10 April 2017
Travelling whilst expecting is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy some well-deserved time to yourself before the baby arrives. So, if you are feeling well, free of any complications and you’ve had the green light from your doctor or midwife, there’s no better time to book in that babymoon! Here’s a few tips to help put your mind at ease when travelling whilst pregnant.
Before you travel
Did you know that following approval by your doctor or midwife, most mothers-to-be can enjoy air travel right until their 37th week of pregnancy? However, if there is any risk of premature labour or if you are carrying multiples, this date will be much earlier. All airlines have their own rules, regulations and cancellation policies when it comes to pregnant passengers, so it’s essential that you check with them directly before making a booking. Make sure you carry your up-to-date medical records with you, and that your doctor has provided you with a letter stating that you are fit to travel. This should include information such as whether it is a single or multiple pregnancies, the estimated date of delivery, the week of pregnancy and a statement explaining that you are in good health with no complications.
When choosing your holiday destination, always seek advice from your doctor regarding any specific vaccines, medication and their associated risks for pregnant women. It’s wise to consult your medical practitioner if you are unsure about anything at all, avoiding any unnecessary worry concerning your baby. This will allow you to fully relax during your time away.
In most cases, your personal travel insurance will not cover any pregnancy-related medical care outside of your home country, in which case, you will need to take out a separate travel insurance. Make sure that this includes labour, delivery costs, care for your newborn baby and repatriation in the event of there being an emergency (always check the fine print).
In the air
Flying whilst pregnant will involve sitting in one place and potentially one position for lengthy periods of time. Therefore it is of utmost importance that you are as comfortable as possible for the duration of your flight. To avoid the slightly higher risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) associated with air travel, make sure you pop on a pair of compression flight socks, consume plenty of water and go for a stroll around the cabin as often as you can. Wear loose, soft clothing, and shoes that can easily be slipped on and off, even if your feet swell. If you intend to travel on a night flight, why not pack a pair of baggy pyjamas to change into, so you and your bump can truly relax and arrive at your destination feeling revitalised and refreshed.
Make sure you request an aisle seat in advance, preferably not too far away from the toilets as there is no doubt that you’ll be popping in there pretty frequently. Also, if you haven’t pre-ordered a special meal, do try to avoid eating anything that could carry a potential risk during pregnancy such as unpasteurised cheeses, uncooked meat or fish and pre-cut fruit. It’s also worth packing a few of your favourite healthy snacks in your hand luggage to keep cravings or sickness at bay.
Wellness whilst away
There is no doubt that you are taking care of yourself at home, and therefore, there is no reason why this shouldn’t continue whilst you are away. With over 20 years of experience in helping pregnant women and couples all over the world, registered midwife Sofie Jacobs of Urban Hatch, has excellent advice when it comes to travel and pregnancy wellness. She stresses the importance for mums-to-be to continue taking their prenatal supplements whilst away, with the addition of a good quality probiotic. Sofie also recommends exploring homeopathy, with an example being arnica, which when taken in tablet form, may help ease any pains, stiffness and swelling associated with travelling. A top-up dose of Vitamin C can also alleviate the common problem of constipation during pregnancy. She also advises pregnant women to drink plenty of warm water to help regulate body temperature, assist the kidneys to function more efficiently, creating less stress on the body, which is especially beneficial during flying when the cabin temperature is very unpredictable. Another great recommendation is to take your own plastic or steel bottle on board, which can be refilled with warm water throughout your journey.