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Safe Travel During Pregnancy

August 8, 2013 by HealthyFamilies BC

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pregnant woman walking on sidewalk with daughter


Travel by car or plane is generally safe for pregnant women during their first two trimesters.  

Here are some tips to help increase your comfort and minimize risks.

By Car

When you travel by automobile:

  • Always wear your seatbelt.

  • The lap belt should be snug and low over your pelvic bones, below your abdomen.

  • The shoulder belt should be tight against your chest.

  • Do not put the shoulder belt under your arm or behind your back.

  • Do not recline your seat while traveling; your seat belt will be too loose to protect you.

  • Do not drive if you don’t have to.

  • If you do drive, push the front seat as far back as you can. This will give the air bag as much room as possible to inflate if you’re in a crash.

Source: Reproduced and adapted with permission from the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia

By Plane

Before you buy a plane ticket, check with the airline about their policy regarding pregnant travelers. Some airlines won’t permit pregnant women to fly after 36 weeks gestation. They may also require a letter from your healthcare provider that includes your due date.

If you're flying while pregnant:

  • ask for an aisle seat so you can get up and walk frequently
  • drink plenty of water
  • bring your own healthy snacks
  • keep any medications with you on the plane

If you're traveling a long distance:

  • take a copy of your prenatal record
  • research health care services in the area you're traveling to
  • pin-point the location of the nearest hospital
  • purchase medical insurance that includes pregnancy and birth
  • bring a pair of slippers or flip flops to wear on the plane if your feet tend to swell 

It's also a good idea to consult with your public health office about immunizations and any other precautions you should take to prevent illness while travelling. These include drinking bottled water and staying away from ice cubes and uncooked fruits and vegetables.

Resources and Links:
Healthlink BC: Travel during pregnancy

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  1. Activity & Lifestyles
  2. Aging Well
  3. Pregnancy & Parenting
    1. Pregnancy & Birth
    2. Babies (0-12 months)
    3. Toddlers (12-36 months)
    4. Preschool (3-5 years)
    5. Children (6-11 years)
    6. Teens (12-18 years)
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