Whether or not to go on vacation during pregnancy is one of the most frequently asked questions by expectant mothers. Many questions, from the means of transportation to be used to the choice of holiday destination, preoccupy the minds of pregnant women. Here are the answers to the questions that pregnant women wonder about the holiday and the things to consider when vacationing during pregnancy…
Obstetrics and Gynecology Specialist Op. Dr. Senai Akoy answered the questions that pregnant women are most curious about before the holiday.
There is no harm in taking a vacation for expectant mothers whose pregnancy is normal and without problems. In fact, taking a vacation during pregnancy can be a good opportunity for the pregnant woman to listen, as a tiring process awaits the expectant mother after the birth. However, pregnant women in the first trimester of pregnancy should be careful about the risk of miscarriage. It would be beneficial for them to spend a holiday where they can mostly rest by avoiding activities that will tire them out or force their bodies. Expectant mothers, especially in the last two months of their pregnancy, should avoid long and tiring journeys. Before going on vacation, all pregnant women should consult with their doctor and get approval.
The choice of holiday venue is very important for pregnant women. Regardless of the period of pregnancy, extremely hot and high altitude areas are not suitable for the health of the mother and the baby. It is beneficial for expectant mothers who want to take a vacation abroad, not to choose less developed countries. In underdeveloped countries, medical facilities are insufficient and microbial diseases seen in these countries can adversely affect the health of the mother and baby.
One of the most common problems faced by expectant mothers on vacation is microbial diarrhea. Diarrhea, which causes excessive fluid loss, can endanger the health of both the mother and the baby. The expectant mother with diarrhea should definitely not use drugs or antibiotics outside of the doctor’s control. If the pregnant woman has diarrhea, she should immediately consult a doctor and take the measures that the doctor deems appropriate.
Expectant mothers should be especially careful about food and drinks. Avoid open food and beverages. Especially for drinking water, water sold in closed packages should be preferred. Since the ice added to the water is usually prepared from the mains water, it is beneficial to consume the water without ice. Care should be taken not to eat foods that need to be washed in plenty of water, such as salad, outside. In addition, it is useful to stay away from foods that contain raw eggs, such as undercooked meat and mayonnaise. Constipation is one of the most common problems experienced by pregnant women on vacation. It is recommended to consume fibrous foods for expectant mothers to prevent constipation. Among the precautions to be taken before going on holiday is to research the characteristics of the holiday place. It is necessary to research the medical possibilities of the preferred region or place in advance. It is useful to determine in advance which health institution you can apply to in case of any problem or in an emergency. Apart from this, it is very important to have a document showing your blood type for emergencies, a list of medications you use regularly, information about allergies if you have allergies, medical records about pregnancy and your doctor’s contact numbers.
- cervical insufficiency,
Pregnant women with chronic diseases of other organ systems are in the risk group. It is not recommended for these pregnant women to travel to distant places or abroad.
The most important problem in transportation vehicles such as cars and trains is circulation problems that occur as a result of sitting for a long time. It is beneficial for expectant mothers who will travel by car to choose a seat where they can feel comfortable. It is necessary to support the back and neck areas with a small pillow and wear the seat belt in such a way that it does not tighten the abdomen. There should be plenty of fluids in the foods you can snack on during the trip. Take frequent breaks during travel and meet your toilet needs. Delaying the need for the toilet can lead to urinary tract infections. Also, do not forget to take a walk to balance circulation during breaks. Always wear a seat belt to protect yourself and your baby during car travel. It is beneficial for expectant mothers who travel by train to walk frequently and regulate their circulation. During the train journey, you may prefer to sit close to the toilet in order to meet your toilet needs comfortably.
Air travel in the first two trimesters of pregnancy is not harmful for expectant mothers. However, before traveling, it is absolutely necessary to go through the doctor’s control and get approval. Expectant mothers who want to travel by plane in the last period of pregnancy should learn about all the applications of the airline company for pregnant passengers. Between the 28th and 36th weeks of pregnancy, you need to get permission from your doctor. From the 36th week, expectant mothers are generally not allowed to fly. Small planes are not suitable for pregnant women as pressure changes cause premature bursting of the water bladder. Try to drink plenty of fluids so that the body does not become dehydrated during the trip. It is important for circulation that you walk around and move your legs every half hour while traveling by plane. It is useful to have your seat belt fastened during the flight.
Mostly, pregnant women are not allowed to go to tropical regions, regardless of the period due to infectious diseases. Especially since diseases such as malaria trigger miscarriage and premature birth, it is not recommended for expectant mothers to travel to such regions. Since live virus vaccine is not recommended for expectant mothers during pregnancy, oral dead polio vaccine is given. However, your doctor will make the final decision about the vaccine. Therefore, before you go on vacation, consult your doctor about vaccination.
