General Question

zina's avatar

If someone must travel while 8 months pregnant, what's the best way to do it?

Asked by zina (1653points) January 3rd, 2008

Exactly one month before due date, from Kansas City to San Francisco (and back).

Mode of transit: plane? train in sleeping car? road trip?
Other elements: tips for comfort and safety?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

9 Answers

tusslec4th's avatar

Drive you are not supposed to fly 8 months or more!

soundedfury's avatar

If you drive, you have to get out on a regular basis to move around and stretch. You can take the train, too, if you can get enough movement on it. Prolonged, cramped travel can cause a number of problems for you and the baby.

gailcalled's avatar

Is this a first pregnancy? Have the pregnant woman imagine what it would be like to go into labour during any part of the trip. Will she be near a hospital, or in an area w.cell phone coverage?I would think that unless it is a real emergency, the pregnant woman should stay home and rest, eat well, read baby book names, do gently exercises and generally enjoy the last four weeks – it may not be that long. Babies have a way of arriving unannounced sometimes; and there is nothing more agonizing than to be in labor and in a car between KC and SF, rushing towards help.

And there is the really important issue of having your own doctor, midwife or other familiar assistance.

Getting caught on a train would seem a nightmare to me, and I would think that flying would be out of the question. KC and SF will always be there, waiting for her and her baby.

My niece had a 48 hr labor w. her first son, and two years later, delivered her second on the living room rug. She didn’t have time to get to the sofa or bed. Her husband had a cell phone in one hand, talking to the doula, (who was stuck in a snow storm) and using the other to try to catch one very slippery baby. All were fine..but it was FAST.

zina's avatar

Yes, first pregnancy. Mom is a healthy 32yo, with some prior back problems but so far ok. She’s an experienced nurse herself and very well informed on pregnancy and medicine in general. And for what it’s worth, none of the elements that would put her at higher risk for premature labor are present.

We’re all thinking about above issues…. Train came up as a possibility because the movement is apparently more smooth and not harmful (in and of itself) to mom or baby—- and less stressful than driving. They (with her husband) could be in a private sleeping cabin – relatively comfortable and laying down and all (seems to me much more pleasant than a car), although you can’t stop on your own as easily. Also a doctor is likely to be on board, and perhaps her midwife or a friend who’s a doctor could come along. Of course, that could also be arranged for the other options, and then the only difference is being ‘on the ground’ – and thus potentially more able to get to a hospital etc.

Apparently planes (at least certain companies) do allow pregnant women until 36 weeks—of course this isn’t recommended and you’d want/need a doctor’s consent, but there are many stories of women who’ve done it without problem. (Actually, if it’s interesting, I came across this website on air travel: http://www.pregnanttraveler.com/articles/04.html)

So….
~ 3.5–4 hours by nonstop plane (if the doc ok’s it) plus airport time, but then you’re stuck in the air if anything happens…
~ 25+ hours of driving, broken up however you please (recommended 6 hrs/day would make it about 4 days)... or
~ 40–50+ hour train trip in a sleeper cabin

Other tips we’ve heard are: walking around frequently (as above), comfy loose clothes, bringing pillows, staying very hydrated, bringing familiar foods with you (as travel often brings a change in diet), and eating plenty of fiber to avoid constipation. Anything else along these lines? What about ideas concerning preventing and dealing with premature labor (in relation to these travel options)? Any other creative solutions?

gailcalled's avatar

You are all certainly thinking clearly; but it seems that there are two issues; 1) how to make the mother-to-be as comfortable and relaxed as possible. (I can’t add a thing to your well-thought-out ideas)..and

2) what happens if she goes into labor. Flying entails not only the air time, but the long lines, the high percentage of delays, the possible of being stuck on the plane on the runway, etc. 50+ hrs on a train- shudder. And hoping that there is a dr. on board is like throwing dice.

3) If she feels that this trip is absolutely essential, I would vote for a car. Check out ahead of time where all the hospitals are on route. And she is planning on traveling back!

4) Predicting when a baby will arrive is tough. I assume that she will see. her oby just before leaving. S/he can see whether baby has dropped, etc. First babies statistically come a little later, but that is just an abstract number.

5) Why does she want or need to do this? It was uncomfortable enough for me, 10 minutes from hospital, with family and friends and a doc I loved and trusted. I cannot imagine writhing around in a car and then arriving somewhere unknown. And once a baby decides to come, near the end of term, it is pretty hard to stop it.There are some drugs to slow labor down… but would not like that idea, personally.

And I assume that this trip is really important to her. I am speaking only from my, familly and friends’ experiences. Every labor and birth is slightly different. Keep me posted and wish the mom the best of luck. The most thrilling two moments of my life were giving birth to my son and daughter.

horselover19951's avatar

try goin in a car but sk the driver to hit no bumps

YARNLADY's avatar

So how did the trip work out and what method of travel was used?

saroyal's avatar

I really don’t think it would be a problem as long as the mother is traveling in a car.

Ron_C's avatar

Ambulance or stretch limousine.

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