Traveling Internationally While Pregnant: Health Factors To Consider

Being pregnant means that your entire perspective on regular, everyday activities changes. Your primary focus is on your health and the health of your growing, unborn baby. As such, when you had planned to travel internationally before you found out you were pregnant, you may wonder whether or not traveling to another country is a good idea now. Get to know some of the factors that you should consider when determining whether or not to travel internationally during your pregnancy so that you can make the right decision for yourself.

Pay Attention To Any Viral Outbreaks In The Area

When you travel abroad while pregnant, you will want to be particularly vigilant about keeping track of any and all viral outbreaks as well as current rates of other infectious diseases in the country and even the specific region within the country that you plan to visit. Women who are pregnant, while not completely vulnerable are considered to be what is known as immunosuppressed.

Immunosuppression refers to a condition in which a person's immune system is weaker than normal. When a woman is pregnant, her immune system is compromised because so many of her physical resources are allocated to helping her unborn baby develop and grow.

As such, while some viruses would normally be minor when contracted, they could cause you serious health issues for yourself and/or your baby if you were to contact them when you are pregnant. For example, there has been a recent surge of an illness known as the Zika virus in countries such as Puerto Rico and Brazil. Transmitted through mosquito bites, this virus is not treatable other than through rest and time and is usually not serious.

However, in Brazil especially, the Zika virus has been possibly linked to microcephaly, a condition in which a baby is born with an extremely small head due to improper brain development.  Because of such possible issues, you should be extremely vigilant about safety and avoid areas with large viral outbreaks.

Do Not Travel If Your Ob/Gyn Recommends Against It

Pregnancy itself does not necessarily have to be a reason not to travel internationally. However, every pregnancy is different and every woman is different. If there are any reasons that your ob/gyn (obstetrician/gynecologist) would deem your pregnancy "high risk," then long distance or international travel would not be recommended.

If you have high blood pressure due to your pregnancy, have had previous miscarriages, or gestational diabetes, for example, you may not be recommended for travel. Even if your pregnancy has been completely healthy with no complications or issues prior to travel, be sure that you go in to visit your ob/gyn immediately before you plan to travel.

That way, if any issues or problems have developed, you will not be putting yourself or your unborn baby at risk. Additionally, if your travel dates fall in your first or third trimester, you may want to consider rescheduling or canceling your trip. During the first trimester, you may feel sick throughout the entire trip due to morning sickness or general fatigue. You could also increase your risk of miscarriage. And during your third trimester, air travel could cause you to go into labor early.

Now that you know a few of the factors to consider when you are planning to travel internationally while pregnant, you can be sure that you are doing everything in your power to take care of your health and that of your unborn child.

To learn more, contact a gynecologist clinic like Ogeechee OB-GYN