- severe abdominal pain,
- Severe headache,
- In cases where the baby’s movements decrease, it is necessary to consult a doctor as soon as possible.
From Memorial Bahçelievler Hospital, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Op. Dr. Emine Barın listed healthy summer holiday suggestions for expectant mothers.
Long travel is generally not recommended as it may increase the risk of miscarriage in the first 3 months of pregnancy. It is not recommended after the 32nd week of pregnancy as long as it is not necessary, long trips outside the city, the danger of premature birth and the possibility of not getting the necessary medical support in time in case of emergency that may occur on the way. Pregnant women with a history of miscarriage, cervical insufficiency, ectopic pregnancy, preterm birth, vaginal bleeding, miscarriage risk, multiple pregnancy, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, chronic diseases of other organ systems should avoid traveling abroad and to distant places.
When expectant mothers decide to travel, they should first consult with their doctor and undergo a comprehensive examination before travelling. The nearest hospital or health institution in the region to be visited should definitely be researched. The person should definitely take his medical file, ultrasonography reports, blood tests and blood group card with him.
Travel to the tropics or countries where hygiene problems may occur is not recommended during the entire pregnancy. The risk of infection may be high in these locations. This can cause irreversible problems for the health of both the mother and the baby.
The most important point to be considered while traveling by car during pregnancy is to wear a seat belt. During travel by car, a break should be given for a maximum of 3 hours, during which 10-15 minutes of walking should be done. Walking regulates blood circulation and makes the baby comfortable. If traveling by bus during pregnancy, it should not be traveled on the front, rear and wheels of the bus. Corridor edge should be chosen and protected from sun rays. If the bus does not take frequent breaks, you should get up from the seat on the safe and flat part of the road every 2 hours, stand for 1-2 minutes and sit again. One can exercise while sitting. In this process, you should drink plenty of fluids and take a walk during breaks. Travel by plane during pregnancy can be done up to the 28th week. After the 28th week, airline companies usually allow flight with a doctor’s report. Air travel is not recommended after 36 weeks. Contrary to popular belief, air travel does not pose a risk to the pregnant woman, since the pressure in the cabin is adjusted. The main problem is staying still for a long time. For this reason, it is recommended to do leg exercises, walk when it is safe on the plane, and drink plenty of fluids. It is recommended to additionally wear below-the-knee compression stockings for flights longer than 3 hours.
On holiday, it is not recommended to go out in the sun between 12:00 and 16:00 when the sun’s rays are steep. It is recommended to sunbathe for 1 hour, rest for 45 minutes in a cool place and drink plenty of fluids while sunbathing. It should not be exposed directly to the sun, it can be sunbathed in the shade or under an umbrella.
Due to increased hormones during pregnancy, sensitivity to the sun increases and dark spots occur on the face called pregnancy mask. For this reason, pregnant women should apply high factor sunscreen creams to their faces during the summer months. In addition, plenty of fluids should be taken to prevent the skin from drying out.
Sea is safer for pregnant women as well as non-pregnant people. Because the risk of infection factors is higher due to the swimming of many people in the pools. Some substances are added to the pools for disinfection purposes. A well disinfected pool without excessive doses of these substances will not harm the pregnancy, but it is reported by some experts that some substances added to the pool for disinfection can harm the pregnancy, especially in excessive doses. In the first 3 months of pregnancy, swimming for 20 minutes a day is sufficient. Swimming early in the morning can reduce pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting. It is necessary to wear swimsuits designed for pregnant women that do not tighten the body too much. Especially pregnant women with excessive cramps should swim at a depth that will not exceed the height.
It is very important for the expectant mother to pay attention to nutrition during the holiday and to continue the vitamin and mineral supplements she uses as recommended. When consuming raw vegetables and fruits in meals, it is necessary to pay attention that they are thoroughly washed and the meat is well cooked. Caution should be exercised when eating local dishes, and foods that are not completely sure should not be consumed if possible. The nutrition program should continue as except for the holiday. Nausea, vomiting, food poisoning manifested by diarrhea, feverish conditions, cramps that do not go away with rest, headaches that may occur against all precautions should be taken into consideration and should be examined in the nearest health center by communicating with the specialist. Particular attention should be paid to the water consumed during the trip, only the drinks sold in closed boxes should be consumed, and ice should not be added to the drinks. Consumption of outside prepared salads, undercooked meat and mayonnaise products should be avoided. The expectant mother should eat regularly for the health of herself and her baby. Especially when going to hot regions, fluid consumption should be adjusted accordingly. A diet rich in fiber also prevents constipation during this period.