Monday, January 5, 2015

On-the-go with a baby on the way? Tips from an OB/GYN

Being on-the-go with a baby on the way isn't easy, as Jan Rydfors is aware. He's an  obstetrician in Silicon Valley who is one of the creators of Pregnancy Companion: The Obstetrician's Mobile Guide to Pregnancy -- an app that can bedownloaded.

His publicist sent out a release this winter that had great tips to help moms-to-be get the most out of travel.

As Rydfors is a board-certified OB/GYN specializing in fertility and high-risk pregnancy, we'll let him do the talking in this post.

Hydration. "Remember that hydration is extra important now. Frequent fluid intake is needed since more water evaporates from your skin when you are pregnant.  Especially if traveling during the summer as heat will enhance that fluid loss. Try to drink at least 10 eight-ounces glasses of fluid every day and even more on hot days."

Sun. "Sun feels good and getting a nice tan is always fun, but be careful now that you are pregnant. The high pregnancy hormones will increase your chances of skin discoloration that might be permanent, so remember to put on ultra-strong sun block of SPF 50 or more when you go out. If you want to be extra careful with the sun, do remember to put sun block on your skin even under your clothes since clothes only provide a SPF block of 10 or so."

Plane travel. "Plane travel is safe in pregnancy despite some voiced concerns regarding cosmic radiation and low oxygen levels in the passenger compartment. The risk in both cases is negligible. Try to get an aisle seat so that you can go to the bathroom frequently and take repeated walks down the aisles.  Attach your seat belt below your belly. If you are in your third trimester and the flight is over a few hours, you may experience significant foot swelling, so consider wearing comfortable sandals and support stockings.  Finally, make sure you are aware of the airline’s pregnancy age cut off. Many use 36 weeks as a cut off, but some use an earlier age. It is always a good idea to get a note from your OB regarding your due date since the airline might ask for it. If you have any contractions or bleeding, contact your OB before leaving."
Car travel. "It is a good idea to plan a little. Do remember to wear your seat belt at all times and make sure it does not cover your pregnant belly. Try to limit the car trip to 6 hours per day and remember to take frequent breaks every 1 to 2 hours to stretch and go to the restroom. This will also help to prevent blood clots in your legs. Being stuck in a car for hours might be a little uncomfortable so bring a pillow or two with you. Finally, it is a good idea to bring some snacks and bottled water as well as a small roll of toilet paper."

Boat travel. "For those of you who prefer the leisure of a cruise trip, remember to plan for potential nausea and ask your OB for some nausea medication such as Odansitron or the Scopolamine patch. They are both felt to be safe in pregnancy."