Travel During Pregnancy


Many countries require vaccination, some of which may not be advisable to have during the first trimester of pregnancy. If it is essential that you travel to a destination where Yellow Fever vaccination is required, talk to your doctor about a certificate of exemption.


If it is essential that you travel to a malarial area, medication may be required. Discuss with your Doctor the most suitable medication for you at this time. Folic acid supplements are sometimes recommended with certain anti-malarial tablets.


Make sure that your insurance covers your ‘pre-existing’ condition, should any unforeseen problems arise.

The Journey

If you will be immobile while travelling, such as on a coach or in a plane, it is important to recognise the added risk of DVT. If you have more risk factors aside from pregnancy, you should see your doctor before you travel and discuss prevention.

Try to exercise at least every hour on long journeys. Exercise the calf muscles by rotating your ankles, or making use of the commercially available exercise equipment.

It is important that you do not wear clothing that will cause a restriction of circulation.

Wear loose clothing. Especially when flying – due to the change in atmospheric pressure in a plane parts of your body can expand due to increased gas!

Avoid dehydration. In the dry environment of a plane, it is a well-documented fact that too much alcohol, tea and coffee on flights can add to the problem of dehydration. It is therefore very important to remain hydrated during a long flight by drinking plenty of water and fruit juices.

At your Destination

If you are planning an extended stay abroad, remember that some airlines will not allow you to fly after 36 weeks on domestic flights, and 34-35 weeks on international routes.

Care should be taken in avoiding stomach problems by watching what you eat and drink. Advice should also be considered in relation to sun care, sexual health and preventing bites, especially in high risk malarial destinations.


Note: This information is designed to complement and not replace the relationship that exists with your existing family doctor or travel health professional.  Please discuss your travel health requirements with your regular family doctor or practice nurse.