel plans on hold, but follow these tips


By Dr Shivani Sachdev Gour 


Summer vacations are here. And everyone needs a holiday. An important question which arises in the mind of a pregnant women is, “It is safe to make any travel plans during pregnancy?”Certainly. As long as you take following precautions.


Whether you travel by car, bus, train or plane, it is generally safe for you to travel at all times during pregnancy as long as there are no identified complications.


But among the three trimesters in pregnancy, the second trimester  is the best time to travel, as you are quite free from the morning sickness experienced during the first trimester, as well as several weeks away from the ‘easily fatigued’ third stage of pregnancy. These tips will help you make your trip more comfortable and safe.


TIPS FOR THE AIR-BORNE


  • Travel before - Third Trimester In case of travelling by air, the second trimester, (14 to 28 weeks) is the best period. This is the period when you’re likely to feel the best, and the risks of miscarriage and premature labour are lowest. So you are mostly free from morning as well motion sickness. Most airlines restrict you from travelling after 36 weeks. 
  • Immunisation - Avoid going to countries which are known to have cases of malaria or influenza. In case, going to such places is inevitable, consult your practitioner, and take necessary precautions. 
  • Maintain Hydration - Air travel is known to cause dehydration for lesser humidity levels in the cabin. Drink plenty of fluids throughout the flight. 
  • Comfortable - Seating Try to get seats with more leg room. An aisle seat is a better option for easy movement to the restrooms. 


ROAD TRIP MUST-DOS


  • Buckle up - Wearing s seat belt is very important for safely whether one is pregnant or not. But during pregnancy, it should br worn below the belly, never around or above it. 
  • Ease Motion Sickness - If you have a history of motion sickness, sit in the front seat and open the window for fresh air focusing on a distant object or the horizon will further help overcome the problem.
  • Main Good Circulation - To maintain good blood circulation and avoid cramping and swelling of legs, keep stretching rotating, and wiggling your legs. 
  • Be a back bending - This back seat is the most comfortable for a pregnant woman as it is more spacious than the front seat, sitting on the back seat and stretching your legs all over the seat is the best position. 


DON’T GET BUS-TED…


Travelling by bus during pregnancy has its pros and cons. Bus journeys can prove more comfortable than car journey, with cushioned seats and more leg space. But on the other end, a bus journey can turn highly uncomfortable if it is clustered with people; the lack of seat belts might expose you to the risk of accidents. The safest thing to do is to be seated while the bus is in motion. Use rest stops and take short walks or do stretches to maintain the blood circulation. Generally, buses have narrow aisle, so try and get a safe seat.


…OR DERAILED


Trains have more spaces to walk, but the restrooms in coaches are usually small. If travelling by a chair car, the best thing to do is to sir and hold on to the seat backs in the moving train in the order to maintain your balance.


AVOID THE HIGH TIDE


While travelling by sea, the motion of the boat of ship may make you nauseous or result in morning sickness. Be sure to ask the cruise line whether a health care provider is available on board. Also ensure that the medicines used to prevent or cure sea sickness are approved for pregnant women and without any risk to your baby.   Seasickness bands can help prevent stomach upset and other badly discomforts through the use of acupressure.


INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS


Trips abroad may be source of relaxation, bur might, at the same time, and expose you to some hostile risks. You might be exposed to a disease which is rare in your country, but common in the country you are visiting. Diarrhea in one such common concern, as your body may not be used to the organisms and germs found in the water and food other countries. This may result in dehydration.

Take sufficient amount of bottled water or use soft drinks or canned juices as an option to keep yourself safe from diarrhea. Make sure to take only pasteurized milk and be certain all fish and meat are completely cooked.


Following these few suggestions, you can enjoy your travel, even while you are pregnant and can also be sure about the safely of both you and your baby. You need not hold back your wish to go distant places for the fear of long distant travelling. However, suggestions from personal health care practitioners are always highly recommended in such cases.


Most importantly “listen to your body”. Don’t ignore even the slightest discomfort. It’s you who knows your body best and are most familiar with your comforts and discomforts.


The writer is an Infertility expert and 

gynaecologist at SCI Healthcare, New Delhi 

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