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Old Oct 13, 10, 6:26 pm   #1
 
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Traveling Overseas While Pregnant - any tips?

hello... just wanted to see if anyone has traveled long trips while pregnant. this is my first time pregnant and i have an upcoming international trip (19 hours total with a 3 hour layover (16hrs + 3hrs)). we have a 1 week layover in HI on the way home to break it up a little. my doc told me it's fine, just stay hydrated and walk often. but today i saw another doc since mine was unavailable. today's doc freaked me out. he went into the whole thing about how i will be exposed to alot of radiation, wear a lead apron, risks involved etc etc.

ive kinda researched online a little and sounds like 1 or 2 trips are ok. but not frequent. and this is the only long trip i will be taking. but now i cant help but worry.

just wanted to see if anyone had any similar experience. i was reading about compression socks and was wondering if i should get that? but not sure where to even start looking for something like that. i was reading it has to be of the right compression.

we were also thinking about driving up a mountain to watch the sun rise... about 10,000 ft. guess that is def. outta the question.

any tips greatly appreciate! thank you!
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Old Oct 14, 10, 10:35 pm   #2
 
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Originally Posted by aoreo View Post
hello... just wanted to see if anyone has traveled long trips while pregnant. this is my first time pregnant and i have an upcoming international trip (19 hours total with a 3 hour layover (16hrs + 3hrs)). we have a 1 week layover in HI on the way home to break it up a little. my doc told me it's fine, just stay hydrated and walk often. but today i saw another doc since mine was unavailable. today's doc freaked me out. he went into the whole thing about how i will be exposed to alot of radiation, wear a lead apron, risks involved etc etc.

ive kinda researched online a little and sounds like 1 or 2 trips are ok. but not frequent. and this is the only long trip i will be taking. but now i cant help but worry.

just wanted to see if anyone had any similar experience. i was reading about compression socks and was wondering if i should get that? but not sure where to even start looking for something like that. i was reading it has to be of the right compression.

we were also thinking about driving up a mountain to watch the sun rise... about 10,000 ft. guess that is def. outta the question.

any tips greatly appreciate! thank you!
Lead apron? Does he mean the whole flight? That I just don't get.

Driving up the mountain: well, if we're talking a half day outing, just take it easy and drink your Gatorade - altitude sickness when pregnant is no fun, speaking as one who has experienced it. I went from home at sea level to 9,000 ft and went hiking in midsummer while 20 weeks PG, not my brightest move. But adequate fluid and rest can prevent problems. Just don't bike down Haleakala.

Definitely refuse the x-ray scanner if any airport travel through has them as part of security - head over to the Travel Safety and Security forum for more info on why/how to do that.

Compression socks - try google. I think TravelSmith.com has them, but I'm not sure. Likely amazon.com does, they have everything else on the planet these days.
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Old Oct 15, 10, 10:21 am   #3
 
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Originally Posted by CDTraveler View Post
Lead apron? Does he mean the whole flight? That I just don't get.

Driving up the mountain: well, if we're talking a half day outing, just take it easy and drink your Gatorade - altitude sickness when pregnant is no fun, speaking as one who has experienced it. I went from home at sea level to 9,000 ft and went hiking in midsummer while 20 weeks PG, not my brightest move. But adequate fluid and rest can prevent problems. Just don't bike down Haleakala.

Definitely refuse the x-ray scanner if any airport travel through has them as part of security - head over to the Travel Safety and Security forum for more info on why/how to do that.

Compression socks - try google. I think TravelSmith.com has them, but I'm not sure. Likely amazon.com does, they have everything else on the planet these days.
Yep, the doc said I could think about getting a lead apron to cover my ab area during the flight to shield myself I guess. Sounded a lil outrageous to me. I'm sure I will be in theee most comfortable state with that heavy thing on me for 16+ hours.

Hmmm... so going to Haleakala is not totally out of the question?! I was trying to read up and sounded like there were mixed recommendations. Of course the doc was not all too helpful with this one either... his answer was simply... well common sense, the higher you go, the less oxygen for you and the baby. Glad he was just a temp doc while mine was out.

