Putting to bed does not mean that your traveling and exploratory life needs to end. In as much as new mothers should ensure their safety and well-being on trips, they can still travel safely in most situations. Normally, you do not have to wait long to travel after delivering a child as most complications from childbirth occur rather soon after delivery, and if you have no complications, you can travel shortly thereafter, provided you take a few precautionary steps to ensure your health and safety.
No matter how you gave birth, the first six weeks postpartum are considered a “recovery” stage, even if you went through your pregnancy period and had the easiest delivery without complications, you should understand that your body has been stretched and stressed to its maximum, and it needs a chance to recuperate.
As a new mom, you should also understand that every woman’s body is different, so every woman will recover at a different rate with different postpartum symptoms. Most women ease up within a week, while others may keep experiencing symptoms such as sore nipples, backaches and sometimes pain for weeks, and some others might experience more symptoms like leaky breasts or an achy back until their baby is a little older. The first several weeks after delivery can be emotionally difficult as well as breast milk often takes a week to come in, and it may take time for breastfeeding moms (especially first-timers) and their babies to settle into a routine.
Remember that recovery from childbirth takes time, rest, and support, therefore travel can be stressful, and jet lag can worsen the fatigue you’re already experiencing. Regardless of your mode of travel, you need to take extreme precautions, take things as easy as possible and stick to the same healthy habits you observed during pregnancy.
Before you travel, ensure you discuss your travel plans with your healthcare provider before you traveling, and always know where you can obtain medical care on the road if the need arises. Everyone’s body is different; some women may take longer to recover from childbirth than others. Furthermore, your infant’s immune system is still developing, keeping him/her at an increased risk of infection, which is a concern that you can discuss with your health care providers.
During the trip, ensure you drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated and wear comfortable clothes, travel may be more strenuous on your body post-delivery, so pack clothing that is as comfortable as possible.
Ensure you get up regularly to stretch your legs and walk around a bit (every hour or so is ideal) to prevent blood clotting, for which you’re at an increased risk in the weeks after childbirth.
Fortunately, complications such as blood clotting, infection, and internal bleeding are uncommon particularly after the first week or two following delivery. Nevertheless, if your pregnancy was complicated, carry a copy of your medical records in case any other complication occurs.
Wait one to two weeks after delivery to travel if you gave birth vaginally, or wait three to four weeks if you gave birth by Cesarean section. If you are past these periods, you most likely will not experience any side effects.
Complications specific to c-sections, are also more likely to occur in the first several days after delivery. That is why most doctors advise that you wait at least three to four weeks to travel after surgery.
Know the location of the nearest medical support, both at your destination and along the way in the event of an emergency and for your own peace of mind.
With these precautionary measures, you can travel after delivery without fear of harm on yourself or on your infant.