A pregnant woman should avoid travelling by train due to inconveniences she might face during the journey. However, when it seems there is no option left for the expecting mother other than to travel, she must take some precautions to ensure her and her baby’s safety.
During pregnancy, it’s quite normal to think about questions on what to do and don’ts. So, we have decided to answer your questions and give you some advice to help you travel safely during pregnancy by train.
Related Reading: How to Stay Healthy While Travelling by Train?
Is It Safe to Travel During Pregnancy by Train?
Yes, train travel is the safe and best option for a pregnant woman to commute. Travelling by car is likely to be unsafe because roads have bumps and narrow curves. In addition, sudden thrust and jerking in road trips can cause discomfort and increase the risk of water loss, miscarriage, and premature delivery.
Similarly, air travel can cause health-related problems like DVT in pregnant women. Deep Vein Thrombosis or DVT is a health condition when blood clots form in the leg and pelvis due to sitting for a prolonged time. Not only this, many airlines don’t allow pregnant women to fly in certain stages of pregnancy.
Compared to a road trip and air flight, the train ride is turbulence-free and smooth. Also, the train compartments and seats are more spacious and comfortable than those of car or economy-class air plane seats.
Can I Travel Alone During Pregnancy?
We advise you to not travel alone during pregnancy. Travelling during the first semester of pregnancy can be challenging due to fatigue, nausea and other symptoms caused by hormonal changes. To help you out with luggage, strolling, and medications, you will need a companion. Also, solo train travel is not that interesting if it’s a long journey.
Which Class Should You Choose for Travelling During Pregnancy?
An expecting mother needs open space, especially during the later stages of pregnancy (5 months or more), to make her feel comfortable. When buying a train ticket, make sure to book your seat in AC-2 or AC-3 tier coaches. These class compartments have spacious berths and ample leg space. Try to get a lower berth seat. If you don’t get one, request a co-passenger to exchange their lower berth with your upper berth. So, you will not need to climb to the upper berth seat.
Related Reading: Different Types of Travel Classes in Indian Railways
Also, if you need more convenience and peace, First AC (1A) coupe would be the best option for travelling during pregnancy by train.
Is There Any Special Quota for Pregnant Ladies in Train?
Yes, Indian Railways provide a special quota facility for female passengers. Listed below is the reservation quota that applies to all trains having sleeping accommodation:
- 06 lower berths in every sleeper class coach.
- 03 lower berths in every AC-3 and AC-2 tier coaches.
- 04 lower berths in every AC-3 coach of Rajdhani, Duronto, and fully AC express trains.
- 03 lower berths in every coach of Mail/Express trains.
Female quota in train is adopted on the humanitarian ground by Indian Railways, and this also ensures the safety of female passengers in the train.
- Special coach for female passengers is attached to almost all trains.
- Male passengers are not allowed to board such special coaches.
- Female quotas can be availed on booking tickets online as well as on the reservation counters.
- Ladies travelling with their children below 12 years of age are allowed reservation of berths under this quota.
Make sure to carry medical proof of your pregnancy if you travel on a ticket availed on the pregnancy quota.
Related Reading – How to Book Railway Ticket in Ladies Quota
What Precautions Should an Expecting Mother Take While Travelling?
Though it’s safe to travel by train during pregnancy, here are few tips to help you travel comfortably and make your journey more joyous:
- Be early and reach the boarding station on time to avoid the last-minute rush.
- Don’t lift heavy luggage. Take the help of a baggage porter or coolie to carry your luggage.
- Avoid crowd on the platform. Watch out for spilt water, sleepy surfaces and take steps carefully.
- Always wear sturdy footwear such as sneakers and flats.
- Don’t bend as bending puts pressure on the abdomen and can make the baby uncomfortable.
- Sit in a comfortable posture. Avoid sitting in the same posture and lie down on the berth whenever possible.
- Walk in the train compartment from time to time to improve blood circulation. Make sure to hold on to something when standing inside the train.
- Make sure your mobile is fully charged and carry a power bank. Stay connected with your loved ones.
Also, limit intake of tea and coffee as they can make you need to go toilets more often. Listen to some soothing music and enjoy the journey with your baby.
What Food Should You Avoid During a Train Journey?
Spicy and sour foods are very common cravings among pregnant women. When travelling by train, you will find such foods in abundance with the station side stalls and hawkers. Avoid these foods, however appealing they might appear. If you are not carrying home-cooked food, the best option would be to book food in train from authorized IRCTC e-catering partners. Ask them to provide non-spicy and clean food.
In pregnancy, hunger naturally increases. So, take some fruits and have them whenever you feel hungry. Also, carry packaged drinking water and drink some water regularly to keep yourself hydrated.
Best Time to Travel During Pregnancy by Train
Avoid travelling during early pregnancy by train. Mid pregnancy (14 to 28 weeks) is the best time to travel. During these weeks, many pregnancy-related symptoms like morning sickness, headaches, and tiredness are gone. So, you may get around easily.
However, till 37 weeks of pregnancy, travelling by train is considered safe. After 37 weeks, you should not travel by any means of transport because the baby can be born any day. If you are already on travel or vacation, make sure to return before you complete 37 weeks.
Things to Remember
Here are few things to remember while travelling by train during pregnancy:
- If you are pregnant and wish to travel, take your doctor’s advice before planning a trip, especially if you are experiencing any complications.
- Travelling during the second trimester of pregnancy is safest, especially when your pregnancy is not at higher risk.
- Be wary of medicines of any kind. Always carry prescribed medications in a readily accessible bag.
Relax and Have a Happy Voyage
Pregnancy is a magical experience – a life grows inside you, and there is a no bigger gift. At RailMitra, we care for the health and safety of you and your baby. We wish you a pleasant journey!
RailMitra is your best digital companion during train travels. While you travel, use our railway enquiry app to check PNR status, train running status, and even get food delivery in train from FSSAI approved restaurants.