Travelling Tips when Pregnant

Every so often, the need to travel, whether for fun or obligation, can come up. When this happens it is normal to worry about your state and if you and baby will be safe. 

The good news is that with a bit of planning, you can travel without hustle. Lets get a little deeper on how to make this work. 

When Not to Travel

Before making a move, it’s important to understand that some situations may prevent you from travelling. Consider consulting with your doctor before you begin making plans. Some of the situations to look out for are:

  • Experiencing heavy vaginal bleeding 
  • Showing signs of preeclampsia 
  • Experienced a previous miscarriage 
  • Pregnant with more than one baby
  • Having an incompetent cervix 
  • Endured a premature labor in the past
  • Previous ectopic pregnancy
  • First pregnancy at 35 years or above
  • Signs of a possible DVT (deep vein thrombosis)

 Scheduling Your Trip Right

When work demands travel, the most you can do is to get your doctor’s go ahead before you begin planning the trip.  

Vacations are, however different. The best time to plan for them is during the second trimester (18-24 weeks). At this time, most expectant mothers are comfortable and may not experience morning sickness or the usual pregnancy tiredness that is felt at the beginning or late pregnancy.  

During your second trimester, it is also unlikely that you’ll have emergencies like miscarriages or preterm labor. 

I am Pregnant, is Travelling by Car, Bus or Train Safe?

These are the most common way of transport in developed and developing countries. When it comes to a car or train ride there is nothing to be worried about. Cars, buses and train drives are most favorable if you are pregnant. Be careful with the Nairobi-based train however as they can get congested and either leave you standing or, worse, squeezing among many Kenyans trying to get to their workplaces. 

The SGR is however very comfortable and can even be a good option to any other mode of transport along its route.

 Car and bus drivers also allow you time to rest by making convenient stopovers after every 2-5 hours. Ensure you step-out and stretch when this chance comes. 

Travelling by Air

When travelling by air, ensure you make an appointment with your gynae to evaluate your health condition and give travel consent. Most airlines will not allow pregnant women on-board if they don’t have a clearance certificate from their doctor.  

While on-board, it is also recommended that you wear loose fitting clothes, compressed stockings (these help to maintain your blood flow, reduce discomfort and swelling) take walks along the aisle on long flights and hydrate yourself to ease plane effects. Read more on air travel while pregnant here.

Cruising by Water when Pregnant

Not an obvious form of travel, but who knows, you may find yourself on the ferry heading down to the south coast! When you do, wear compression stockings, be comfortable in loose clothing, and hydrate. You may want to include your medication if you have it too.

Precautions to Take While Travelling

Some of the precautionary steps that are tried and established as practical to make pregnancy travel less stressful are:

  • Taking mandatory vaccine like yellow fever, anti-malarias or the required travel vaccines. 
  • Wide travel consultation with your healthcare provider,  
  • Getting a comprehensive health travel insurance, 
  • Packing an emergency pregnancy survival kit, 
  • Picking a comfortable seat, 
  • Standing, walking and stretching at intervals,
  • Staying hydrated,
  • Eating regular healthy meals (Read more on nutrition in pregnancy here
  • Frequently using the washrooms 
  • Wearing a seatbelt

When to Get Help

Get medical help immediately if you notice any of the following symptoms during your trip:

  • Abdominal pain/ cramps
  • Labor-like contractions 
  • Vaginal bleeding 
  • Consistent headaches
  • Swollen leg(s)
  • Blurred vision 
  • Fluid leakage

Make a visit to your doctor preferably six weeks before to discuss your travel plans. 



#Please note that development differs from one child to another. 

#Content intended for educational purposes only, and should not be substituted for medical advice from your doctor.

Be careful when using any products mentioned on this website. We hold no regulations for such products or their providers.

Last reviewed January 2019

Sources: acog, americanpregnancy, pregnancybirthbaby betterhealth, marchofdimes, travelista

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