TRAVELLING DURING PREGNANCY
UMM FULAANAH: Assalaam alaykum doctor.
DOCTOR FULEEN: Waalykum salaam dear how are you today?
UMM : I’m fine doc.
DOCTOR : I can see here in your file that everything is fine. Weight, blood pressure, urine analysis… all perfect! Any other complaints or questions before I examine you?
UMM : AlhamduliLlaah. Please doc, I just want to seek some clarity on travelling.
DOCTOR : OK. I’m listening.
UMM : I’m planning to travel to Australia by next month. Is it a good idea at this stage of my pregnancy?
DOCTOR: Well, as you are now in your second trimester, I believe there’s no problem with that. Long distance travelling is not advisable during the first 13 weeks and after 36 weeks of pregnancy. Most airlines will demand for a medical report before they allow you to travel any time from 28 weeks.
UMM: OK doc. I think I will still need the medical report though. I have not booked the flight yet and I’m already 22 weeks.
DOCTOR: That’s fine, I’ll prepare your report and you can get it from the admin assistant when you’re ready. But try to book your flight early. Choose the shortest possible flight and book an aisle seat so that you can have enough space to stretch your legs. You should also stand up and walk around at regular intervals to prevent blood clots in your legs. Remember to take other safety precautions especially hand hygiene to prevent infections…
UMM: Wow! Blood clots? What causes that?
DOCTOR: Yeah. Pregnancy and prolonged immobility are risk factors for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) which is the formation of blood clots in the veins of the limbs. These clots can move up to the lungs causing shortness of breath (pulmonary embolism) which can be potentially fatal. This can be avoided by stretching your legs and walking around like I said, as well as drinking enough water to maintain good hydration.
UMM: OK doc. So, if my trip is delayed for any reason, I shouldn’t travel after 28 weeks?
DOCTOR: If you and your baby are fine, you can still travel until your 36th week, but the earlier the better. If you develop any complication such as preterm labour, preeclampsia or ruptured bag of water, then it becomes too risky to travel at all.
UMM: Alright doc. I’ll discuss with my husband so that we can conclude the whole process by next week in shaa Allaah.
DOCTOR: That’s better. I wish you safe journey and delivery in shaa Allaah.
UMM: Aameen. Thanks doc.
DOCTOR: You’re welcome.