Traveling while Pregnant? Read Our Travel Guide for Moms to Be

By Peter Klemin, MD May 23, 2017

Although traveling during pregnancy is normal and a lot of women do it, it is important to consider potential problems that could arise during travel. Pregnant women should also weigh the availability of quality medical care in the countries they are visiting before traveling abroad. Getting all of the needed immunizations before becoming pregnant is preferred over vaccines during pregnancy.

When is the safest time for a pregnant woman to travel?
Traveling in early pregnancy, up to 32-34 weeks is safe. Traveling after 34 weeks depends on your route, the distance and availability of obstetric medical care.

Should expectant mothers see their doctor before traveling?
Typically, women with uncomplicated pregnancies do not need to be seen. Women with high-risk conditions, early signs/concerns for labor, and women in late pregnancy should be seen prior to traveling.

Should pregnant women avoid traveling to any specific areas (high altitude, international, etc.)?
Prolonged exposure to new high altitude is not recommended. A pregnant woman should not travel to areas with health advisories, such as Zika virus and malaria warnings.

What are some tips to for traveling during pregnancy?
A pregnant woman who is traveling should make frequent stops, be sure to take time to walk and move around and use compression stockings. She may also want to consider getting of a note of medical clearance. These are recommended depending on the woman’s type of travel.

If morning sickness is a problem, try to arrange travel during a time of day when you generally feel well. Be sure to fasten your seat belt at the pelvis level, below your hips and drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. You’ll also want to check on the availability of safe food and beverages, including bottled water and pasteurized milk, in your destinations.

For any other questions, talk to your OB/GYN or primary care physician.