Travelling during pregnancy
For many years, pregnant women were advised not to travel at all. Thankfully that's no longer the case, but there are still precautions to take.
Surprisingly the biggest danger doesn't come from turbulence or being jolted about but from tiredness, particularly back ache.
Car: The high risk of accidents should be taken into consideration, especially if you're driving and you're abroad.
Being pregnant slows your reflexes and causes drowsiness, whilst your stomach prevents quick movements that are sometimes necessary for driving.
- To avoid tiredness and back pain, place a cushion in the hollow of your back.
- Do stints of no more than 100 miles and stop regularly to take a walk and stretch your legs.
- Invest in a special seat belt for pregnant women, otherwise it's very important to position your seat belt correctly with the lower part of the belt placed snugly under your stomach.
Boat: If cruising round the Greek Isles is your idea of a dream holiday, think long and hard before you book!
If you're suffering from morning sickness, sea sickness on top of it won't help matters. It's best to plan for the worst: what would happen if you were to fall ill or have an accident without a doctor around and only miles of sea around you?
Plane: Air travel is without a doubt the most pleasant mode of transport for long distances. Some airlines will let you fly up to the 36th week, but check with the company before booking tickets. After 28 weeks, most airlines require a medical certificate indicating your due date and can refuse to let you board the plane without one.
- Don't stay sitting for too long. Walk around the cabin and stretch out so you don't suffer from circulation problems in your legs.
- Wear support stockings.
- The air in planes is dry, so drink lots of water to avoid dehydration: 1 litre per 5 hours in the air.
Train: Trains are ideal provided they're comfortable: main line trains are fine, but watch out for old trains on regional lines which may be slow, less smooth and more tiring to travel on.
- Reserve your seat in advance to be sure of getting one.
- Don't take a huge case if you're going to have to carry it yourself!