Travel can be stressful at any time, but when you’re pregnant, there are special considerations for safety and comfort. A new guide by Dr. Michele Hakakha, a Beverly Hills physician, offers tips for safe and healthy pregnant travel.
Pregnant women often wonder about the risks of airport security scanners. New high tech designs bring new worries. Are these machines safe for pregnancy? Dr. Hakakha says she is asked this question almost daily by her patients.
Dr. Hakakha assures her patients and readers that a pregnant woman would have to go through a scanner more than 2,000 times to be at risk of any negative effect.
The biggest worry is usually that the mom will go into labor early while she’s away on vacation. Though this doesn’t happen too often, it does happen – in fact, the British Prime minister’s daughter was born unexpectedly early while they were away on holiday.
It’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with health care facilities when you’re traveling while pregnant. If you plan to be somewhere for an extended stay, or if you’re visiting a larger city, you might look for a specific caregiver to make contact with before you go. Some providers have relationships with doctors in other places so you can ask yours for a recommendation if you’re concerned.
Another thing to remember is that pregnant women are at higher risk for blood clots, which are more of a concern for travelers on long journeys. If you’re in the car or a seat on a plane for a long trip, stopping to get up and stretch your legs often will reduce this risk. But it will definitely add some time to your road travels.
The author also cautions pregnant women to keep an eye out for germs. “Your immune system is completely suppressed when you’re pregnant,” she explained. “It’s the only time in your life you’re carrying foreign DNA in your body and you’re not rejecting it. And so in order for your body to do that, your immune system is suppressed and you are much more likely to develop food poisoning or contract things compared to people with you in the group that are eating the same thing.”
Find more info and tips from Dr. Hakakha here.