Pregnant women should follow these precautions while travelling during the pandemic.

How pregnant women can stay safe while travelling in times of COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic brought travel to a standstill. Airlines, trains, buses, taxis were all forced to stop operations to break the chain in an attempt to check the spread of the virus. Many months later, travel has opened up, and public as well as private modes of transport are being permitted again. 

However, the risks of the virus still prevail. These are further magnified in the case of older people, patients with comorbid medical conditions, and pregnant women. This article talks about safety tips pregnant women can follow while travelling during the pandemic. 

1. Get your doctor’s approval
Before you travel, it is very important to get your doctor’s approval. A thorough examination is important, regardless of the month of pregnancy. Make sure to consult a gynaecologist before your trip. Tell your doctor about the mode of transportation and the length of the journey. Most doctors don’t recommend that women travel after the 7th or 8th month of pregnancy. However, sometimes you may have to take an urgent and unavoidable trip. In such a situation, your doctor can offer you advice or medication to ease the journey. 

2. Avoid long trips
Pregnancy can be hard on the body. Most women feel extreme exhaustion during their pregnancy, making it hard to work or move around for an extended period of time. Backache, frequent urination, nausea, etc. are some other health glitches that one often experiences during pregnancy. All of this can make long journeys difficult, especially if you are travelling by road. Using the washroom or taking stops along the way also increases your risk of getting infected. So, make a plan depending on your pregnancy stage and the health conditions you face.

Related: How the pandemic has affected men and women differently?

3. Wear a mask
Your health ultimately affects the baby’s health. Hence, even if the rules on wearing a mask have eased since the introduction of the vaccine, it is in your own interest to protect yourself and your child. Ensure that you wear a mask at all times in public spaces. Keep a safe distance between yourself and others and do not allow people to touch your belly.

4. Keep a sanitiser handy
A sanitiser is a necessity in these times. It becomes even more essential when you travel. Right from your tickets to your luggage, train or flight seats, food containers, glasses, etc., there are a million things that you end up touching when you step outside of your home. This can expose you to the virus. And since the effects of coronavirus on pregnant women and unborn children are still being studied, it is better to take all safety precautions. 

Related: Health insurance plans with maternity benefits: What you need to know?

5. Travel only to safe zones
Unless absolutely necessary, restrict your travel to ‘green’ zones. This will ensure your safety and minimise the chances of contracting the disease. Remember to check the newspaper for any new cases in the area you are visiting. Different states and countries have been publishing data on the number of active COVID cases. Do some research beforehand and find out how safe it is to travel to your destination. 

Related: Travel and Pregnancy: To do or not to do?

6. Look for nearby hospital:
Before you begin your trip, make a list of all nearby hospitals in the place you are visiting. If you are travelling by road, look for hospitals on the way too. In the unfortunate case of an emergency, knowing where the nearest hospital is can save precious time. If possible, make an appointment with a gynaecologist after you reach your destination to check if everything is all right. This will also offer you peace of mind so you can relax. 

Related: What are the basic rights for pregnant women in India?

Last words
Travelling is a fun activity for all, but it can be challenging for pregnant women. COVID-19 has made things worse with additional restrictions. So, make sure you follow all the safety tips mentioned above and any other precautions recommended by your doctor. If you feel unwell, postpone your trip to a later date but never ignore what your body tells you. Remember that you need to care for two people – you and your child. 

Also read: How COVID-19 has impacted travel and tourism