Is travel in pregnancy a good idea? And when? I should add and where to?
CNN reported on a baby that was born 8 weeks early in Hong Kong. The mother apparently cannot pay the hospital expenses and the hospital withheld the baby’s birth certificate. Her insurance won’t pay for the baby either, likely because the hospital is outside the United States, so she is responsible to pay expenses herself.
This brings up many questions, and many of my patients ask me whether they can travel and/or fly during pregnancy.
I usually give them the same answer, though it also depends on whether the pregnancy is a high risk pregnancy or not. Here are some answers for low-risk pregnancies:
1. Travel in and by itself is unlikely to increase pregnancy complications.
2. Flying does not increase pregnancy complications, it does not make you go earlier into labor. Follow certain safety guidelines when you fly in pregnancy.
3.When? I strongly recommend to not travel too far after 20 weeks.
4. Where to? I also strongly recommend to not travel abroad and to places that have sub-standard medical care. You are seeing a doctor you like and have chosen a great hospital. Why risk it by being away?
A pregnancy more often than not ends up without any complications. However, complications can happen anywwhere anytime, no matter that you were traveling or not. It can happen at home or while you travel. Complications are more likely to happen if you are at risk. So maybe it’s a bad idea to be too far away from your favorite doctor or hospital if you have an increased risk. So why risk being away and get sub-standard care?