Sunday, October 17, 2010

What Do You Mean? I Can't Go Home for the Holidays...

The standard answer is, "not if you are twenty-eight weeks". Travel doesn't hurt a pregnancy, fetus or pregnant woman. Travel by air is not different than travel by car or train or bus. Travel is taking you and your pregnancy away from your providers, so the rule of thumb is: your increased risk of needing providers at twenty-eight weeks, makes it smart to stay within reach--of them and the hospital where you are planning to deliver.

Airline companies and cruise lines and the Greyhound bus don't want to be liable or responsible for you or your pregnancy. That is why, if you ask and tell,they will put a cap on travel with them at twenty-eight weeks. They may ask for proof of your gestational age and that you bring records with you.

It is a great idea to bring records with you, no matter when you travel ( or how ) during a pregnancy. That way, if you should need medical attention away from your providers, there is data and baselines available for others to make the best decisions for your care.

If you decide to travel anytime by car, bus or train or plane remember to get up and move around to avoid circulatory problems like clots. You should hydrate really well and also remember to empty your bladder accordingly. You may experience swelling of ankles and feet, and the antidote is always more water ( to drink ).

I always recommend that the woman ask herself if she's going to travel, " Would I be okay needing someone other than my chosen providers care for me in case of emergency? What if the nearest hospital is a small not very well equipped facility that may not even deliver babies? Would I be okay delivering in a hospital other than in the one I have chosen at home? If I should have to deliver a preemie who may need to be admitted to an intensive care unit and I would want to stay, do I want to be away from home? How long would I be comfortable away from home and my chosen obstetrician or midwife, hospital and pediatrician? What if I am put on bed rest, maybe for the remainder of the pregnancy way from home?" These questions usually bring up rationales for not traveling after twenty-eight weeks gestation.

Many women think that if they have a pelvic check and are told that the cervix isn't ripe, not dilatated, closed and thick, that they are safe to travel. They think that if they haven't lost the mucous plug or aren't experiencing Braxton- Hicks, that they are safe to travel. There is no sure way to determine when a woman is going into labor and what looks like weeks may turn out to be days or even hours.And pediatricians decide for you when they are comfortable allowing the baby to travel.

How about inviting "them" to your home for the holidays. And let "them" cook.