Travel Health Risks During Pregnancy

aerial photography of airliner

There is a greater risk of running into serious problems such as deep vein thrombosis when flying at high altitudes during pregnancy. In addition it is not advisable to travel by plane if one is also suffering from high blood pressure. When planning a holiday during pregnancy it is worth bearing in mind that the safest times to travel are between 14 and 28 weeks.

Air Travel Health Risks During Pregnancy

The first trimester of pregnancy is not the safest time to travel by plane as at this point one is most at risk of suffering either a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy, both of which will require urgent medical attention. As a result it is important as much as possible to avoid travelling on long haul flights where one may be a long way from vital health care should the worst case scenario become a reality. It is also not recommended to travel in the latter stages of pregnancy. This is due to the risk at this time of going into premature labour. For those in the third trimester it is crucial to get a medical certificate stating one is fit to travel and a due date to avoid the possibility of being refused to fly.

Particularly when travelling long distances cannot be avoided, it is well worth booking seats in advance and requesting more leg room. Also, if one is due to be abroad for an extended period of time in late pregnancy it is important to contact the relevant embassy to ensure that entry will be permitted.

Listeriosis and Toxoplasmosis in Pregnancy

For those spending time abroad whilst pregnant, particularly in countries where a completely different diet is the norm, should be very careful about food and drink choices. Pregnant women concerned about food hygiene should avoid eating any fruit or vegetable which cannot be peeled. Listeriosis may result through consuming ready-cooked and chilled food that have not been effectively reheated and cheese as well as pate is best avoided. The consequences of suffering from listeria during pregnancy include damage to the foetus and a possibility of stillbirth.

Toxoplasmosis another potential health risk which may result in one suffering from flu-like symptoms and abnormalities to the newborn. This bacterial infection may be picked up from consuming under-cooked meat or vegetables which have not been properly cleaned. Toxoplasmosis may also result from drinking unpasteurized goats milk so it best to avoid any dairy products if unsure about hygiene or origin.

Thrush in Pregnancy

A very common problem during pregnancy is that of thrush and this is especially relevant for those travelling to warmer climates for holidays. The best way to reduce the likelihood of suffering from thrush is to stick to wearing loose-fitting garments in warm weather. If a pregnant woman has previously suffered from thrush it is well worth bringing suitable treatment along just in case. Both anti-fungal treatment creams and pessaries are identified as being safe in pregnancy. Although if one does have a bout abroad, it is recommended to head to the nearest pharmacy or clinic and ask for treatment containing the ingredient of clotrimazole.

As highlighted above, bear in mind that the safest time to travel during pregnancy is between weeks 14 and 28. It is also important to be mindful of ensuring food consumed is properly cooked, as undercooked meat may result in serious health consequences such as listeriosis or toxoplasmosis.