Friday, January 20, 2023

Healthy Habits: Tips for Healthy & Safe Travel for Moms-to-Be


In more than four decades of practice, Dr. Alan has delivered more than 6,000 babies 
and achieved a maternal mortality rate of zero! Pregnant women should consider the following before make travel plans, he says:

  • Destination dysentery? Choose another. Shigella bacteria (shigellosis) is a major cause of dysentery, an infection or inflammation of the intestine that causes bloody diarrhea and is linked to miscarriage and preterm birth. The main source is contaminated food and water, with higher risk areas in developing countries. Dr. Alan recommends avoiding these destinations.
  • Be in good health before you travel. Make sure your blood pressure is normal and have your blood sugar checked so you know if you have abnormal blood glucose, as that will impact what you should and should not eat.
  • Check on access to medical care so you know ahead of time how to get if you need it: Find out about access to hospitals, emergency rooms, and doctors, Dr. Alan recommends. “All of those things are going to be really important, and you don't want to try finding a doctor when you are bleeding,” he says. “You should know ahead of time how to find one.”
  • Consider vaccine status before making travel plans. Doctors do not recommend most travel vaccines to pregnant women unless there is a high risk of exposure, and usually conduct tests on pregnant women before administering any vaccines.
  • Avoid traveling in the final months of pregnancy. Sitting for long periods, such as on plane flights, can affect blood circulation and lead to formulation of blood clots. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when blood clots form in the legs and travel into the heart and lungs. Airplane flights of four hours or more are a risk factor for DVT and pulmonary embolism (PE), serious complications that can be fatal.

“I would recommend against the whole business of travel, but if you are going to travel, these are the things I would think about,” Dr. Alan says.


About Dr. Alan Lindemann: An obstetrician and maternal mortality expert, “Rural Doc” Alan Lindemann, M.D. teaches women and their families how to create the outcomes they want for their own personal health and pregnancy. A former Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of North Dakota, he served as a clinical faculty member and preceptor with medical students in rural rotations. In his nearly 40 years of practice, he has delivered around 6,000 babies and achieved a maternal mortality rate of zero! Learn more at

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