How long is it safe to travel after getting pregnant?

Our experts answer your pregnancy questions.

I generally recommend if anyone is planning an extended trip during any point of pregnancy to discuss it with their provider. You don’t need to stay home for nine months, but you want to be prepared.

I like giving a woman a copy of her pregnancy records before she goes, for example. So if she needs to visit a clinic away from home, she’ll have it. Murphy’s Law – if she has it, she won’t need it.

In the first trimester, there’s not much to worry about except morning sickness. But it’s OK to fly or otherwise travel.

Most OB providers recommend you don’t travel after 36 weeks. There’s the discomfort of travel; you may not feel like sitting for hours in a car or having to stop all the time to empty your bladder. Then there’s the increased risk of going into labor, and we’d prefer you not be three or four hours away when that happens.

That’s in a perfect world. If your sister gets married or your aunt is really ill, there are reasons you have to travel after 36 weeks. Talk to your midwife or doctor before you consider it, so you have all the information you need.

The biggest thing with travel in the later part of pregnancy is that you’re sitting for a long time, and that’s an increased risk for blood clots. A clot in your leg could potentially break off and travel to your heart, to your lungs, to your brain, or your uterus.

I recommend that you get out of the car at least every two hours and walk. If you’re flying or taking a train, compression stockings can help. But during the summer months, they’re not very popular or comfortable. They’re hot. If you’re stuck in a seat, just make sure to stretch your feet and move your legs as much as possible throughout the trip.

Mary Johnson
Mary Johnson, certified nurse-midwife
Fairview Clinics – Burnsville
Fairview Clinics – Bloomington, Oxboro
Fairview Clinics – Savage

To learn more:

Make an appointment with a midwife or OB doctor or book a tour at The Birthplace.

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