Pregnant and Traveling? What You Should Know

Life in the Sleeper Car: Pregnant Women and Travel on Ships and Trains

The train can be a safe and comfortable method of travel, but a little planning can make the trip go even more smoothly. For instance, find out if there is a dining car on board and bring healthy snacks just in case the dining car is closed. The bathrooms tend to be small -- but so are airplane restrooms.

Pregnancy can be taxing, so why not unwind on a cruise? Ship travel can be relaxing. Sea air is refreshing. There's plenty of room to walk and exercise, and getting plenty to eat is rarely a problem.

Again, however, a little planning goes a long way. Make sure a doctor will be on board the ship. Check on the availability of medical care at all ports of call. In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Web site can tell you which ships have passed its health and safety inspections.

One potential problem with ship travel is seasickness. If you're worried about it, talk to your doctor about medications that pregnant women can take safely. One non-drug alternative that works for many women -- for both morning and motion sickness -- is acupressure wristbands. These natural means of controlling motion sickness have wristbands with plastic studs that put pressure on strategic points on the wrists. They're sold for about $10 a pair under brand names like Sea-Bands and BioBands.

Noroviruses can be another pitfall of cruise travel. These highly contagious viruses may spread rapidly through the passengers on a ship, causing severe nausea and vomiting. The attack rarely lasts more than a couple of days, but because of the dehydration it causes, it can be a real problem for pregnant women. The best way to present infection is to be careful about washing your hands and any raw vegetables or fruits you might eat. If you do get sick, seek medical attention immediately.

Considering an exotic location? Head to the next page for a few more travel tips.