I guess I'll think about that one. I would love to go. My hubby and I just went last year and it was beautiful.... This year we are taking our parents and it would suck to sit in the hotel, not being with them. But at the same time I don't want to risk anything either.
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Old Oct 15, 10, 10:52 am   #4
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Do these two doctors work together in a practice? To get such differing opinions...wow. We are a bunch of strangers here so I would think the best thing to do regarding your pregnancy is to speak to your own doctor again and tell him/her what the other told you. Or else, get a 3rd opinion from a doctor recommended to you by someone you trust. Good luck.
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Old Oct 15, 10, 2:38 pm   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aoreo View Post
just wanted to see if anyone had any similar experience. i was reading about compression socks and was wondering if i should get that? but not sure where to even start looking for something like that. i was reading it has to be of the right compression.

we were also thinking about driving up a mountain to watch the sun rise... about 10,000 ft. guess that is def. outta the question.

any tips greatly appreciate! thank you!
Check this thread out on compression stockings.

compression stockings?
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Old Oct 15, 10, 7:04 pm   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aoreo View Post
Yep, the doc said I could think about getting a lead apron to cover my ab area during the flight to shield myself I guess. Sounded a lil outrageous to me. I'm sure I will be in theee most comfortable state with that heavy thing on me for 16+ hours.
There are some docs you've just got to wonder about ... if you could even buy a lead apron, I don't think the TSA would let you take it on the plane. Personally I'd worry more about the prolonged exposure to lead than the radiation from 1 trip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aoreo View Post
Hmmm... so going to Haleakala is not totally out of the question?! I was trying to read up and sounded like there were mixed recommendations. Of course the doc was not all too helpful with this one either... his answer was simply... well common sense, the higher you go, the less oxygen for you and the baby. Glad he was just a temp doc while mine was out.
Does this doc realize that people in lots of places live at or near that altitude without irreversible brain damage from O2 deprivation? Are you planning to run a marathon or sit in the car and watch the sunrise? Has this doc been sued too often for malpractice and gotten over-cautious? I would talk this over with a doctor whose perspective you know and trust before making a final decision.
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Old Oct 15, 10, 9:19 pm   #7
 
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Just cause I was curious....

I used the calculator at http://jag.cami.jccbi.gov/cariprofile.asp and put in information for a trip from JFK to Tokyo (tho used the calculated time of 960 minutes - the OPs 16 hour flight time) and was given back an exposure of approx. 0.1 mSv which is about equal to that of a chest x-ray.

While it sounds kinda kooky for a flight, I'd definitely insist on a lead apron if getting a chest x-ray while pregnant
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Old Oct 17, 10, 8:51 pm   #8
 
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A friend of mine flew from Australia to Los Angeles and home again (obviously) while 7 months pregnant. Doctor told her to stay extra hydrated, get up and walk, use the compression stockings. He also said to make sure she had at least 7 days on the ground before getting back on the plane to go home again.

The flight was just fine coming and going.........her problem was once she got on the ground in LA. Some people just get a "travel belly" and get diarrhea no matter what they do. Well she did and she had to drink things to rehydrate (obviously) but with electrolytes to help replace what she lost. She was just fine, but just so you know just in case you have any tummy issues once you get to your destination.
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Old Oct 18, 10, 3:55 pm   #9
 
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Congratulations! I have to say, the 2nd doctor sounds a little... um... wacky? There have been many other threads on this topic - suggest you do a search of FlyerTalk on "travel while pregnant". If you are early on in your pregnancy, and there are no health issues, there should be no restriction with flying, and if you are farther along the concern becomes only if you might deliver.... I flew frequently with both my pregnancies (2 boys, now 18 months and 4 YO) up to about 5 months; many flight attendants fly until quite late in their pregnancies. Assuming your health is good, and you follow all the tips about staying hydrated, keeping blood circulating, eating right, etc., the biggest concern is probably your own comfort - my most miserable flying experience while pregnant was getting stuck overnight in a snowstorm at Narita en route home from Korea, very early on in the pregnancy (6W?) and dealing with nausea and hormones - but there was never any danger, or issue with my (or the baby's) health.

There is a specific type of compression stocking you need - my doctor recommended mine (sorry can't remember the details) and you can get them at a medical supply store or maternity store. Hawaii sounds great; below is a thread on Kauai while pregnant (I know, different island but possibly similar activities?). I didn't go to Maui while pregnant but just went in April and there is plenty of other stuff to do even if you don't feel up to Haleakala (I would use your judgment there - unless you're super-prone to altitude sickness I can't imagine an hour or two at 10k will do much, you'll spend more time in the plane cabin which is pressurized around the same!)

Kauai Kona - Five Months Pregnant

Good luck and enjoy!
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Old Oct 23, 10, 9:39 pm   #10
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I traveled from San Francisco to London and back while six months pregnant and honestly didn't even consider asking my doctor. My doctor knew me well and was far more lax with me than he was with other patients and also than most doctors likely are with their patients. He told me I could snow ski, ride horses, drink a glass of wine a day, basically live as normal. There are some things I wouldn't do, of course, such as SCUBA dive. My son - the one exposed to all these dangers while in utero - graduated from MIT this year and is now in grad school at Stanford so I don't think he suffered much.
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Old Oct 25, 10, 11:26 pm   #11
 
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My daughter flew dozens of US domestic trips until she was about 7 months pregnant. No problems with the baby AND he's a great traveler now! She swears it's because he got used to the travel in utero!!
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