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Pregnancy Travel Advice
Published on 18 April 2017 by Rakhi Choudhary, updated on 02 May 2017
It is always good to get in a last get away before your baby makes an arrival into the world. ‘Baby moons’ are becoming more and more popular. Before life turns into cooing, nappies, and sleepless nights, it is a last chance for you and your partner to have a relaxing time away together.
Here are a few tips on things to consider when planning your holiday during pregnancy:
Choose a Sensible Destination It is important to choose a destination that is safe for you and your bump. Avoid areas where there are mosquitoes that carry the risk of malaria and zika. To see a list of countries where there is a zika risk click here. Try to avoid travelling to areas where vaccinations are required, as often some types of vaccinations are not safe in pregnancy. If possible try and avoid long haul flights which is considered more than 4 hours.
Ensure you have good access to appropriate medical care Make sure where ever you go, there is access to appropriate medical care. Find out where the nearest hospital with maternity care is, and how you can travel there. Read your travel insurance policy document. Check that it provides adequate cover when pregnant and abroad. Ensure you have a copy of it and the contact numbers in your suitcase, just in case you need it. Take a copy of your medical records with you. This should also have evidence of when your due date is, as many airlines may ask for this. Don’t forget to pack medication and any vitamins you are taking!
When is the best time to travel when pregnant? If you are carrying one baby it is better to travel before 37 weeks, after that you could go into labour at any time! If you are carrying twins it is best to travel before 32 weeks, after 32 weeks, the majority of airlines will not let you fly. Cruise lines also have limitations too, often they will not let you travel past 26 weeks, so it is best to contact them directly and check.
Keep active on the plane! The risk of a blood clots is higher during pregnancy. If you do take a long-haul flight there are lots of things you can do to minimise the risk of a DVT. Take regular walks on the plane, do regular in seat exercises, drink lots of water, and wear graduated elastic compression stockings. It is okay to go through the normal security checks at the airport. None of the scanners can be harmful to baby. It is safe to wear a seatbelt on the plane. Ideally it should be over the top part of your thighs, and under your bump.
Careful what you eat Although a large part of the holiday is enjoying the local cuisines, it is important to be careful what you eat. If you have any concerns about the quality of water, stick to bottled water, and avoid any ice. Avoid soft cheeses and pate. Be cautious about salad dressings and ice-cream, and ask if any raw egg has been used to make it. For a list of foods to avoid in pregnancy click here.
Sorry Ladies No Spa-ing! Avoid using any saunas, steam rooms and Jacuzzi's as there is a risk of overheating. Your body’s core temperature rises, which can affect the babies’ development particularly in the first 12 weeks. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists recommends that the temperature of the water shouldn't be above 32C.
Although there seems like lots of do’s and don’ts, with some sensible planning and packing you can have a great restful holiday whilst pregnant. If you have had any complications in your pregnancy, it is best to discuss your travel plans with a doctor prior to booking anything.
If you wish to discuss any of your concerns about travelling, come see one our GPs, or attend our travel clinic.