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Pregnant. Had bleeding due to low lying placenta. Taking calorich, divadilon and folic acid. Safe to travel?

Mar 2013
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Practicing since : 1998
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Details of my wife's pregnancy are as follows
Last Menstrual Period: 25.01.2013
Expected Due Date: 31.10.2013
Current Week of Pregnancy: 23rd Week
Incidents during Pregnancy: Spotting in the 17th week (May 25th to 27th) due to low lying placenta. Admitted in hospital for Observation for 3 days and discharged. Since then the position has changed and it is not low lying anymore. Ultrasound reports since then have shown normal lying placenta - posterior

Medications - Morning - Calorich & Duvadilon - 1 each; Afternoon - Sheric & Divadilon 1 each Evening - Folic acid, Biorich & Duvadilon 1 each

Query - Doctor, The pregnancy fucnction (seemantham/Valaikaapu) of my wife has been fixed on 01/09/2013. Then I think She will be around 31 weeks. Right now we are in Chennai. After the function she will be travelling to her native place - around 14 hours travel by road. I would like to know.

(1) Whether it is safe to travel at that stage? (September 1 2013, eighth month of pregnancy, around 31 weeks)

(2) If it is safe to travel, Which mode of transportation is better (air/rail/road)?

(3) A specific question dr - Is it SAFE to travel be train I class A/c? Will the rhythmic rocking motion of the train, as it moves be in any way detrimental? (can the rocking motion induce labour?

(4) The flight to my native place is a bombardier q400 make - a small one. Will the build up in pressure in this small flight be in any way harmful? I have seen babies cry on that flight during takeoff.

Can you please advise me on what to do? I would like the delivery to be at Chennai, But her parents are insisting on taking her to their place as per their traditions which is leading to some serious tensions at home.
Posted Mon, 22 Jul 2013 in Pregnancy
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 4 hours later
Thanks for trusting us with your health query.
Firstly , congratulations on your pregnancy !
I will do my best to address your concerns in this regard.
I would answer your questions in the same order as you have asked, and include general tips and pointers for you , in addition as well.

ANSWER 1. The leading scientific body in the world in the field of gynecology is the ACOG - American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The ACOG clearly states - " Air travel is safe for most women upto 36 weeks of pregnancy ". Other leading bodies across the world also state that women can travel safely upto the eight month of pregnancy. OF course, this applies to normal pregnancies and excludes women with high risk pregnancies. Some such high risk conditions are - history of premature births or repeated abortions, risk of preterm delivery in this pregnancy, twin pregnancy, low lying placenta, women having diabetes, hypertension or cardiac issues, elderly mothers, women with history of blood clotting disorders etc. Since your wife has no complications in the pregnancy at present, it is SAFE for her to travel in the 31st week of pregnancy, provided she is having no risk factor then. It would help if your gynecologist examiners her JUST a day before travel and confirms that there is no additional risk involved.

ANSWER 2. Regarding the mode of travel, you are the best judge as you would be familiar with the local details of the journey etc. All airlines have different policies for pregnant women, but in general, most flight operators allow air travel for pregnant women upto 32 weeks. Check with your carrier if a certificate is required. If it is a long flight ( > 4 hours ), then ask her to have an aisle seat and move around every 30 minutes. Also, it is important to drink plenty of fluids on the flight to avoid dehydration. If it is a short flight, then too hydration is important, but it is safer than a long flight. In general, air travel is a safe option in the 31st week of pregnancy.

ANSWER 3. Train travel is absolutely safe during the 31st week in uncomplicated pregnancies, and is considered by some to be more convenient than flights. There is no evidence that the rocking motion induces labour. Many people choose train travel over flights if the journey is not too long and cumbersome. Travel by 1st Class AC is an excellent option, a Coupe is even better. If you DO decide to travel by train, here are a few pointers which will help you -

1. Travel light and smart. Pregnant ladies should avoid undue bending and lifting of heavy weights.
2. Travel with plenty of margin of time, so there is no haste in boarding trains and you can avoid the panic and chaos in a crowded railway station. Avoid getting down at interim stations.
3. Carry common medications for fever, cough , cold, diarrhoea etc. Keep your medical records handy and have your doctor's number reachable. Inform the TT and coach attendant about your condition and enquire about doctors on board, which are always there.
4. Book seats on premium trains with fewer stops. Secure lower berths. Sleep in the left lateral position. Move around the train frequently. Wear comfortable cotton clothing, and carry your own bedding , blanket and pillow, to avoid allergies.
5. Toilets in the train are known for lack of hygiene, it is better to use the squatting one. If you do need to use the western seat for convenience, and find squatting difficult, then cover the seat with plenty of toilet paper and then use it. Wash hands thoroughly.
6. If you buy bottled water on the platform, reconfirm the brands and expiry dates. Avoid eating food bought from hawkers. Avoid curd, milk, icecream also sold on stations. Carry your own home cooked food which is packed properly. Idlis, Lemon rice, theplas, pickles are excellent options. Carry dry fruits and fresh fruits and biscuits. Drink plenty of water.

ANSWER 4. During air travel, the cabin is pressurized and small children are not equipped to deal with the air pressure changes as well as adults, so it is common for them to cry during landing and take off. In fact, crying helps to adjust their ears and mouth and nose to the changing pressures. THis is not the case with adults so do not worry on this score for your wife.

In general, I would ask you not to stress out and worry on this issue. Travelling is safe during the 31st week, as long as there are no risk factors in the pregnancy, and both air and train travel are good options, you can choose as per your convenience.

I hope all your queries have been satisfactorily handled.
Please feel free to discuss further if you wish.
All the best.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Pregnant. Had bleeding due to low lying placenta. Taking calorich, divadilon and folic acid. Safe to travel? 2 days later
Dear Doctor,

Thank you for the detailed reply. 2 days after your reply we could settle on a decision at last.

Once again Thank you very much.
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 2 hours later
Thanks for the appreciation.
All the best.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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