Top ten travel tips for pregnancy
Feature writer, Cathy, shares her top ten tips for travelling safely when pregnant.
Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you’re confined to the UK for nine months – here’s how to travel safely with your bump.
- Check your travel insurance.
If you’re having an uncomplicated pregnancy, most reputable insurers should cover you without problem but many stop at 28 weeks. If you already have yearly insurance, get in touch to update your details otherwise it might invalidate your policy. And if you’re heading to Europe, apply for a free EHIC – or European Health Insurance card – in addition, as this gives free or reduced health treatment within the EU and several other European countries.
- Make the most of the second trimester.
Any morning sickness and exhaustion has usually worn off by now, but your bump isn’t so big that travelling is too tiring so it’s one of the best times to plan a getaway.
- Pick your destination carefully. Even if your travel vaccinations are up to date, a lot of the world’s more exotic locations are ruled out if there’s a risk of malaria, as the side-effects from the antimalarial tablets are too dangerous for your baby. The only thing worse is malaria itself so it’s simply not worth taking the risk.
- Take your hospital notes.
A photocopy is safer than carrying the original version and always pack them in your hand luggage, just in case you do need to see a doctor while you’re away.
- Check your airline’s pregnancy policy.
If you feel up to it, many airlines are happy for you to fly as late as 36 weeks but it does vary. Some low-cost carriers will stop taking you before that, while others may ask for a fit-to-fly letter from your doctor. It’s not just planes either, as ferry companies often have a cut-off point for pregnant travel.
- Do book an aisle seat.
Even if you’re usually a fan of curling up by the window on a train or plane, you’re likely to be making more frequent trips to the toilet and it saves having to ask your neighbour every time you need to get up.
- Learn to pack light.
Although people tend to be very helpful if you need assistance, struggling with a huge suitcase isn’t a great idea – although as your maternity wardrobe is probably smaller, you might find you have less choice anyway.
- Don’t plan too far ahead.
It’s difficult to know during pregnancy exactly how you’ll feel – you might still be bursting with energy at 32 weeks, or you might prefer to stay at home long before then. But don’t assume the worst, as many women find they can carry on almost as normal for months.
- Say goodbye (temporarily) to active holidays.
Although no-one expects you to be trying adrenaline-fuelled experiences like bungee jumping, many operators will refuse to let you try even more sedate options like boating or canoeing because of insurance issues.
- Beware of sad movies on planes!
With all the added hormones, you’ll be in tears straight after take-off.
Photography: Creativity 103 @Flickr