You need to check with your local health department to find out which vaccines are needed for certain countries. Discuss whether or not it is safe for you to receive these vaccines during your pregnancy.
Air travel is safe up to 36 weeks and most airlines will allow you to travel until you are about 9 months along (international airlines may not let you travel after 35 weeks). Policies may be different among the airlines so check with them before making definite travel plans. If you have any of the following, check with your medical provider since they may tell you not to travel by airplane at all:
A higher chance of premature delivery, history of preterm delivery.
Diabetes that is not well controlled
Placental abnormalities (which may be found on an ultrasound test)
Because of the low humidity in the airplane cabin, pregnant women can get dehydrated during a long trip. It is important to drink fluids frequently during your flight. Also long periods of sitting can lead to an increased risk of blood clots developing in the veins of the legs. Therefore, it is important to get up and walk for approximately 15 minutes out of every hour during a flight. An aisle seat in the non-smoking section would be ideal. Your seatbelt should be worn low on the pelvis.
If you are flying in a small private plane, avoid non-pressurized cabins above 10,000 feet during the last 3 months of your pregnancy, as this may cause low levels of oxygen for your baby.
Radiation exposure does occur during airline flights. However, it is small and there is no proven risk of increased abnormalities for your baby if you are traveling on commercial flights. Women crew members that are or might be pregnant will not receive radiation doses that go over the recommended pregnancy limit, unless they are flying long-distance, high-altitude flights for more than 2 months during the pregnancy.
The normal security detectors at airports are considered safe for the pregnant woman.
Vacationing at altitudes above 7,000 feet is generally not recommended while you are pregnant unless you already live at that elevation. Exposure to these high altitudes may increase the chances of having babies with lower than normal birth weights.
Even if a pregnant woman is used to these altitudes, mountain or backcountry hiking should be done with caution, especially in regards to the need for urgent medical care should any pregnancy problem develop.
If you have certain blood problems such as severe anemia, sickle cell anemia, or if you have any other difficulties during your pregnancy such as high blood pressure, it would be wise to avoid high altitudes.
You should be very careful about the food you eat and the fluids you drink. Drink only bottled water or bottled beverages. Avoid ice unless you can be assured that it comes from bottled water. Avoid open salads and fruits. Fruits that can be peeled such as bananas are generally safe. Avoid foods sold at street side stands.
Do not use Iodides for water purification. These chemicals can pass to your baby and lead to problems with the baby’s thyroid gland.
Diarrhea can often be a problem when traveling to a third world area. Pregnant women should avoid preventative antibiotics and diarrhea medicines such as Lomotil that contain medications that can be harmful to the baby. Kaolin-Pectin combinations (e.g., Kaopectate) are helpful and safe during pregnancy.
OUR PHYSICIANS RECOMMEND POSTPONING TRAVEL TO ANY ZIKA OUTBREAK AREAS DURING PREGNANCY. Refer to the CDC website for a map of outbreak areas. www.CDC.gov
Copyright 1990, 2002, 2006 Advanced Medical Systems
Updated IV, 12, 06