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CAN YOU STILL TRAVEL WHILE PREGNANT?

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Planning a babymoon? We answer your travel-related questions here.

A babymoon could give the mum and dad-to-be a chance to unwind, catch their breath and spend some couple bonding time before the baby arrives. Here are some key things you should note before booking your tickets.

Is it safe for me to travel when pregnant?


Yes, as long as you have an uncomplicated pregnancy. You must be fit for travel and have no abdominal pain or bleeding. However, before you start booking your plane ticket and hotel room, you should speak to your doctor to get the OK.


What are the airline regulations for travelling when pregnant?


You can travel internationally up to week 32. However, do tell your doctor and always carry a doctor's letter of certification for fitness to travel. The letter should also state your due date.


When is the best time for me to travel?


The golden window for getaways is between week 14 and week 28. You're likely to be most comfortable at this stage, and the risks are low.


What should I do to prepare?


Depending on where you're planning to go, check with your doctor if there are any travel vaccinations that you may need. Not all vaccines are safe in pregnancy. You may want to avoid travel areas that require these jabs. Knowledge of the local healthcare facilities available in the country of travel is useful. It's prudent to stay close to a good hospital when planning your accommodation. Being prepared will help ease your mind so that you can enjoy your holiday!


What should I be aware of during the flight?


Long haul travel (travel more than four hours) may predispose you to blood clot formation in your calves or lungs in pregnancy. If your journey lasts more than four hours, ensure that you get up and walk every half an hour. You should also move your legs often while seated. This helps prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a condition where blood clots in the leg. Besides interval walking, you can also do leg massages or wear thrombosis deterrent stockings. Keeping yourself hydrated is also useful, and stay away from that glass of alcohol on the plane!


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By Associate Professor TAN Thiam Chye Head & Senior Consultant, Dr TAN Shu Qi Senior O&G Resident, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, KK Women's and Children's Hospital

Sources:
The New Art and Science of Pregnancy and Childbirth 2008, World Scientific
Healthy Start for your Pregnancy 2012, Health Promotion Board Singapore

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