With the cold weather finally here, it is tempting to want to slip south for a few days, or a few weeks, and soak up some sunshine. There are a lot of misconceptions about travelling while pregnancy, so let’s clear some of them up.
1. Can I Fly?
Absolutely! Depending on how far along you are and whether you are medically cleared to travel. Many airlines have restrictions on how late into your pregnancy you can travel, so check with your specific airline.
It is always a good idea to have a note from your OB or midwife, clearly stating your week of gestation and giving you clearance to travel, just in case there are issues.
2. Can I Go Anywhere?
Yes and no. Malaria is a particular concern while pregnant. If possible, choose a travel destination where malaria transmission risks are minimal.
You should also take precautions against mosquito bites whenever possible. It is also not recommended that pregnant women receive any vaccines that are live vaccines. This may limit your destinations but you should speak to your health care provider.
3. Should I Take Any Precautions?
Every pregnant person, and every pregnancy, are different, but there are some basic precautions your should take. While flying, it is important to drink plenty of water and walk around occasionally. Pregnant people are at a higher risk of developing blood clots and it is important to keep your blood circulating to prevent that.
Some women find that support hose are helpful in reducing swelling in the feet and ankles while flying. Many also find that they are more sensitive to the sun and heat while pregnant. Keep hydrated and apply sunscreen frequently.
4. What About Insurance?
Travel insurance is tricky when you are pregnant. Many people may remember the case in early 2015 where a Canadian woman gave birth prematurely while travelling and was faced with a very large medical bill.
Travel insurance is specific to the person named on the policy, which means it would not apply to any infant born. Some policies will exclude anything pregnancy related as it is considered a “previously existing condition”. It is important to check specifically with your insurance provider and to get everything in writing.
The most important thing to remember is to enjoy your vacation! Many families refer to these vacations as a ‘Babymoon” and it is a chance to get away as a couple before the baby arrives. Enjoy those virgin cocktails, swim in the ocean, and soak up the warmth!