On this episode of the podcast we are joined by Dr Wendy Sexton to talk about travel medicine for the pregnant patient.
Take home messages:
- The best time to travel is in the second trimester, but be sure to advise patients about the clinical and financial risks in case of pre-term birth while overseas.
- For flights longer than 4 hours, compression stockings, hydration and mobilisation is recommended. If additional risk factors are present, consider low molecular weight heparin.
- Pregnant women should be aware of the local health services available in their travel destination, and be prepared with medications to treat common symptoms or conditions of pregnancy.
- Water and food safety, and hand hygeine advice is important.
- Mosquito bite avoidance is crucial. Measures include DEET, long sleeves and mosquito nets.
- Malaria prophylaxis options include chloroquine and mefloquine. Malarone is sometimes used off-label –> consult a travel med specialist.
- Yellow fever is a live vaccine and is not recommended, but consider individual risks and consult a travel med specialst.
- Influenza and DTP vaccines are routinely recommended in pregnancy.
References & resources:
Pregnancy and Travel patient information sheet
Airline fitness to fly forms: Qantas and Virgin
CDC Travelers’ Health information online
NHS Fit For Travel
The Travel Doctor information sheets: Special Considerations for Pregnant Travellers, Zika and Travellers, Zika in Bali
ACOG statement on Travel During Pregnancy
RCOG patient information sheet on Air Travel and Pregnancy
And thanks to Dr Minh Le Cong for drawing these references to our attention:
Air travel and pregnancy – with reference to obstetric and perinatal aeromedical retrieval
CDC press release – Are flight Attendants at Higher Risk for Miscarriage?