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Can I travel abroad in my third trimester?
Q: My husband won a trip to the Caribbean through work, but we can only go when I'm seven weeks from my due date. He works hard and deserves the recognition and vacation. I would love to go, but my family thinks it's a bad idea. What do you think?

A: Congratulations on your husband's success. I'm sorry that you can't postpone the trip. However, I have to agree with your family. You shouldn't travel out of the country at that point in your pregnancy.

We tend to forget that the unexpected can happen during pregnancy, including premature delivery. If you went away and happened to have the baby early, you'd place both of you in a difficult situation.

Babies born early have the best chance to thrive when they are delivered in a hospital able to care for their special needs. There are only a few hospitals in the Caribbean able to provide the level of service your baby would require. Therefore you should stay home.

I don't want to give the impression that one shouldn't travel at all during pregnancy. That's not the case. We need to look at the health of the pregnancy and how far along one's pregnancy is before determining the merits of travel.
Craig L. Bissinger M.D.