Travelling While Pregnant

The moment a woman discovers she’s pregnant, her life immediately changes forever. Not only do you have to prepare for your new baby’s arrival, but you must also take the necessary steps and precautions to ensure he develops safely and properly. And if you’re the type who loves to travel and doesn’t plan on stopping until absolutely necessary (or as recommended by your doctor) there are some specific travel tips you should consider before embarking on a trip writes the

Know the best times to travel (and the worst). While pregnancy can cause nausea and fatigue, these symptoms typically don’t last throughout the entire pregnancy. The second trimester is considered the best time to travel since you’re less likely to experience morning sickness and fatigue. You should however try to avoid traveling after 36 to 38 weeks of pregnancy, unless your doctor gives you permission. If you do plan on flying late in your pregnancy, check to see if your airline requires a note from your doctor if you’re scheduled to deliver within 30 days of takeoff.

Bring a copy of all necessary medical information. If you need treatment from a local doctor during your trip, it’s important to have a copy of your prenatal records to help him better understand your pregnancy and specific needs.

If flying, opt for a pat down instead of getting scanned. When going through security at the airport, try to avoid AIT scanners (the ones that spin around you) and ask to receive a pat down instead. Since the effects of the scanners on the fetus are unknown, doctors advise women to avoid them altogether.

Choose an aisle seat. This will give you more room to stretch and allow you easier access to the bathroom. Be sure to take frequent walks to the bathroom to prevent blood clots. You might also want to wear compression socks or tights to keep your blood circulating.

Bring healthy snacks and drink plenty of water. While women should drink tons of water when pregnant, this is especially true when traveling. Aim for eight to twelve glasses of water a day to ensure the fetus is getting enough.

Pack loose and comfortable clothing. Avoid anything that’s too tight to ensure you’re as comfortable as possible during your travels.

Watch what you eat. Traveling can make it difficult to maintain a healthy and regular diet. Be sure to cut back on foods and drinks that are likely to cause gas and heartburn, and opt for foods that are high in fiber. Instead of eating three big meals a day, aim for several small meals and take your time when eating.

Slow it down. Since it’s easy to get tired when pregnant, it’s best to keep your schedule light and simple. Scheduling time to nap each day may be a good way to re-boost your energy stores and avoid exhaustion.

Third of international assignments fail due to stress

Areas of dissatisfaction among the mobile workforce could jeopardise the success of their overseas assignment and lessen the return on investment for employers, says a new report out this week.

A survey has highlighted the fact many expat workers are unaware of the benefits and assistance available to help them with their overseas assignment. It is estimated up to a third of international assignments fail due to family stress, burn-out, increased workloads, and cultural differences. These problems occur despite significant investment from multinational companies, estimated at almost three to five times that of the employee’s salary.

According to the survey, the majority of companies are providing the resources rated as most important by employees including general relocation services (80%), settling in services (63%), and medical preparedness (65%).

Over three-quarters (78%) of expats and their families have accessed medical care abroad. Expats under 34 years old were considerably less well informed about the details of their health plans than other age groups. For example, uncertainty over how to handle claims was four times higher than the average of other age segments, and a lack of knowledge over where to access healthcare was triple that of other groups.

The results also indicated having a family strongly influences health care choices. Those on assignment with spouses or partners and children were most likely to access care, with percentages as high as 91% in these segments compared to single expats (64%) and expats without children (67%). While those who had a partner or children back in their home country tend to seek routine treatment at home, rather than where they are posted.

Extract reproduced with kind permission of

Global AIDS battle being won but discrimination continues

World Aids Day was on Sunday (1 December), so what better time to reflect on how far the fight against HIV/AIDS has come in recent decades. A disease that once signified a death-sentence is slowly but surely in decline and an end to the most destructive pandemic in human history is no longer unimaginable writes

On the whole, HIV sufferers are living longer, more fulfilled lives. However, those most at risk of contracting the virus; sex workers, users of intravenous drugs and homosexual men, still face daily stigma from society at large.

Maybe surprisingly, it has been reported that the number of new cases in some European countries has actually been increasing. In the current period of austerity challenging much of the continent, treatment and services have fallen victim to government cuts.


It has been suggested that as the incidence of the disease declines, it is no longer taken as seriously as it once was. But where does that leave the 35 million people around the world still living with HIV/AIDS?

There remains widespread misunderstanding, and cultural differences mean that sufferers are still often demonised. This is evident from the fact that more than 70 countries across the world continue to uphold some form of law prohibiting homosexuality, restricting access to treatment and support for those most in need.

It is also necessary that the attitude towards female sufferers changes, as it is now possible to prevent transmission of the infection to any unborn children. In much of Africa women are still seen as the carriers and transmitters of the virus.

UNAIDS will be inaugurating Zero Discrimination Day on the 1st March 2014 in an attempt to end the persecution faced by many HIV/AIDS sufferers.

Raising awareness is key to winning the battle against AIDS. Some facts that you may not know:

  • With proper treatment it is possible for HIV sufferers to no longer be infectious.
  • Life expectancy of an HIV sufferer after 5 years of treatment is the same as the rest of the population, if they are diagnosed early.
  • It only takes 15-20 minutes to get the results from an HIV test.

The emphasis is now firmly on early diagnosis, as early treatment reduces the likeliness of a carrier being contagious. Ignorance of HIV/AIDS continues to be as much of an issue in the west as it is in Sub-Saharan Africa. For example, in Britain 1 in 4 people with HIV are undiagnosed and in Germany the figure worryingly jumps to 1 in 3.

For more information about AIDS awareness, visit the official World AIDS Day website.