Whether you’re doing short journeys in the car or getting on a plane for a holiday abroad, it’s important to take extra care of yourself when you’re pregnant. Making a few small changes and planning ahead will help to make sure you have a comfortable and safe journey.
Wherever you’re going, it’s a good idea to take your maternity notes with you in case you need medical help.
In the car
It’s fine to drive or be a passenger in a car while you’re pregnant.
It’s important to wear a seat belt as you normally would. Make sure the straps don’t go over your bump by:
placing the lap strap across your hips so it fits comfortably under your bump
placing the diagonal strap between your breasts and around your bump
Take regular breaks when driving and make sure you bring some water and snacks with you for the journey.
Going on holiday or abroad
If you’re planning a holiday, seek health advice as early as possible.
You should give some thought to where you want to go as:
the things you may normally love, like hot sunny weather, may not be a great idea if you’re uncomfortable or finding it hard to sleep
you shouldn’t travel to areas where there's malaria or the Zika virus if you can avoid it
You should also consider the quality of medical care in the country you plan to visit.
Most airlines won’t let you fly if you’re within about a month of your due date. Some will need a letter from your GP or midwife saying you’re fit to fly when you’re 7 months pregnant. Check with the airline before you book.
Having a comfortable flight
When travelling by plane:
drink plenty of water as you’re much more likely to get dehydration while flying.
take healthy snacks with you so you can follow your own eating plan
take whatever makes you more comfortable, such as an extra pillow or warm socks
Be aware it may take you a bit longer than before to recover from jet lag.
Deep vein thrombosis
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot in a deep vein in your leg, calf or pelvis.
You're more likely to get DVT if:
you sit for long periods of time
do very little activity
If you’re travelling on a long-distance flight or sitting for 4 hours or more, talk to your midwife as you may need medication. Follow your midwife or doctor’s advice.