Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Safe Journey

As the Chinese New Year is coming, many of you will take the opportunity to visit your long distant relatives.

Long distant travel for the pregnant mothers is safe, but special precautions should be taken to avoid unneccessary problems to your pregnancy, especially to those who plan to travel by air flight.

Before you start your journey, make sure you take the important safety precautions as listed below:

1) Inform your obstetrician of your plans.

Because the most common pregnancy-related emergencies happen in the first and third trimesters, the second trimester is generally considered the safest time to travel.

2) Reconsider traveling if there are complications.

If you've experienced second- or third-trimester vaginal bleeding, have gone into premature labor in the past, high blood pressure during pregnancy and twin pregnancy, the doctor may recommend you to stay at home.

3) Air travel is safe for most women up to 34 weeks of pregnancy, provided there are no complications.

Some airlines will only permit women to fly with a fitness certificate from the doctor after 28 weeks (7 months) of pregnancy.

4) Avoid long distant flight to avoid prolonged exposure to X ray in high attitude. Any air travel more than 8 hours is not encouraged.

5) Before traveling, locate the hospital nearest to your destination. Be prepared for an emergency by packing your medications and a copy of your medical records.

6) Avoid swimming in the ocean. Ocean swimming can increase the risk of vaginal or womb infections, which could lead to preterm delivery.

7) Drink plenty of water when traveling or flying. Dehydration can cause the uterus to contract. If in a foreign country, stick to mineral water. This includes staying away from ice cubes, too.

8) Take anti-vomiting pills if needed for travel sickness. Anti-dizziness medications can be taken safely during pregnancy.

9) Move about and walking around while traveling.

To reduce the risk of water retention in your legs and feet, get up and walk around the cabin once every hour. Support stockings can also help. Wear flat, comfortable shoes.

10) Fasten your seat belt. Don't forget to buckle up, with your seat belt below your belly.

Wish all of you have a safe and memorable journey.

Happy Chinese New Year.

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